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Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures

Chair

Michael A. Wachtel

Departmental Representative

Anna Wexler Katsnelson

Director of Graduate Studies

Olga Peters Hasty

Professor

Ellen B. Chances

Caryl G. Emerson, also Comparative Literature

Olga Peters Hasty

Michael A. Wachtel

Associate Professor

Serguei A. Oushakine, also Anthropology

Assistant Professor

Petre M. Petrov

Anna Wexler Katsnelson

Senior Lecturer

Ksana Blank

Lecturer

Irena Grudzinska Gross

Mark Pettus

Associated Faculty

Devin A. Fore, German

Michael Gordin, History

Simon A. Morrison, Music


Information and Departmental Plan of Study

Advanced Placement

The department gives its own placement test to all incoming students who have studied Russian and, on the basis of this test and background, the students are placed in an appropriate course. Successful completion of RUS 107 or immediate assignment to a higher course satisfies the A.B. foreign language requirement.

Program of Study

A minimum of eight departmental courses is required. Four upper-level courses must be within the department; the other four courses may be from cognate areas depending on the student's particular interests. For example, if the major field of concentration is 19th-century prose, the program might include courses from French or German literature. If the student's primary interests lie in languages and linguistics, the program might include courses from theoretical or cognitive linguistics and from other cognate areas (psychology, computer science, history). Students with a strong interest in Russian and Soviet studies might take area courses in the Program for Russian and Eurasian Studies on topics such as Russian history, politics, sociology, or economics. These are only sample suggestions. The program is flexible and strives to satisfy as wide a range of interests as possible.

Concentrators are required to complete RUS 207 and one or more advanced language courses (RUS 208, 405, 406, 407, or 408).

Concentrators are urged to take three literature survey courses (SLA 219, 220, 221) and one course on poetry (SLA 413, SLA 419) in preparation for the departmental examination. Concentrators in the linguistic track are required to complete RUS 207 and one course beyond (RUS 208, 405, 406, 407, or 408), and one of the language series (Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, Polish).

Independent Work

Junior Independent Work. Junior independent work consists of a short essay (about 1,000 words) written in Russian and a longer paper in English (5,000 to 6,000 words). For students in the language study track, this work consists of a longer paper (5,000 to 6,000 words) that will incorporate linguistic analysis of a specific language issue (e.g., comparison of a particular form in two languages; meaning and use of a set of expressions in one or more languages; analysis of idioms.)

Senior Independent Work. In the senior year, the student's independent work, written under departmental supervision, consists of a thesis of about 20,000 words to be submitted two weeks before the first day of the spring term reading period.

Senior Departmental Examination

Graduating seniors are required to take an examination on Russian literature. Together with the thesis and departmental grades, this examination is one of three components that determine departmental honors. The exam consists of two parts, and is administered on two consecutive days. The first part of the exam is taken in class, lasts three hours, and consists in close analysis of literary and critical texts. The second part is a take-home exam based on a list of literary works that each senior draws up and submits in advance to the departmental representative.

Study Abroad

For students who begin Russian at Princeton, the department has organized a second-year course (RUS 105R-107R) for credit in St. Petersburg that may be taken the summer immediately following the completion of RUS 102. This course is taught by Princeton faculty as well as the instructors of the Nevsky Institute of Languages and Culture. The department is able to provide financial assistance to students enrolling in the summer course. More advanced students are urged to spend either a summer or semester in Russia.

Certificate in Language and Culture

The certificate program in Russian language and culture offers two options: the first weighted toward language study, and the second weighted toward literary study.

Course Work. For the language track, students must complete RUS 207 and take at least two of the language courses listed below and at least one Russian literature course conducted in Russian. For the literature track, students must complete RUS 207 and take at least one of the language courses listed below and at least two literature courses conducted in Russian.

Language courses: RUS 208, RUS 405, RUS 406, RUS 407, RUS 408

Literature courses: SLA 308 (Short Story), SLA 312 (Russian Drama), SLA 413 (Pushkin and His Time), most topics courses (e.g., Lermontov, Russian poetry), most graduate literature courses

Independent Work. Students must complete a paper in Russian of approximately 1,000 words. The paper ordinarily will be devoted to a close analysis of a literary text of about 10 to 20 pages. However, a student with strong related interests could write on questions of linguistics or a topic of broader cultural significance (e.g., Russian art, Russian film). In any case, readings in Russian will be a mandatory component of the paper. All topics must be cleared in advance with the departmental representative, who will decide on their appropriateness in consultation with other department members.

