Slavic Courses Spring 2020

Spring 2020 featured course!

SLAVIC 102 – Second Semester Russian

(4 credits)

  • Section 001: MTWRF 9:55-10:45 am                 Room: 378 Van Hise Hall
  • Section 002: MTWRF 12:05-12:55 pm               Room: 386 Van Hise Hall
  • Section 003: MTWRF 1:20-2:10 pm                   Room: 499 Van Hise Hall
  • Section 004: MTWRF 11:00-11:50 am               Room: 355 Van Hise Hall

Prerequisites: SLAVIC 101 or equivalent. Open to first-year students.

Language of Instruction: Russian

Description: Five hours a week focusing on speaking, listening, reading and writing Russian, with continued study of Russian culture.

LITTRANS 202/LITTRANS 204 – Survey Of 19th And 20th Century Russian Literature In Translation II

 MWF 9:55-10:45 am               Room: 5106 Sewell Social Sciences                Instructor: Andrew Reynolds              (3-4 credits)

Discussion sections for LITTRANS 204:

    • Section 301: R 9:55-10:45 am                 Room: 574 Van Hise Hall
    • Section 302: R 12:05-12:55 pm               Room: L177 Education Building

Prerequisites: None.

Description for LITTRANS 202: Dostoevsky to the present. Reading and lecture in English.

Description for LITTRANS 204: Chekhov to the present. Reading and lecture in English. 4th hour discussion section for Communication-B credit.

SLAVIC 204 – Fourth Semester Russian

(4 credits)

  • Section 001: MTWRF 1:20-2:10 pm                  Room: 374 Van Hise Hall
  • Section 002: MTWRF 9:55-10:45 am               Room: 6228 Sewell Social Sciences

Prerequisites: SLAVIC 203 or equivalent. Open to first-year students.

Language of Instruction: Russian

Description: Five hours a week focusing on speaking, listening, reading and writing Russian, with continued study of Russian culture.

SLAVIC 208/SLAVIC 277/SLAVIC304 (meets with) – Fourth Semester Polish/Third Year Polish/4th Semester Intensive Polish

(4 credits)

  • SLAVIC 208: MTWF 11:00-11:50 am                                     Room: 378 Van Hise Hall        Instructor: Ewa Miernowska
  • SLAVIC 277/SLAVIC 304: MWF 11:00-11:50 am               Room: 378 Van Hise Hall        Instructor: Ewa Miernowska

Prerequisites: Slavic 207 or consent of instructor. Open to first-year students.

Description SLAVIC 208: Emphasis on proficiency in Polish through speaking, understanding, reading, and writing, with introduction to Polish culture. Vocabulary is reinforced through reading of easy texts from Polish press, watching Polish movies and viewing Polish Internet sites.

Description SLAVIC 277/SLAVIC 304: Advanced level. Students expend their vocabulary by engaging with texts from different genres, historical periods and perspectives. Continued work on grammar and vocabulary with written exercises and compositions. This intensive writing course exposes students to different styles: narrative, argumentative, and creative.  Readings offer a variety of authentic materials: short stories, novels, poems, and press articles. The program includes also films, music and visual arts.

LITTRANS 234 – Soviet Life And Culture Through Literature And Art (From 1917)

 MWF 2:25-3:15 pm               Room: 479 Van Hise Hall                Instructor: Jennifer Tishler              (3-4 credits)

Discussion section for 4th credit (optional):

    • Section 301: T 2:25-3:15 pm                 Room: 201 Van Hise Hall

Prerequisites: None.

Description: Post-revolutionary Russian and Soviet visual arts, architecture, music and cinema. Provides an inside view of life under socialism with the help of selected readings in Soviet literature.

SLAVIC 245/LITTRANS 247-1 – Literature and Revolution

MWF 12:05-12:55 pm               Room: 104 Van Hise Hall               Instructor: Maksim Hanukai               (3 credits)

Prerequisites: None. Open to first-year students.

