Russian and Eurasian Studies (RES)

Taught in Russian

RES-101 Elementary Russian

Fall. Credits: 4

The four-skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) introduction to the Russian Language with the focus on communicative skills development. Major structural topics include pronunciation and intonation, all six cases, basic conjugation patterns, and verbal aspect. By the end of the course the students will be able to initiate and sustain conversation on basic topics, write short compositions, read short authentic texts and comprehend their meaning, develop an understanding of the Russian culture through watching films and listening to songs.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive
S. Nazarova
Coreq: RES-101L.

RES-102 Elementary Russian

Spring. Credits: 4

Continuation of Russian 101. A four-skills course, with increasing emphasis on reading and writing, that completes the study of basic grammar. Major topics include: predicting conjugation patterns, unprefixed and prefixed verbs of motion, complex sentences, time expressions, and strategies of vocabulary building. Students watch Russian films, read and discuss authentic texts.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive
I. Kogel
Prereq: RES-101. Coreq: RES-102L.

RES-201 Intermediate Russian

Fall. Credits: 4

In-depth review of grammar topics and expansion of vocabulary with the goal of developing communicative proficiency. Readings include short stories, poetry, and newspaper articles. Students watch Russian films and discuss them orally and in writing. Classes are conducted mostly in Russian.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive
S. Nazarova
Prereq: RES-101.

RES-202 Intermediate Russian

Spring. Credits: 4

Emphasis on increasing active command of grammar while focusing on conversational topics. Readings include poetry, short stories, and magazine and newspaper articles. Students watch and discuss Russian films. Classes are conducted mostly in Russian.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
I. Kogel
Prereq: RES-201.

RES-251 Advanced Russian

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course aims at expansion of students' vocabulary and improvement of both writing and speaking skills.The course is intended for students who have completed at least four semesters of Russian or the equivalent. Heritage learners of Russian (those who speak the language) will also benefit from the course. With a strong emphasis on integrating vocabulary in context, this course aims to help students advance their lexicon and grammar, increase fluency, and overcome speaking inhibitions. We will read and discuss a variety of texts including short stories, films, and articles.

S. Nazarova
Prereq: RES-202.

RES-252 Advanced Russian Film and Literature

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Students will read and discuss short stories and poems written by Russian writers in the 20th century and watch films based on literary works of that time. They will continue to work on oral and writing skills, and vocabulary. This course prepares students to express opinions, ideas, points of view, and critiques on prose and films, social issues and cultural phenomena using more complex and rich language.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
E. Dengub
Prereq: RES-251.
Notes: Taught in Russian.

Taught in English

RES-210 Great Books: The Literature of Nineteenth-Century Russia

Fall. Credits: 4

In no other culture has literature occupied the central role it enjoyed in nineteenth-century Russia. Political, social, and historical constraints propelled Russian writers into the roles of witness, prophet, and sage. Yet, far from being limited to the vast, dark 'Big Question' novels of legend, Russian literature offers much humor, lyricism, and fantasy. We will focus on the Russian novel as a reaction to western European forms of narrative and consider the recurring pattern of the strong heroine and the weak hero. Authors will include: Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Chekhov.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
P. Scotto
Notes: Taught in English

RES-211 Topics inTwentieth-Century Russian Literature

RES-211MM Topics in Twentieth-Century Russian Literature: 'Diabolic Carnival: Bulgakov's Master and Margarita and Its Contexts'

Spring. Credits: 4

Mephistopheles in Moscow? The Gospel retold? At turns both wildly comic and metaphysically profound, Bulgakov's novel has been a cult classic since its unexpected discovery in 1967. This course will consider Bulgakov's masterpiece together with some of its literary, historical, and social contexts. Additional readings from Goethe, Gogol, E.T.A.Hoffman, Akhmatova, and others.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
P. Scotto
Notes: Taught in English

RES-213 War and Peace

Fall. Credits: 4

We will be engaged in a close reading of a translation of Tolstoy's epic novel War and Peace. Tolstoy's sweeping account of men and women caught up in Russia's desperate struggle to survive against the onslaught of Napoleon's army is often considered among the greatest novels. We will focus on Tolstoy's literary strategies, philosophy, and historical contexts.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
P. Scotto
Notes: Taught in English.

