Slavic Languages and Literatures

Director of undergraduate studies: Constantine Muravnik, 2709 HGS, 432-0995, constantine.muravnik@yale.edu; language coordinator: Irina Dolgova, 2704A HGS, 432-1307, irina.dolgova@yale.edu; slavic.yale.edu

FACULTY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SLAVIC LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES

Professors Vladimir Alexandrov, Katerina Clark, Harvey Goldblatt, John MacKay

Associate Professors  Molly Brunson, Bella Grigoryan

Assistant Professor Marijeta Bozovic

Senior Lectors II Irina Dolgova, Constantine Muravnik

Senior Lectors I Krystyna Illakowicz, Julia Titus, Karen von Kunes

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 director of undergraduate studies.

The major 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.

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 director of undergraduate studies; 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 director of undergraduate studies.

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 14, 2017.

Placement examination The online departmental placement examination will be available from July 1 through August 15; see the Center for Language Study Web site for more information. Students who have studied Russian elsewhere must take the placement examination before enrolling in any Russian language course at Yale. For further information consult Irina Dolgova, language coordinator, 432-1307.

Graduate courses 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 director of undergraduate studies. 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 director of undergraduate studies 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)

Czech, Polish, Romanian, and Ukrainian

CZEC 110a, Elementary Czech I Karen 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

CZEC 120b, Elementary Czech II Karen von Kunes

Continuation of CZEC 110. After CZEC 110 or equivalent.  L2RP1½ Course cr

CZEC 130a, Intermediate Czech Karen 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

CZEC 140b, Advanced Czech Karen von Kunes

Continuation of CZEC 130. Emphasis on writing skills and spoken literary Czech. After CZEC 130 or equivalent.  L4RP1½ Course cr

PLSH 110a, Elementary Polish I Krystyna 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. Credit only on completion of PLSH 120.  L1RP1½ Course cr

PLSH 120b, Elementary Polish II Krystyna Illakowicz

Continuation of PLSH 110. After PLSH 110 or equivalent.  L2RP1½ Course cr

* PLSH 150a, Advanced Polish Krystyna 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

* PLSH 160b, Advanced Polish II Krystyna 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

* ROMN 110a, Elementary Romanian I Staff

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. Credit only on completion of ROMN 120.  L1RP1½ Course cr

* ROMN 130a, Intermediate Romanian I Staff

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

* UKRN 110a, Elementary Ukrainian I Staff

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

Group A

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

RUSS 110a, First-Year Russian I Staff

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

RUSS 120b, First-Year Russian II Staff

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

RUSS 122a, Russian for Bilingual Students I Julia 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

RUSS 125a, Intensive Elementary Russian Constantine 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

RUSS 130a, Second-Year Russian I Staff

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

RUSS 140b, Second-Year Russian II Irina Dolgova

Continuation of RUSS 130. After RUSS 130 or equivalent.  L4RP1½ Course cr

* RUSS 142b, Russian for Bilingual Students II Julia Titus

Continuation of RUSS 122. Further development of reading and writing skills. Expansion of vocabulary. After RUSS 122 or equivalent.  L3, L4

RUSS 145b, Intensive Intermediate Russian Constantine 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

RUSS 150a, Third-Year Russian I Constantine 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

RUSS 151b, Third-Year Russian II Constantine Muravnik

Continuation of RUSS 150. After RUSS 150 or equivalent.  L5RP1½ Course cr

RUSS 160a, Fourth-Year Russian I Irina 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

RUSS 161b, Fourth-Year Russian II Irina Dolgova

Continuation of RUSS 160. After RUSS 160 or equivalent.  L5

* RUSS 185b, Advanced Russian Conversation and Composition Irina Dolgova

Development of advanced language skills in composition, comprehension, and conversation. Includes grammar review and discussion of Russian stylistics. Readings from a range of contemporary media and Internet sources. Prerequisite: RUSS 151 or equivalent.  L5