Description: In this course we will take a literary journey from St. Petersburg to Moscow, following the shifting cultural and political currents in Russia from the years preceding the 1917 Revolution to the rise of Stalinism in the 1930s. Topics will include: revolutionary violence and terror, civil war and emigration, Futurism and the birth of Russian avant-garde art, Soviet feminism and the engineering of the “New Man,” technological utopias and totalitarian dystopias, literature and early Soviet economic policy. We will supplement our readings of literary works with material from other media—e.g. the visual arts, architecture, film, theater—reflecting on the Revolution’s challenge to traditional norms and boundaries. Among the questions we shall ponder are: How did Russian writers and artists respond to the energies unleashed by the Revolution? How did perceptions of the Revolution change over time? What are the legacies of the Russian Revolution? How can reading revolutionary literature help us navigate our own highly unstable times?

Slavic 245/ LITTRANS 247-2 – Escaping Utopia: Cultures after Communism

TR 1:00-2:15 pm               Room: 394 Van Hise Hall               Instructor: Łukasz Wodzyński               (3 credits)

Prerequisites: None. Open to first-year students.

Description: The swift collapse of communist regimes across Central and Eastern Europe came as a surprise to both their opponents and political clients. How did culture mediate the experience of this political, social, and economic revolution? How does the experience of communism shape the historiography, identity, and vision(s) of the future of the affected nations? What is the condition of postcommunism? These are some of the questions we will be exploring as we examine Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Czech, and South Slavic literature and cinema from the decades following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.  

SLAVIC 252/SLAVIC 442 (meets with) – 4th Semester Serbo-Croatian/4th Semester Intensive Serbo-Croatian

MWF 9:55-10:45 am               Room: 390 Van Hise Hall               Instructor: Milan Simić               (3 credits)

Prerequisites: Slavic 251 or consent of instructor. Open to first-year students.

Description: Continuation of 251. Focus on developing proficiency in speaking, understanding, reading and writing Serbo-Croatian.

Please contact with any questions.

SLAVIC 254/POLI SCI 254/HISTORY 254/GEOG 254 – Intro to East Central Europe: The Culture of Dissent in Czechoslovakia and Poland

 TR 2:30-3:45 pm               Room: 5106 Sewell Social Sciences                Instructor: David Danaher              (4 credits)

Discussion sections:

    • Section 301: W 9:55-10:45 am                 Room: 115 Brogden Psychology Building
    • Section 302: W 11:00-11:50 am               Room: 499 Van Hise Hall
    • Section 303: W 1:20-2:10 pm                   Room: 386 Van Hise Hall
    • Section 304: W 2:25-3:15 pm                   Room: 499 Van Hise Hall

Prerequisites: None.

Description: The theme of the course will be the culture of dissent in Czechoslovakia and Poland. That is, we will be looking at the “dissident” period in these countries–the 1960s through the late 1980s– primarily through the lens of literature and film, but within a broader interdisciplinary approach. Historical background will be provided as necessary, but the main emphasis in this course will fall on a humanities reading of dissent. This approach will involve problematizing the notion of dissent by suggesting that it is not tied to one particular time and place (to one historical -ism). Ideally, we will be able to view the subject not so much as an object of historical investigation (from a 21st-century American perspective), but as something relevant to our own lives that teaches us something about ourselves, and we might take from the course a working definition of dissent that we could apply to modern American society. A motif running throughout the course will be a focus on “faces of dissent” or the stories of individuals involved as “dissidents” in the countries under consideration.

SLAVIC 276 – Third Year Russian II

(4 credits)

  • Section 001: MWF 9:55-10:45 am               Room: 155 Van Hise Hall              Instructor: Alexandra Walter
  • Section 002: MWF 1:20-2:10 pm                 Room: 379 Van Hise Hall             Instructor: Sergey Karpukhin

Prerequisites: Contact instructors.

Description: The course (third-year Russian) focuses on the use of complex syntax and undertakes a thorough review of several major aspects of Russian grammar (including the imperative, verbal aspect, participles, comparatives and verbs of motion). Grammar topics will be presented and practiced using the textbook Panorama. In addition, grammatical forms will be contextualized by reading literary works as well as songs and articles. While the development of speaking skills is not a primary goal of this course (as it is in Slavic 315/316), class discussion of grammar, lexicon, and texts will be largely conducted in Russian.

Please contact or with any questions.

SLAVIC 316 – Russian Language and Culture II

TR 1:20-2:10 pm               Room: 491 Van Hise Hall               Instructor: Sergey Karpukhin              (2 credits)

Prerequisites: Contact instructor.

Description: Emphasizes speaking and listening skills, helping students to converse on different stylistic levels, with varying degrees of formality, according to the rules of Russian speech etiquette.

