Slavic Languages and Literatures

Director of undergraduate studies: Marijeta Bozovic, 2708 HGS, (203) 432-3904, marijeta.bozovic@yale.edu; language coordinator: Irina Dolgova, 2704A HGS, 432-1307, irina.dolgova@yale.edu; slavic.yale.edu

The major in Russian offered by the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures acquaints students with Russian literature and culture, develops students' appreciation of literary values and skill in literary analysis, and gives them a basic competence in Russian. For an area major in Russian studies, see Russian and East European Studies, an interdisciplinary program administered by the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.

Students majoring in Russian may concentrate exclusively on Russian language and literature (Program I), or they may elect to study Russian literature in the context of comparative studies of literature (Program II). For Program II, credit is given for work done in other departments. Specific courses in each program must be arranged with the director of undergraduate studies. Students interested in specializing in Russian or Slavic linguistics may arrange a special concentration in linguistics with the DUS.

Prerequisites

Prerequisite to the major in both programs is RUSS 151. The department offers two sequences of language courses to fulfill the prerequisite: either (1) RUSS 110, 120, 130, 140, 150, and 151 or (2) RUSS 125, 145, 150, and 151. Prospective majors should complete RUSS 140 or 145 by the end of their sophomore year or accelerate their course of study by taking summer courses or studying abroad. While completing the prerequisite, students are encouraged to begin fulfilling requirements of the major that do not presuppose advanced knowledge of Russian by taking courses in Russian history and Russian literature in translation.

Placement Procedures

Students who have previously studied Russian formally or informally are required to take the Russian placement exam. This brief oral exam will help determine which Russian course best fits each student’s background. Contact the Russian language coordinator, Irina Dolgova, to schedule the oral placement exam or for information about preregistration. She may be reached via email or at 203-432-1307. Entering freshmen who have some knowledge of Czech or Polish should contact Krystyna Illakowicz (Polish) or Karen von Kunes (Czech) to arrange to take a brief placement examination.

Requirements of the Major

In addition to the prerequisite, the major in Russian requires at least eleven term courses, which must include the following (some courses may fulfill more than one requirement):

  1. Two terms of Russian literature in translation: RUSS 250 and 253.
  2. Fourth-year Russian: RUSS 160 and 161.
  3. Two terms of Russian literature read and discussed in the original language, typically selected from Group A courses numbered 170 or above.
  4. At least two term courses in Russian literature of the nineteenth century and two in Russian literature of the twentieth century. Students should select courses from Group A and from the 250 series with this requirement in mind.
  5. RUSS 490. The senior essay is the intellectual culmination of the student's work in the major. All primary sources used in the essay must be read in Russian.

In addition to the requirements above, each program requires the following:

Program I One term course in the history or culture of Russia, selected in consultation with the DUS; three additional term courses in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures above RUSS 151. These may include literature courses taught either in translation or in the original, advanced language training courses, or graduate courses.

Program II Four term courses outside the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures that are relevant to the major in the context of comparative studies of literature, selected in consultation with the DUS.

Senior Requirement 

All majors write a senior essay (RUSS 490), an independent project carried out under the guidance of a faculty member. Three copies of the essay are due in the Slavic departmental office on April 13, 2018.

Advising

Courses in the Graduate School are open to qualified undergraduates with permission of the instructor and of the director of graduate studies. Course descriptions are available at the office of the director of undergraduate studies.

Study Abroad 

Students majoring in Russian are strongly encouraged to spend a summer or a term studying in the Russian Federation under the auspices of programs approved by the DUS. Language courses taken during the summer or during a term in Russia in approved programs may substitute for certain advanced Russian courses at Yale. Students interested in study abroad should consult the DUS well before their junior year.

REQUIREMENTS OF THE MAJOR

Prerequisite RUSS 151

Number of courses 11 term courses beyond prereq (incl senior essay)

Specific courses requiredBoth programsRUSS 160, 161, 250, 253

Distribution of courses Both programs—2 terms of 19th-century Russian lit; 2 terms of 20th-century Russian lit; 2 courses from Group A numbered 170 or above; Program I—1 course in hist or culture of Russia; 3 addtl courses in dept of Slavic Langs and Lits above level of RUSS 151; Program II—4 courses relevant to major in other depts, with DUS approval

Senior requirement Senior essay (RUSS 490)

FACULTY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SLAVIC LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES

Professors Katerina Clark (Comparative Literature, Slavic Languages and Literatures), Harvey Goldblatt (Slavic Languages and Literatures), John MacKay (Film Studies, Slavic Languages and Literatures)

