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Russian Courses


Russian Language and Culture programs improve participants' oral, listening, reading and writing proficiency in Russian and develop their knowledge of Russian history, politics, economy, culture, and society. The programs combine practical and theoretical aspects of Russian language studies with Russian history, literature, philosophy, and culture courses. The programs encourage interaction with the community and application of academic skills in a Russian native-speaking environment.

Department of History and International Relations

Russia in the Twentieth Century:

Offered by Professor Alexander Kubyshkin and Associate Professor Ivan Kurilla.

This course emphasizes the major political, social, economic, and cultural developments of Russian history in the twentieth century. Modern Russia is viewed in the context of controversies between state and society and between national interests and ideological imperatives. Emphasis is also laid on the origins of the Russian revolution, the Soviet totalitarian state, destalinization, perestroika, and current trends in Russian politics.

Russian History of the IXth to XXth Centuries:

Offered by Assistant Professor Andrei Varava.

This course offers an overview of Russian history from the formation of the Old Russian state, called the Kievan Rus, to the present day. Special attention is given to such important periods in the history of the country as the epochs of Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, Alexander II (the Liberator) as well as to subsequent periods of the 20th century Russia including the authoritarian Stalin regime, the Great Patriotic War, and decades of stagnation.

Department of Philosophy and Social Technologies

Russian Philosophy of the Silver Age:

Offered by Professor Alexander Pigalev in English and German.

This course focuses on orthodoxy and the peculiarity of Russian Culture and addresses the following topics:

  • V. Solovyov and the beginning of the Russian original philosophy
  • Father Pavel Florensky's philosophy
  • Sergei Bulgakov, N. A. Berdyayev, L. I. Shestov
  • Russian religious philosophy of the "Silver Age" and modern Russia's problems

Institute of the Russian Economic History of the XXth Century

Russian economy in the XXth Century:

Offered by Assistant Professor Vladimir Bulatov in English.

The course features the specific economic development of XXth century Russia. It focuses on the participation of foreign banks and companies in the processes of national industrialization, and their interaction with the Russian Government and Ministries during the pre-Revolutionary period, Soviet time, and now.

Department of Russian Philology

Functional Grammar:

Offered by Associate Professors Marina Kosova and Marina Milovanova.

Short, medium, and long-term communicative grammar courses for beginners, intermediate, and advanced students. These offerings provide practical knowledge of the Russian language, basic grammar structures, active vocabulary at the level of day-to-day comprehension, and intermediate and advanced Russian grammar. Close attention is given to comprehension, wording the content, and expressing the meaning. Assignments are designed to facilitate communication in Russian.

Listening Comprehension and Phonetics:

Offered by Professor Olga Prokhvatilova and Associate Professor Oksana Gorban.

This course sets three goals for international students :

  1. To learn to understand Russian phonology
  2. To overcome accent
  3. To develop listening comprehension skills. Special attention is paid to Russian pronunciation phenomena that cause difficulties for foreign learners.

Oral Communication:

Offered by Associate Professor Marina Milovanova.

This course has been designed to introduce international students to the social and cultural context of the Russian language and help them adapt to it by developing listening and comprehension skills. Students will become acquainted with set expressions, forms of speech etiquette, conversational formulas of greetings, apologies, thanks, and congratulations.

Russian Experience:

Offered by Associate Professor Sergei Kushneruk, Professor Nikolai Shamne, and Senior Lecturer Rimma Ableeva 
Offered in English, German and French.

This course focuses on central themes in contemporary Russian life and culture. It provides background for understanding such topics as Russian relations with the former USSR republics, inflation, taxes, cultural traditions, and education. 

Russian Literature:

Offered by Associate Professors Dmitri Ilyin, Elena Ilyinova, and Olga Popova in English and French.

History of Russian Literature. Historical survey of Russian Literature, comprising lectures, assigned reading, and discussion (12th-the beginning of 20th centuries):

  • Ancient Russian literature
  • Chronicles
  • Medieval Russian literature
  • Russian Renaissance and Enlightenment
  • 19th century Russian authors: Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol, Belinsky, Nekrasov, Saltykov-Shchedrin, Fet, Tolstoy, and others

Soviet Literature. A survey of Soviet literature beginning with 1917 up to the end of the 80s of the 20th century. Tolstoy, Chekov, Mayakovsky, Esenin, Blok, Bulgakov, Gorky, Pasternak, Solzhenitsyn, and others.

Comparative Literature. Aimed at developing the art of critical reading, thinking and evaluating.The course focuses on the works by two writers - A. Chekov and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Analyzing selected literary works with personal sensitivity and critical insight the students will be able to compare the plots and individual styles, language and the art of creating images, moral standards and values by which fictional characters evaluate their own and one another's life. The students will study not only the characters, plots and images, but also the sense of the Russian historic time that will be revealed through aesthetic and cultural context.