Please contact with any questions.

SLAVIC 322 – Fourth Year Russian II

MWF 1:20-2:10 pm               Room: 475 Van Hise Hall              Instructor: Maksim Hanukai               (4 credits)

Prerequisites: Contact instructor.

Description: This course will focus on development of all four skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) in the interpretative, interpersonal, and presentational modes. The title of the textbook we will be using, Kagan et al.’s Russian: From Intermediate to Advanced, reflects the course goal: to enable students to progress in language proficiency from the Intermediate to the Advanced level in reading and listening, and to the Intermediate High level in speaking and writing. In addition, the course will enrich students’ knowledge about contemporary Russia through discussion of recent essays, journalism, and news articles.

Please contact with any questions.

LITTRANS 329 – The Vampire In Literature And Film

Online             Instructor: TBD               (3 credits)

Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or consent of instructor.

Description: Explores the image of the vampire in literature and visual arts as a metaphor for Eastern Europe and the Slavic world. Begins with folklore and moves through literary texts to film and television.

SLAVIC 362 – Drama for Teaching and Learning

(3 credits)

  • Lab 001: MW 4:00-5:30 pm               Room: 1090 Vilas Hall                Instructor: Manon van de Water
  • Lab 002: TR 4:00-5:30 pm                 Room: TBD                                      Instructor: Manon van de Water

Prerequisites: Sophomore standing.

Drama for Teaching and Learning is a methods course, useful for all involved in teaching and learning, including foreign languages. Introduction to the philosophy, methodology, and practice of the use of drama and performance techniques in any educational or recreational setting. Focus on creativity and embodied and contextualized learning based on current neurological, psychological, and sociological research. A practical class which includes demonstration and practice with children.

SLAVIC 421/LITTRANS 221 – Nikolai Gogol

MWF 11:00-11:50 am               Room: 122 Ingraham Hall              Instructor: Professor Andrew Reynolds              (4 credits)

Discussion sections:

    • Section 301: T 11:00-11:50 am               Room: 1116 DeLuca Biochemistry Building

Undergraduate students registered for SLAVIC 421 will have additional meetings (every two or three weeks) throughout the semester to discuss elements of some the original Russian texts, including works already studied in English in class and a few works that are not part of that syllabus. A meeting schedule and requirements for SLAVIC 421 will be distributed separately. Our main focus will be on reading “The Nose” in Russian.

“When, as in the immortal The Overcoat, Gogol really let himself go and pottered on the brink of his private abyss, he became the greatest artist that Russia has yet produced.” Vladimir Nabokov

Description:  This course will explore the major fictional texts (prose and drama) of Nikolai Vasil’evich Gogol (1809-52) – Ukrainian and Petersburg Tales, The Inspector General, Dead Souls – in an attempt to get closer to one of the most enigmatic and influential writers in world literature Relevant non-fiction texts will also be introduced when appropriate. Despite the comparisons to Poe and Kafka or Gogol’s undeniable influence on Dostoevsky and Bulgakov, one thing is certain – his world of laughter and tears is unlike that of any other writer. Are his characters realistic if satirical portraits of his countrymen, or phantoms spawned by his own spiritual torments? Is Gogol a Russian imperialist or Ukrainian nationalist, both, or neither? Is Dead Souls an excoriation of a sad Russia or an evocation of her special destiny as the speeding troika before whom all other nations will give way?

Assessment will be made based on class participation, attendance, essays, and an in-class exam in week 12. Please have read and bring the assigned story to each class period, since our discussions – as well as most of the writing assignments – will be based on close textual analysis. All students are asked to purchase the editions indicated, but are encouraged to consult and compare any of the many other available translations of Gogol’s work as well. Students in SLAVIC 421 may wish to compare the Russian texts to the translations – cheap editions of Gogol’s Russian works should be available from online book stores such as or or the biblio-globus web site. Many (almost certainly all) of the Russian texts are available online too. And of course Memorial Library has many copies of Gogol’ in Russian.

SLAVIC 434 – Contemporary Russian Culture

MWF 12:05-12:55 pm               Room: 475 Van Hise Hall               Instructor: Sergey Karpukhin              (2 credits)

Prerequisites: Contact instructor.