Associate Professor  Molly Brunson (Slavic Languages and Literatures)

Assistant Professor Marijeta Bozovic (Slavic Languages and Literatures)

Senior Lectors II Irina Dolgova (Slavic Languages and Literatures), Constantine Muravnik (Slavic Languages and Literatures)

Senior Lectors I Krystyna Illakowicz (Slavic Languages and Literatures), Julia Titus (Slavic Languages and Literatures), Karen von Kunes (Slavic Languages and Literatures)

Czech, Polish, Romanian, and Ukrainian Courses

CZEC 110a, Elementary Czech IKaren von Kunes

A comprehensive introduction to Czech for students with no previous knowledge of the language. Essentials of grammar, with emphasis on oral proficiency, reading, writing, and listening comprehension. Newspaper articles, annotated excerpts from Capek's R.U.R., Hasek's Svejk, Kundera's Joke and Unbearable Lightness of Being, and Havel's Private View. Audio- and videotapes. Credit only on completion of CZEC 120.  L1RP1½ Course cr
MTWThF 10:30am-11:20am

CZEC 130a, Intermediate CzechKaren von Kunes

Continuation of CZEC 120. Grammar and usage, with emphasis on idiomatic expressions, syntax, and stylistics. Readings in modern Czech history, prose, and poetry; discussion of economic, political, and social issues. After CZEC 120 or equivalent.  L3RP1½ Course cr
MTWThF 11:35am-12:25pm

CZEC 140b, Advanced CzechKaren von Kunes

Continuation of CZEC 130. Emphasis on writing skills and spoken literary Czech. After CZEC 130 or equivalent.  L4RP1½ Course cr
MTWThF 11:35am-12:25pm

* CZEC 246a / FILM 364a / RSEE 240a, Milos Forman and His FilmsKaren von Kunes

An in-depth examination of selected films by Milos Forman and representatives of the New Wave, cinéma vérité in Czech filmmaking. Special attention to Forman's artistic and aesthetic development as a Hollywood director in such films as Hair, One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ragtime, and Amadeus. Screenings and discussion in English.  HU
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

PLSH 130a, Intermediate Polish IKrystyna Illakowicz

A reading and conversation course conducted in Polish. Systematic review of grammar; practice in speaking and composition; reading of selected texts, including poetry. Use of video materials. After PLSH 120 or equivalent.  L3RP1½ Course cr
MTWThF 11:35am-12:25pm

PLSH 140b, Intermediate Polish IIKrystyna Illakowicz

Continuation of PLSH 130. After PLSH 130 or equivalent.  L4RP1½ Course cr
MTWThF 11:35am-12:25pm

* PLSH 150a, Advanced PolishKrystyna Illakowicz

Improvement of high-level language skills through reading, comprehension, discussion, and writing. Focus on the study of language through major literary and cultural texts, as well as through film and other media. Exploration of major historical and cultural themes. Prerequisite: PLSH 140 or equivalent.  L5
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

* PLSH 160b, Advanced Polish IIKrystyna Illakowicz

Improvement of high-level language skills through reading, comprehension, discussion, and writing. Focus on the study of language through major literary and cultural texts, as well as through film and other media. Exploration of major historical and cultural themes. Prerequisite: PLSH 150 or equivalent.  L5, HU
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

* ROMN 130a, Intermediate Romanian IStaff

Continuation of ROMN 120, with attention to all four language skills and to cultural literacy. Students reach B2 level in compliance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL). Prerequisite: ROMN 120 or equivalent. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Columbia University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail minjin.hashbat@yale.edu for more information.  L3RP1½ Course cr
TTh 1:10pm-3pm

* ROMN 140b, Intermediate Romanian IIStaff

Continuation of ROMN 130, with attention to all four language skills and to cultural literacy. Students reach C1 level in compliance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL). Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Columbia University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail minjin.hashbat@yale.edu for more information.  L4RP1½ Course cr
HTBA

* UKRN 110a, Elementary Ukrainian IStaff

The first half of a two-term introduction to Ukrainian for students with no previous knowledge of the language. Emphasis on speaking, reading, listening, and writing skills. Topics, vocabulary, and grammar lessons based on everyday linguistic interactions. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Columbia University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail minjin.hashbat@yale.edu for more information. Credit only on completion of UKRN 120.  L1RP1½ Course cr
MWF 11:40am-12:55pm

* UKRN 120b, Elementary Ukrainian IIStaff

The second half of a two-term introduction to Ukrainian for students with no previous knowledge of the language. Emphasis on speaking, reading, listening, and writing skills. Topics, vocabulary, and grammar lessons based on everyday linguistic interactions. Prerequisite: UKRN 110. Course taught through distance learning using videoconferencing technology from Columbia University. Enrollment limited; interested students should e-mail minjin.hashbat@yale.edu for more information.  L21½ Course cr
HTBA

Group A Courses

Unless otherwise noted, all Group A courses are conducted in Russian.

