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Meet the Faculty
Students who choose to include Russian in their studies at the University of Delaware will enter into a challenging but rewarding world of language and culture that is sure to bring huge rewards. Whether majoring or minoring in Russian Studies or choosing to include Russian in a 3-Language Major, proficiency in this important world language prepares our graduates for numerous and diverse fields including mathematics, aeronautics, international relations, the petroleum industry, marketing for both established and growing international companies, and, of course, linguistics and pedagogy.
But the list goes on! You’ve heard of and perhaps even sampled some Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, so why not truly experience their artistic genius and read them in the original? When studying world cultural history, you cannot ignore the influence of Russia’s avant-garde artists such as composers Shostakovich and Stravinsky and painters Chagall and Kandinsky. And we cannot forget the legacy left behind in the fields of history and politics by Peter the Great, Lenin, and Stalin…
A knowledge of Russia’s diverse and rich history and culture will help you grow and expand your horizons. Open some fascinating new doors; join us and study Russian at UD!
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Semester course offerings are listed in the Course Catalog
You are so close to proficiency in Russian! Consolidate your hard-earned language skills through conversation and oral presentations, with grammar review and written work when appropriate. Students will discuss current events along with material from films, the Internet and other sources. Have fun while improving your vocabulary and speaking skills!
NOTE: RUSS 205 is only offered in the spring. It is designed to be taken in conjunction with RUSS 211; for Russian Studies majors, minors, and Three-Language majors this is necessary in order to proceed in the course sequence and be fully prepared for the 300-level. PREREQ: RUSS 107 or equivalentHonors credit available
Read entertaining and interesting 20th-century Russian short stories from a variety of genres (detective fiction, satire, tales of adventure, children’s literature) to improve your reading skills and expand your vocabulary. Discussions will help you improve your speaking and listening skills, while writing exercises will facilitate your mastery of the material and develop your skills in composition. Designed to be taken at the same time as RUSS 205, this course will strengthen your grasp of the grammar covered in that course while allowing you to focus on reading techniques and the construction of the complex Russian sentence. Taking the two courses together will enable you to make a significant and leap forward in learning the language.
NOTE: RUSS 211 is only offered in the spring. It is designed to be taken in conjunction with RUSS 205; for Russian Studies majors, minors, and Three-Language majors this is necessary in order to proceed in the course sequence and be fully prepared for the 300-level. Satisfies the Group A requirementPREREQ: RUSS 200, if not taken simultaneously with RUSS 200Honors credit available.
Explore some of the best Golden-Age Russian fiction written by the masters, ranging from short stories by Pushkin, Gogol, Lermontov, and Chekhov to excerpts from great novels by Dostoevsky, Turgenev, and Tolstoy. Through close reading and discussion, you will learn to apply literary terminology to analyze and interpret these texts. Improve your reading, writing, speaking and listening skills as we examine these major authors, their literary movements and trends, placing them in their historical context.
Satisfies the Group B requirementPREREQ: RUSS 200, 205 or 211\Honors credit available
This course focuses on different aspects of Russian culture such as sports, arts, journalism, politics, and business. We will discuss each area by exploring lives of prominent contemporary individuals who are currently active in their respective fields. Among others, these professionals include fashion designer Valentin Yudashkin, four-time Olympic medalist in figure skating Evgeni Plushenko, famous economist and political activist Irina Khamakada, and Vladminir Posner, a Russian-American journalist. Our discussion of the Russian cultural landscape will conclude with looking into cultural diversity of the Russian Federation, a country that is home to about 160 different ethnic groups. Students will learn about traditions and everyday life of non-ethnic Russians including but not limited to the Chuvash, Bashkirs and Tatars.
Satisfies Group B “History and Cultural Change” and Multi-cultural requirementsPrerequisite: RUSS 211, RUSS 305, or instructor approvalHonors credit available
As legend has it, Germans coined the term “Russian roulette” after observing bored Russian soldiers participate in the dangerous game. Indeed, the idea of tempting fate is deeply Russian; one scholar identifies a cultural propensity that deems it “more attractive and ethical to spend, waste, and lose, rather than save, keep, and retain.” Couple this live-for-today attitude with macho pride and social rank, and you get the pervasive risk-taking behavior that permeates 19th and early 20th century literature and helps to explain some of the choices and attitudes of Russians even today. Come read the masters- Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Lermontov, Chekhov, Nabokov- as they explore a deep-seated and pompous recklessness that inspires gambling, duels, and unsavory deals with the devil himself!
Satisfies Group B “History and Cultural Change.”Prerequisites: None; course is taught in English
What do you want to know about Russian grammar but are afraid to ask? Come fill in the gaps! Continue to develop the expression of your own opinions in clear, colloquial standard Russian through advanced exercises in Russian grammar, syntax, and word usage. Special attention will be paid to participial constructions, gerunds, verbs of motion, aspect, prepositions, and word order, with an emphasis on word formation as essential to vocabulary building. Explore this grammar through an examination of key aspects of contemporary Russian education, politics, ecology, and perception of the U.S. through authentic readings from contemporary sources with related listening, speaking, and writing activities. This course will answer many of your unanswered questions about Russian; no stone will be left unturned!
Prerequisite: Any 300-level RUSS courseHonors credit available
The Soviet prison camp system known as the Gulag constituted one of the most notorious examples of the twentieth-century’s totalitarian evil. At the same time, it was subject to one of the most radical campaigns of misrepresentation and manipulation conceived by the Soviet propaganda and supported to a large extent by many cultural and intellectual elites of the West. From the Bolshevik Revolution to the fall of the Soviet Union, the only evidence of the Gulag available to the outside world, apart from Soviet propaganda, were the testimonies of witnesses and survivors. Their stories functioned as the only available history. Gulag literature, therefore, complicates the traditional distinctions between literature and history. By examining Gulag literature in its many different forms, including propaganda, short stories, novellas, memoirs, poetry, and drama, we will learn the history of the Soviet Gulag system; we will also address questions of authenticity, authority, and morality in the literary representation of trauma and past events.
PREREQ: any 300-level RUSS courseHonors credit available