RES-215 Dostoevsky and the Problem of Evil: The Brothers Karamazov

Spring. Credits: 4

Perhaps no other novelist has delved as deeply into the psychological and metaphysical dimensions of evil as the Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky. This course will be devoted to a close reading of Dostoevsky's landmark novel of murderous passion and parricide, The Brothers Karamazov. Why should crime and transgression be a privileged avenue of access into the human interior? How is psychology tied to the metaphysical aspect of human existence? What are the sources of evil--and redemption?

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
P. Scotto
Notes: Taught in English

RES-231 Anna Karenina and Contexts

RES-231FA Anna Karenina and Contexts: 'Tolstoy on Love, Death, and Family Life'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Anna Karenina (1873) is one of a series of important works Tolstoy wrote pondering love, death, the nature of happiness, and the foundations of family life. Our reading of Anna Karenina will be the centerpiece of this course which will also include works ranging from Childhood (1852) to The Kreutzer Sonata (1889), which shocked and repelled readers with its unsparing depictions of human sexuality and murderous jealousy. Film versions of works will be screened.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
P. Scotto
Notes: Taught in English

RES-240 Contemporary Russian Politics

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Russia was transformed by communist revolution into a global superpower that challenged the dominant ideologies of liberalism and nationalism. It became a powerful alternative to capitalism. In 1991, this imperial state collapsed and underwent an economic, political, and cultural revolution. What explains the Soviet Union's success for 70 years and its demise in 1991? What sort of country is Russia as it enters the twenty-first century? Is it a democracy? How has Russia's transformation affected ordinary people and Russia's relationship to the West?

Crosslisted as: POLIT-209
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
S. Jones
Notes: Taught in English

RES-241 Russia and the West

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Since its creation at the beginning of the twentieth century, the Soviet Union dominated the minds of Western foreign policymakers. None of the West's policies in the Middle East, the Third World, Europe, or China after World War II can be understood without the study of Soviet foreign policy. We will examine the development of Soviet foreign policy since 1917 and, following the collapse of the USSR in 1991, the role played by Russia and Russia and the former Soviet republics in the far more complex and multipolar 'New World Order.' What should U.S. policy be toward the emerging new states of the Baltics, Central Asia, and Caucasia?

Crosslisted as: POLIT-264
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
S. Jones
Notes: Taught in English

RES-242 Oil and Water Don't Mix: Geopolitics, Energy, and the Environment

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Following the collapse of the USSR and the Gulf War, Central Asia and the Caucasus became new centers of geopolitical rivalry. The new states are a source of energy (oil and gas) for Western powers and a vital transit corridor between Eastern Europe and China. While a new 'Great Game' is being fought between Western, Far Eastern, and Middle Eastern powers for control over energy pipelines, the region is threatened by environmental catastrophe and water shortages. Is the new oil industry a source of prosperity or an instrument for exploitation, corruption, and instability? How important are the new states to the West's strategic energy interests?

Crosslisted as: POLIT-242
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
S. Jones
Notes: Taught in English

RES-244 Topics in the Recent History of Europe

RES-244CW Topics in the Recent History of Europe: 'The Cold War: Perspectives from East and West'

Spring. Credits: 4

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the social, cultural, and political history of both Western and Eastern Europe since 1945. By exploring the permeability of the "Iron Curtain," the course encourages students to critically assess conceptions of division and unity in European history. We will explore ways in which borders were both reinforced and transcended. Topics include the legacy of the Second World War, migration, science, the division of Germany and its re-unification, tourism and the experience of the "other," sport as a unifying culture, the power of media, social protest, transatlantic relations, and the end of the Cold War.