RUSS 110a, First-Year Russian IStaff

A video-based course designed to develop all four language skills: reading, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension. Use of dialogues, games, and role playing. In addition to readings in the textbook, students read original short stories and learn Russian songs and poems. Oral and written examinations. Credit only on completion of RUSS 120.  L1RP1½ Course cr
HTBA

RUSS 120b, First-Year Russian IIStaff

Continuation of RUSS 110. After RUSS 110 or equivalent.  L2RP1½ Course cr
HTBA

RUSS 125a, Intensive Elementary RussianConstantine Muravnik

An intensive course that covers in one term the material taught in RUSS 110 and 120. For students of superior linguistic ability. Study of Russian grammar; practice in conversation, reading, and composition. Recommended for prospective majors in Russian and in Russian and East European Studies.  L1, L2RP2 Course cr
MWF 9:25am-10:15am, MTWThF 10:30am-11:20am

RUSS 130a, Second-Year Russian IStaff

A course to improve functional competence in all four language skills (speaking, writing, reading, and listening comprehension). Audio activities, for use both in the classroom and independently, are designed to help students improve their listening comprehension skills and pronunciation. Lexical and grammatical materials are thematically based. After RUSS 120 or equivalent.  L3RP1½ Course cr
HTBA

RUSS 145b, Intensive Intermediate RussianConstantine Muravnik

A continuation of RUSS 125 that covers in one term the material taught in RUSS 130 and 140. For students of superior linguistic ability. Prerequisite: RUSS 125.  L3, L4RP2 Course cr
MWF 9:25am-10:15am, MTWThF 10:30am-11:20am

RUSS 150a, Third-Year Russian IConstantine Muravnik

Intensive practice in conversation and composition accompanied by review and refinement of grammar. Readings from nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature, selected readings in Russian history and current events, and videotapes and films are used as the basis of structured conversation, composition, and grammatical exercises. Oral and written examinations. Audiovisual work in the Center for Language Study required. After RUSS 140 or 145 or equivalent.  L5RP1½ Course cr
MWF 11:35am-12:50pm

RUSS 151b, Third-Year Russian IIConstantine Muravnik

Continuation of RUSS 150. After RUSS 150 or equivalent.  L5RP1½ Course cr
MWF 11:35am-12:50pm

* RUSS 155a, The Language of the Russian RevolutionConstantine Muravnik

The political and social landscape of the 1917 Russian Revolution explored through the shifting ambiguities of political slogans. Readings from the memoirs of the revolution's main figures represent the entire political spectrum from right to left. Prerequisite: RUSS 140 or equivalent.  L5RP
MW 1pm-2:15pm

RUSS 160a, Fourth-Year Russian IIrina Dolgova

Discussion topics include Russian culture, literature, and self-identity; the old and new capitals of Russia, the cultural impact of the Russian Orthodox Church, and Russia at war. Readings from mass media, textbooks, and classic and modern literature. Use of video materials. After RUSS 151 or equivalent.  L5
MWF 11:35am-12:25pm

RUSS 161b, Fourth-Year Russian IIIrina Dolgova

Continuation of RUSS 160. After RUSS 160 or equivalent.  L5
MWF 11:35am-12:25pm

* RUSS 178b, The Russian Short StoryJulia Titus

Chronological study of celebrated Russian short stories. Authors include Pushkin, Gogol, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Nabokov, and Tolstaya. Readings and discussion in Russian. Prerequisite: RUSS 140, 145, or equivalent.  L5, HU
MF 11:35am-12:50pm

Group B Courses

The courses in this group, conducted in English, are open to all Yale College students.