Note: Students may obtain the certificate in Russian language and culture in addition to the certificate in Russian and Eurasian studies. However, they may not apply the same courses toward both certificates (with the necessary exception of RUS 207).

Preparation for Graduate Study

Departmental concentrators who are considering pursuing graduate studies in Slavic are reminded that most graduate schools require a reading knowledge of a second modern foreign language. French and German are important for Russian literature. Graduate programs in Russian literature often require another Slavic language. Students should think about preparing themselves while still undergraduates to meet these requirements.


Courses


BCS 101 Beginning Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian I   Fall

An introduction to the Bosnian-Croation-Serbian (also called Serbo-Croatian) language that develops the four major language skills: speaking, listening comprehension, reading, and writing. Class time is devoted to mastering conversational skills, grammar explanations, oral drills, and reading a variety of texts--popular writing, fiction, poetry, and expository prose. Covers the fundamentals of BCS grammar (verbal conjugations, aspect, the primary verbal tenses, and all cases); high-frequency vocabulary will be progressively learned and reinforced. Five classes. No credit is given for BCS 101 unless followed by BCS 102 M. Beissinger

BCS 102 Beginning Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian II   Spring

A continuation of BCS 101. This course continues to develop and refine the four language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing), concentrating on conversational practice, advanced grammar points, oral drilling, increased reading (BCS literature, folklore, and expository prose, including works chosen according to students' interests), and viewing films. Prerequisite: BCS 101. Five classes. M. Beissinger

CZE 101 Beginning Czech I  

Introductory course designed to teach the basic aspects of Czech grammar, vocabulary, and communication in a variety of situations. The course aims to teach all four language skills: reading, writing, listening comprehension, and speaking. Five classes. No credit is given for CZE 101 unless followed by CZE 102. Staff

CZE 102 Beginning Czech II  

A continuation CZE 101. This course continues to develop and refine the four language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing), teaching all fundamental aspects of Czech grammar and basic communication skills in a variety of situations. As the course progresses, the rich Central European culture of Bohemia and Moravia will be sampled through poetry, film, and fictional as well as expository prose. Prerequisite: CZE 101. Five classes. Staff

CZE 105 Intermediate Czech I   Fall

Advanced grammar topics, building of vocabulary through studying Czech word formation and reading challenging samples of Czech literature (prose, poetry, drama). Continuing practice in oral communication. Prerequisite: CZE 102 or instructor's permission. Three classes supplemented by required discussion sections, tutorials, and language lab. Staff

CZE 107 Intermediate Czech II   Spring

Advanced grammar topics, building of vocabulary through the study of Czech word formation and reading challenging samples of Czech literature. Continuing practice in oral communication. Prerequisite: CZE 105. Three classes supplemented by required discussion sections, tutorials, and language lab. Staff

PLS 101 Beginning Polish I   Fall

A beginner's course that introduces the student to four areas of competence in Polish: speaking, grammatical knowledge, listening and reading comprehension, and writing. Emphasizes active language targeted at concrete practical contexts and communicative situations. Previous knowledge of other Slavic languages is advantageous, but not mandatory. Classes combine lectures, recitation, and drill formats. Five classes. No credit is given for PLS 101 unless followed by PLS 102. P. Petrov

PLS 102 Beginning Polish II   Spring

A continuation of PLS 101. This course continues to develop and refine the four language skills (speaking, grammatical knowledge, listening and reading comprehension, and writing). Emphasize active language targeted at concrete practical contexts and communicative situations. Classes combine lectures, recitation, and drill formats. Prerequisite: PLS 101. Five classes. I. Gross

RUS 101 Beginner's Russian I   Fall

Introduction to the essentials of Russian grammar. Presentation of grammar reinforced by oral practice of grammatical patterns. One hour per week devoted specifically to development of oral skills. Five classes, one one-hour laboratory. No credit is given for RUS 101 unless followed by RUS 102. S. Shvabrin

RUS 102 Beginner's Russian II   Spring

A continuation of 101. Introduction to the essentials of Russian grammar. Presentation of grammar reinforced by oral practice of grammatical patterns. One hour per week devoted specifically to development of oral skills. Five classes, one one-hour laboratory. S. Shvabrin

RUS 105 Intermediate Russian I   Fall

Grammar review; advanced grammar; introduction to word formation; expansion of vocabulary through readings of classical and modern fiction and history. One hour per week of translation and discussion of readings. Prerequisite: successful completion of 102 or placement test at Princeton. Five classes, one one-hour laboratory. S. Shvabrin