Crosslisted as: HIST-260CW
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
C. Roeder

RES-244PW Topics in the Recent History of Europe: 'Postwar Societies: USSR and Eastern Europe'

Fall. Credits: 4

What was it like to be a hipster in the Soviet Union? What does rock music have to do with political dissent? This course offers a critical inquiry into the fascinating and vibrant societies of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe from 1945 to 1989, with a focus on the former. While gaining an understanding of the major political developments from late Stalinism to the end of Communism, we will explore the creative ways in which citizens of the Eastern bloc expressed their agency and initiated societal change. Using a range of primary and secondary sources, including film and literature, we will study themes such as postwar childhood, fashion, music, political dissent, and environmentalism.

Crosslisted as: HIST-260PW
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
C. Roeder

RES-312 Silk Road, Old and New

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

The silk roads were ancient transportation and trade links that wound their way across the Eurasian continent, or by sea through the South China Sea and Indian Ocean, to Europe. They carried silk, glass, jade, and moved religions and literatures across continents. Today, the new silk roads carry oil, gas, drugs, capitalism, and immigrants seeking better lives. We will investigate the parallels between the ancient and modern silk roads and the contemporary strategic, cultural, and economic significance of these new highways, which link China, Central Asia, the Middle East, South Asia, and Europe.

Crosslisted as: POLIT-312
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
S. Jones
Prereq: 8 credits in Politics, International Relations, Russian and Eurasian Studies, or History.
Notes: Taught in English

RES-316 European Studies Seminar

RES-316FR European Studies Seminar: 'Foreigners Within, Foreigners Without: The EU and its New Neighbors'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

The enlargement of the European Union (EU) to Central and Eastern European countries has generated new neighbors to the east and south - the Western Newly Independent States (WNIS) of Russia, Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine, and Southern Mediterranean countries (SMCs) Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia. Europe's new neighbors make up 410 million inhabitants, but their GDP capita is barely one tenth of the European Union's. This has brought problems for the EU, including migration pressures, human trafficking, and refugees. How is the EU dealing with these issues and how will relations with the new neighbors affect the domestic and foreign policies of the EU?

Crosslisted as: POLIT-316FO
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
S. Jones
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.
Prereq: 4 credits at the 200 level in a Division III +
Advisory: Students not meeting the prerequisite but with a 200-level Division I course may contact the instructor for permission.

RES-327 Russian Literature in the 21st Century

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Werefoxes in Moscow? Growing up Post-Soviet in Queens? Faking a trip to the moon? All this and more in Russia's uninhibited, profane, and sometimes disturbing literature of the twenty-first century. This seminar will sample writing from the vibrant Russian literary scene of the 2000's, including translingual literature and graphic novels. They can still write!

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
P. Scotto
Prereq: 8 credits in the department.
Notes: Taught in English. Trigger warning: students should be prepared for controversial themes and content.

RES-330 Nationalism

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Nationalism is one of the greatest challenges to multiethnic states. They have had to create new strategies to deal with the demands of ethnic minorities. Taking the four states of Spain, Canada, Russia, and the former Yugoslavia as examples, we will focus on nationalist movements within these states and the central governments' responses. What has been the effect of the Communist legacy? Are there alternatives to federalism as a way of managing national claims? What socioeconomic policies have governments used to control ethnic tensions? What role can international organizations play in finding solutions to ethnic conflict?

Crosslisted as: POLIT-308
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
S. Jones
Prereq: 8 credits in politics, international relations, or Russian and Eurasian studies.

RES-350 Revolutions

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

By the 1980s, after the failure of Marxist revolutions, scholars and politicians declared that "history" and with it, the age of revolution was over. From now on, they said, all states will move toward the model of market capitalism. But the last decade of the 20th century and the first fifteen years of the 21st century have shown that history, and with it, revolution, is far from over. We will look at the American and Russian revolutions, at Nazism, the Iranian revolution of 1979, Eastern Europe in 1989, the 'colored revolutions,' and the Arab Spring. Revolutions are still with us, and we will study why.

Crosslisted as: POLIT-350
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
S. Jones
Notes: Taught in English

Independent Study

RES-295 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 4

The department
Instructor permission required.

RES-395 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 8

The department
Instructor permission required.