* RUSS 384a, Avant-Gardes and Émigrés: Digital Humanities Lab Marijeta Bozovic

A highly collaborative seminar to study the work of influential Russian artists, writers, and thinkers of the twentieth century and to introduce students to new ways of conducting and presenting research, using digital tools. Frequent meetings in the Beinecke Library and Digital Humanities Lab in Sterling Memorial Library. Prerequisite: advanced Russian language skills.  HU

Group B

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 Thinker Karen 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

* PLSH 246b / FILM 241b, Polish Communism and Postcommunism in Film Krystyna 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

* RUSS 022b, The Divine and the Human in Russian Fiction Vladimir Alexandrov

A study of major works by several of the greatest writers in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian literature: Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Bely, Nabokov, and Bulgakov. Primary attention to the ways the authors embody in their themes, devices, and forms the link between the human realm and the transcendent, a central preoccupation of Russian culture. Readings and discussion in English. Enrollment limited to freshmen. Preregistration required; see under Freshman Seminar Program.  WR, HUTr

RUSS 220a / HSAR 221a, Russian and Soviet Art, 1757 to the Present Molly 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

RUSS 241b / HIST 237b / RSEE 390b, Russian Culture: The Modern Age Paul Bushkovitch and John MacKay

An interdisciplinary exploration of Russian cultural history, focusing on literature, art, religion, social and political thought, and film. Conceptions of Russian nationhood; the myths of St. Petersburg; dissent and persecution; the role of social and cultural elites; the intelligentsia; attitudes toward the common people; conflicting appeals of rationality, spirituality, and idealism; the politicization of personal life; the impact of the Bolshevik Revolution and its aftermath. Readings and discussion in English.  HU

RUSS 250a, Masterpieces of Russian Literature I Hilary Fink

Introduction to major texts of the nineteenth-century Russian literary tradition. Works by Pushkin, Gogol, Lermontov, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Chekhov examined in their social and historical contexts. Emphasis on the authors' use of genre, language, and literary devices to explore pressing questions posed by Russian modernity. Readings and discussion in English.  WR, HUTr

RUSS 253b, Masterpieces of Russian Literature II Hilary Fink

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

RUSS 254b / LITR 245b / RSEE 254b, Novels of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky Vladimir Alexandrov

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

* RUSS 327a / FILM 409a / LITR 306a / RSEE 327a, The Danube in Literature and Film Marijeta Bozovic

The Danube River in the film, art, and literature of various Danubian cultural traditions, from the late nineteenth century to the present. Geography and history of the region that includes the river's shores and watershed; physical, historical, and metaphoric uses of the Danube; the region as a contested multilingual, multicultural, and multinational space, and as a quintessential site of cross-cultural engagement. Readings and discussion in English.  WR, HUTr

* RUSS 333a / LITR 227a, The Living Dead in Literature Molly Brunson

A study of ghosts, vampires, cyborgs, animated artworks, and other supernatural beings in Slavic, western European, and American literature and culture. The thematic, historical, and epistemological significance of violating the border between life and death in art. Analysis of novels, short stories, folklore, visual arts, and theoretical texts. Readings and discussion in English.  HU

* RUSS 390b / FILM 383b, Media and Revolution since 1917 John MacKay

Review of one hundred years of cultural production informed by the idea of social revolution. Consideration of works by Sergei Eisenstein, Esther Shub, Dziga Vertov, Sun Yu, Jean-Luc Godard, Jorge Sanjines, Chris Marker, Aldo Garay, and Hanna Polak. Topics include propaganda and agitation; modernity and capitalism as political categories; masses, classes, collectivities, parties and states; gender and political change; ownership of and control over media; politics and media shifts; and the notion of revolution and its implications for artistic practice.   HU

* SLAV 202a, Old Church Slavic Harvey Goldblatt

A study of Old Church Slavic and its place in the history of Church Slavic. The main features and the grammar of Old Church Slavic. The Glagolitic and Cyrillic writing systems. Close readings from Old Church Slavic literary monuments. Old Church Slavic in relation to modern Slavic languages (especially Russian). Prerequisite: elementary knowledge of a Slavic language. Conducted in English.  RP

Group C

* RUSS 480a and RUSS 481b, Directed Reading in Russian Literature Staff

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.

* RUSS 490a or b, The Senior Essay Staff

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.

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

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.