* PLSH 248b / THST 370b, Polish Theater and Its TraditionsKrystyna Illakowicz

Exploration of the rebellious, defiant, and explosive nature of Polish theater, including ways in which theater has challenged, ridiculed, dissected, and disabled oppressive political power. Polish experimental and absurdist traditions that resulted from a merger of the artistic and the political; environmental and community traditions of the Reduta Theatre; Polish-American theater connections. Includes attendance at live theater events as well as meetings with Polish theater groups and actors.  HUTr
MW 1pm-2:15pm

* RUSS 253a, Masterpieces of Russian Literature IIMichael Weinstein

A survey of major writers and literary movements, focusing on the intersection of art and revolution in twentieth-century Russian literature. The Symbolists and Decadents at the end of the nineteenth century; the reception of the 1917 Revolution by Russian writers in the 1920s; the formation of Stalinist literary orthodoxy and reactions against it; contemporary literary rebellions against the political and artistic legacies of the past. Works by Chekhov, Bely, Babel, Akhmatova, Bulgakov, Pasternak, and Pelevin. Readings and discussion in English.  HUTr
TTh 4pm-5:15pm

RUSS 254b / LITR 245b / RSEE 254b, Novels of Tolstoy and DostoevskyMolly Brunson

Close reading of major novels by two of Russia's greatest authors. Focus on the interrelations of theme, form, and literary-cultural context. Readings and discussion in English.  HUTr
TTh 2:30pm-3:20pm

* RUSS 355a / EVST 294a / HUMS 294a / RSEE 355a, Ecology and Russian CultureMolly Brunson

Interdisciplinary study of Russian literature, film, and art from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries, organized into four units—forest, farm, labor, and disaster. Topics include: perception and representation of nature; deforestation and human habitation; politics and culture of land-ownership; leisure, labor, and forced labor; modernity and industrialization; and nuclear technologies and disasters. Analysis of short stories, novels, and supplementary readings on ecocriticism and environmental humanities, as well as films, paintings, and visual materials. Several course meetings take place at the Yale Farm. Readings and discussions in English.  HU
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

* RUSS 391b / LITR 312b, The Russian Short Story and BeyondJohn MacKay

Examination of the hugely important, but often ignored short story form, primarily in Russia from the early nineteenth-century onward. Reading of important works by major artists of the short story like Karamzin, Turgenev, Pisemsky, Tolstoy, Leskov, Chekhov, Bunin, Zaitsev, Gorky, Babel, Zoshchenko, and Pilnyak, as well as lesser known work, using tools from the digital humanities. Knowledge of Russian useful but not required.   WR, HU
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* RUSS 403a / FILM 442a / LITR 403a, The City in Literature and FilmKaterina Clark

Consideration of the architecture, town planning, and symbolic functions of various cities in Europe, Latin America, the United States, and East Asia. Discussion of the representation of these cities in literature and film. Works include older Soviet and Chinese films about Shanghai and contemporary films about Hong Kong and Beijing.  HU
TTh 1pm-2:15pm

* SLAV 206a, The Slavic Peoples and Their Languages: From Unity to DiversityHarvey Goldblatt

Examination of the linguistic and cultural history of the Slavs from their prehistoric period up to the formation of the diverse Slavic languages, the individual Slavic states, and their national literatures. Readings and discussion in English.  HU
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

* SLAV 391b / FILM 391b / LITR 363b, Media, Politics, and IdentityMoira Fradinger

Consideration of the centrality to media practice of political identities, including those based in class, gender, ethnicity, region, and religion among others. Films by such directors as Todd Haynes, Shirley Clarke, Barry Jenkins, Barbara Kopple, and Charles Burnett; literary and critical works by Edouard Louis, Etienne Balibar, Clarice Lispector, and Judith Butler among others.   WR, HU
M 7pm-11pm, W 7pm-8:50pm

Group C Courses

* RUSS 481a or b, Directed Reading in Russian LiteratureStaff

Individual study under the supervision of a faculty member selected by the student. Applicants must submit a prospectus approved by the adviser to the director of undergraduate studies by the end of the first week of classes in the term in which the course is taken. The student meets with the adviser at least one hour each week, and takes a final examination or writes a term paper. No credit granted without prior approval of the director of undergraduate studies.
HTBA

* RUSS 490a or b, The Senior EssayStaff

Research and writing on a topic of the student's own devising. Regular meetings with an adviser as the work progresses from prospectus to final form.
HTBA

* SLAV 485a or b, Directed Reading or Individual Research in Slavic Languages and LiteraturesStaff

Individual study under the supervision of a faculty member selected by the student. Applicants must submit a prospectus approved by the adviser to the director of undergraduate studies by the end of the first week of classes in the term in which the course is taken. The student meets with the adviser at least one hour each week, and takes a final examination or writes a term paper. No credit granted without prior approval of the director of undergraduate studies.
HTBA