Description: The course, the second one in a two-semester sequence, offers an overview of those aspects of Russian history and culture which are most relevant in Russia today. The course will include a survey of the most important historical events of Russian history whose purpose is to introduce you to the discussion of Russian culture in Russian. There will be no separate discussion of grammar and the instructor will not correct your grammar in conversation as long as everyone understands your meaning. We will continually practice all four skills (listening, reading, speaking, writing), but always in application to historical and cultural knowledge.

Please contact with any questions.

Slavic 555  – Advanced Russian Listening & Speaking

MWF 9:55-10:45 am               Room: 201 Van Hise Hall               Instructor: Karen Evans-Romaine               (3 credits)

Prerequisites: SLAVIC 322

Description: The goals of this advanced-level course are to improve students’ Russian proficiency in listening and speaking, with an emphasis on formal registers, and to provide students with basic knowledge of a variety of areas related to contemporary Russian-language media and culture necessary for a professional-level command of the language, regardless of the student’s discipline. Course units will include issues related to press and mass communications, recent Russian history, Russian domestic politics and foreign policy, economic issues in Russia and Kazakhstan, and contemporary Russian culture. We will also discuss some American political and economic issues from a Russian point of view.

SLAVIC 701 – Survey of Old Russian Literature

T 2:30-4:30 pm               Room: 394 Van Hise Hall               Instructor: Irina Shevelenko            (2 credits)

Prerequisites: Graduate or professional student.

Please contact with any questions.

SLAVIC 802 – Structure of Russian

TR 1:20-2:10 pm               Room: 122 Ingraham Hall               Instructor: David Danaher                (2 credits)

Prerequisites: Graduate or professional student.

The main purpose of this course is to provide advanced students with a theoretical and practical introduction to the linguistic structure of Contemporary Standard Russian. The first part of the course is devoted to the sound system (phonetics and phonology), the second part to inflection (declension and conjugation).

This course is designed both to systematize three or more years of study of the Russian language as well as to provide students with the basic tools necessary to continue the study of Russian at more advanced instructional levels or outside of an academic context (independently in work, research, or in- country settings). For students who intend to become teachers of Russian, this course is an introduction to the inner workings of the language. The course also necessarily serves as a general introduction to linguistics (what is language and how is it structured?) that uses Russian data for illustration.

SLAVIC 803 – Introduction To Old Church Slavonic And The History Of Russian Literary Language

MW 11:00-11:50 am               Room: 224 Ingraham Hall                Instructor: Irina Shevelenko            (2 credits)

Prerequisites: Graduate or professional student.

Description: This course introduces students with advanced competence in modern Russian to Old Church Slavonic (OCS) and its impact on the formation of Russian literary language.

Please contact with any questions.

SLAVIC 820 – College Teaching of Russian

R 2:30-4:00 pm               Room: 367 Van Hise Hall                Instructor: Anna Tumarkin            (1 credit)

Prerequisites: Graduate or professional student.

Description: This course is designed and required for current Slavic Department Russian-language Teaching Assistants and provides important professional development in course design, lesson planning, and assessment. Course participants work cooperatively to develop course activities and assessment instruments, and will learn how to identify and solve problems in the classroom.

Please contact with any questions.

SLAVIC 900 – Seminar: Slavic Literature and Culture: Napoleonic Wars and Russian Literature

F 2:25-5:25 pm               Room: 478 Van Hise Hall               Instructor: Kirill Ospovat               (3 credits)

Prerequisites: Graduate or professional student.

Description: The seminar will explore Russia’s literary and cultural engagement with the Napoleonic wars. From the immediate literary responses to the wars in the works of its contemporaries and participants (Vasilii Zhukovskii, Denis Davydov) to later memoirs and fiction by members of this generation (Mikhail Zagoskin, Fedor Glinka) and, finally, to Leo Tolstoy’s epic  “War and Peace”, the Napoleonic wars were central to Russia’s historical and cultural experience of the nineteenth century. In this seminar, we will explore different aspects of this experience as it drove literary experiments as well as historical  and political thought.


  • SLAVIC 699 – Directed Study (1-6 credits)
  • SLAVIC 799 – Independent Study (1-6 credits)
  • SLAVIC 991 – Independent Study: Individual Research – Slavic Literature (1-12 credits)

Note: These courses require consent of instructor.

For questions regarding these courses please contact instructor or email us at: