Slavic Languages and Literatures

Directors of undergraduate studies: John MacKay, 2702 HGS, 432-7202, john.mackay@yale.edu [F]; Edyta Bojanowska, 2705 HGS, 432-1301, edyta.bojanowska@yale.edu [Sp]; language coordinator: Irina Dolgova, 2704A HGS, 432-1307, irina.dolgova@yale.eduslavic.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 first-year students 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 12, 2019.

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 DUS.

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)

The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures gives students the opportunity to learn Russian and other Slavic languages and to study Slavic literatures. It offers a sequence of Russian language courses as well as courses on Russian literature, culture, film, and drama, some conducted in Russian, others in English. Russian majors may tailor their studies to their other interests, such as history, comparative literature, or area studies. Students interested in Slavic linguistics or in a Slavic language or literature other than Russian can design their own programs under faculty supervision.

The Slavic department offers literature courses in translation that introduce students to masterpieces of Russian literature and to major issues and figures in Russian culture. All first-year students are eligible to take the survey courses described below, which count toward the major in either Russian or Russian and East European Studies. Seminars on specific topics or authors in translation are open to students in any field.

  • RUSS 250, introduces major texts of the nineteenth-century Russian literary tradition, including works by Pushkin, Gogol, Lermontov, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Chekhov.
  • RUSS 253, introduces major texts of the twentieth-century Russian literary tradition, including works by Chekhov, Bely, Babel, Akhmatova, Bulgakov, Pasternak, and Pelevin.
  • RUSS 254, is a lecture course with close textual analysis of major novels by two of Russia’s greatest authors.

Prospective Majors

Students considering a Russian major should begin language study as soon as possible, preferably in the first year. Beginners take RUSS 110 and RUSS 120, or RUSS 125 and RUSS 145.  Sophomores with no previous Russian language experience must take RUSS 125 and RUSS 145 or a summer intensive course in order to complete the requirements for the major by the end of their senior year.

The department encourages students to study abroad, ideally in their junior year, in order to achieve fluency in the language and familiarity with the culture of a foreign country.

Placement examination

Students who have previously studied Russian formally or informally are required to take the Russian placement exam. This exam will help determine which Russian course best fits each student’s background. Contact the language coordinator, Irina Dolgova, for information about placement and preregistration. She may be reached via email at irina.dolgova@yale.edu or by telephone at 203-432-1307. Entering first-year students who have some knowledge of Czech or Polish should contact Krystyna Illakowicz at krystyna.illakowicz@yale.edu (Polish) or Karen von Kunes at karen.vonkunes@yale.edu (Czech) to arrange to take a placement examination. An orientation meeting will be held at the Academic Fair on Tuesday, August 28.

FACULTY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SLAVIC LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES

Professors Edyta Bojanowska (Slavic Languages and Literatures), Katerina Clark (Comparative Literature, Slavic Languages and Literatures), Harvey Goldblatt (Slavic Languages and Literatures), John MacKay (Film & Media 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. Online 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.  L1RP1½ Course cr
MTWThF 10:30am-11:20am

CZEC 120b, Elementary Czech IIKaren von Kunes

Continuation of CZEC 110. After CZEC 110 or equivalent.  L2RP1½ 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 9:25am-10:15am

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

PLSH 110a, Elementary Polish IKrystyna Illakowicz

A comprehensive introduction to elementary Polish grammar and conversation, with emphasis on spontaneous oral expression. Reading of original texts, including poetry. Use of video materials.  L1RP1½ Course cr
MTWThF 8:20am-9:10am

PLSH 120b, Elementary Polish IIKrystyna Illakowicz

Continuation of PLSH 110. After PLSH 110 or equivalent.  L2RP1½ 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 2:30pm-3:45pm

* 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 110a, Elementary Romanian IStaff

The first half of a two-term introduction to Romanian language, grammar, and cultural literacy centered around the theme of life in Bucharest. Topics, vocabulary, and grammar lessons based on everyday linguistic interactions in the city. 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.  L1RP1½ Course cr
TTh 11am-12:50pm

* ROMN 120b, Elementary Romanian IIStaff

The second half of a two-term introduction to Romanian language, grammar, and cultural literacy centered around the theme of life in Bucharest. Topics, vocabulary, and grammar lessons based on everyday linguistic interactions in the city. Prerequisite: ROMN 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.  L2RP1½ Course cr
TTh 11am-12:50pm

* 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
TTh 1:10pm-3pm

* 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.  L1RP1½ Course cr
MWTh 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
MWTh 11:40am-12:55pm

* UKRN 140b, Intermediate Ukrainian IIStaff

Continued review and reinforcement of grammar fundamentals and of core vocabulary pertaining to common aspects of daily life. Special attention to verbal aspect and verbs of motion. Emphasis on further development of oral and written communication skills on topics such as the self, family, studies and leisure, travel, and meals. UKRN 130 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.  L4RP1½ Course cr
MWTh 10:10am-11:25am

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.  L1RP1½ Course cr
HTBA

RUSS 120b, First-Year Russian IIStaff

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

RUSS 122a, Russian for Bilingual Students IJulia Titus

A comprehensive Russian course for native speakers of Russian or other Slavic languages whose formal education has been in English. Overview of Russian grammar, focusing on the writing system, cases, conjunction, and syntax. Readings from Russian prose, film screenings, discussion, and regular practice in translation and composition.  L1, L2
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

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 IIrina Dolgova

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
MTWThF 10:30am-11:20am

* RUSS 142b, Russian for Bilingual Students IIJulia Titus

Continuation of RUSS 122. Further development of reading and writing skills. Expansion of vocabulary. After RUSS 122 or equivalent.  L3, L4
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

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
HTBA

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
MW 11:35am-12:50pm

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 174a, The Russian Works of Vladimir NabokovConstantine Muravnik

An aesthetic reading of Vladimir Nabokov's Russian works. Nabokov as a writer who first and foremost was interested in the question of the ontological significance of art and, consequently, in various modes of the artist's relationship to the world. Prerequisite: RUSS 150 or equivalent, or with permission of instructor.  L5, HURP
MW 1pm-2:15pm

* RUSS 184b, Advanced Russian Conversation through Contemporary MediaIrina Dolgova

Development of oral and written skills necessary for engaging in sophisticated discourse on current events. Attention to sociopolitical, economic, and cultural realities of modern Russia and the Russian-speaking world. Topics include the law, religion, healthcare, military and educational systems and policies, and cultural and social events. Materials drawn from contemporary newspapers, radio, television, and blogs. Prerequisite: RUSS 142 or 151.  L5
MW 1pm-2:15pm

Group B Courses

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

* CZEC 301b / LITR 220b / RSEE 300b, Milan Kundera: The Czech Novelist and French ThinkerKaren von Kunes

Close reading of Kundera's novels, with analysis of his aesthetics and artistic development. Relationships to French, German, and Spanish literatures and to history, philosophy, music, and art. Topics include paradoxes of public and private life, the irrational in erotic behavior, the duality of body and soul, the interplay of imagination and reality, the function of literary metaphor, and the art of composition. Readings and discussion in English.  HUTr
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

* PLSH 246b / FILM 241b, Polish Communism and Postcommunism in FilmKrystyna Illakowicz

The Polish film school of the 1950s and the Polish New Wave of the 1960s. Pressures of politics, ideology, and censorship on cinema. Topics include gender roles in historical and contemporary narratives, identity, ethos of struggle, ethical dilemmas, and issues of power, status, and idealism. Films by Wajda, Munk, Polanski, Skolimowski, Kieslowski, Holland, and Kedzierzawska, as well as selected documentaries. Readings by Milosz, Andrzejewski, Mickiewicz, Maslowska, Haltoff, and others. Readings and discussion in English.  HU
MW 1pm-2:15pm

RUSS 220a / HSAR 221a, Russian and Soviet Art, 1757 to the PresentMolly Brunson

The history of Russian and Soviet art from the foundation of the Academy of the Arts in 1757 to the present. Nineteenth-century academicism, romaticism, and realism; the Russian avant-garde and early Soviet experimentation; socialist realism and late- and post-Soviet culture. Readings and discussion in English.  HUTr
TTh 1:30pm-2:20pm

* RUSS 380b / FILM 360b / LITR 301b, Putin's Russia and Protest CultureMarijeta Bozovic

Survey of Russian literature and culture since the fall of communism. The chaos of the 1990s; the solidification of power in Putin's Russia; the recent rise of protest culture. Sources include literature, film, and performances by art collectives. Readings and discussion in English; texts available in Russian.  WR, HU
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

* SLAV 202a, Church SlavonicHarvey Goldblatt

A study of the long history of Church Slavonic, with special attention given to “New” or “Synodal” Church Slavonic, the language used in the “Elizabeth” or “Synodal” Bible (first published in 1751), which remains even today the authorized version of the Russian Orthodox Church. Special emphasis on the reading of representative New Testament excerpts from this “Synodal Bible,” comparing them to equivalent textual portions written in both earlier forms of Russian Church Slavonic and Modern Russian. Conducted in English. Prerequisite: Knowledge of Modern Russian.
T 9:25am-11:15am

* 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

Group C Courses

* RUSS 481b, 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 485b, 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