RUS 105R Intermediate Russian I in St. Petersburg  

A special offering of third-semester Russian taught during the summer in St. Petersburg, Russia. Students take part in a four-week intensive language course at the Nevsky Institute and receive supplemental instruction from a Princeton faculty member. Grammar review; advanced grammar; conversation skills; analytic reading. Students are chosen by application from 102 in the spring. Ten two-hour classes. S. Shvabrin

RUS 107 Intermediate Russian II   Spring

A continuation of 105. Grammar review; advanced grammar; introduction to word formation; expansion of vocabulary through readings of classical and modern fiction and history. One hour per week of translation and discussion of readings. Prerequisite: 105. Five classes, one one-hour laboratory. S. Shvabrin

RUS 107R Intermediate Russian II in St. Petersburg  

Continuation of 105R taught during the summer in St. Petersburg, Russia. Students take part in a four-week intensive language course at the Nevsky Institute and receive supplemental instruction from a Princeton faculty member. Grammar review; advanced grammar; conversation skills; module on Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. Prerequisite: 105R. Ten two-hour classes. K. Blank

RUS 207 Advanced Russian Reading and Conversation I   Fall

Selected texts (19th- and 20th-century poetry and prose, contemporary journalistic prose) with discussion and analysis in Russian. Four classes. K. Blank

RUS 208 Advanced Russian Reading and Conversation II   Spring

A continuation of 207. Selected texts (19th- and 20th-century poetry and prose, contemporary journalistic prose) with discussion and analysis in Russian. Four classes. K. Blank

RUS 405 Advanced Russian Grammar through Reading   Fall

A practical approach to advanced Russian grammar and structure through reading and translation of Russian prose texts with special focus on difficult grammatical constructions. Two 90-minute classes. Prerequisite: 207 or 208. Staff

RUS 406 Russian Sentence Structure through Reading   Spring

A basic introduction to Russian sentence structure with special emphasis on word order, use of participles and gerunds, impersonal sentences, negation, voice, and long/short form adjectives. The course includes substantive readings of Russian texts and their syntactic analysis. Two 90-minute classes. Prerequisite: 207 or 208. Staff

RUS 407 Advanced Russian through Film  

A language course based on Russian films and designed to develop a more sophisticated level of spoken and written Russian. Discussions of life in Russia. Compositions, exercises, short texts for reading comprehension, oral presentations. Two 90-minute classes. Prerequisite: 207 or instructor's permission. K. Blank

RUS 408 Advanced Russian through History and Culture  

The course aims to improve students' proficiency in idiomatic Russian by using materials on historical and cultural topics. The materials cover Russian history from the days of Kievan Rus' to the post-Soviet era. Weekly reading and compositions. Two 90-minute classes. Prerequisite: instructor's permission. K. Blank

SLA 219 History of Russian Literature before 1860   Fall LA

A survey in English of Russian literature up to 1860. The course concentrates on master prose writers of the first half of the 19th century: Pushkin, Gogol, Lermontov, the early Dostoevsky, and the early Tolstoy. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Knowledge of Russian not required. C. Emerson

SLA 220 The Great Russian Novel and Beyond: Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, and Others   Spring LA

A survey in English of Russian literature from mid-19th century to Soviet literature. Authors read include, among others, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Nabokov, and Bely. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Knowledge of Russian not required. E. Chances

SLA 221 Soviet Literature, 1917-1965   LA

A survey in English of Soviet literature from 1917 to 1965 against the background of major social and political developments. Readings include works by Zamyatin, Babel, Bulgakov, Solzhenitsyn, and other representative authors. Two lectures and preceptorial. Knowledge of Russian not required. P. Petrov

SLA 308 The Russian Short Story   LA

The Russian short story from the 1830s to the present. Readings include stories by Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Gorky, Bunin, Solzhenitsyn, Petrushevskaya, Tolstaya, and others. Special emphasis on the active use of the language. Readings, discussions, oral and written reports in Russian. Two 90-minute classes. Prerequisite: RUS 207 or instructor's permission. K. Blank

SLA 311 Russian Music (see MUS 339)

SLA 312 Russian Drama   Spring LA

Introduction to major dramatic works of the 19th and 20th centuries, including Pushkin, Gogol, Chekhov, Shvarts, and Vampilov. Readings, discussions, oral and written reports in Russian. Two 90-minute seminars. Prerequisite: RUS 207 or instructor's permission. O. Hasty

SLA 316 Ethical Dimensions of Contemporary Russian Cinema   EM

Exploration of the quest for moral values in Soviet and post-Soviet Russian cinema of the 1960s to the present. Topics include, among others, the effects of Stalinism; the struggle for freedom of individual conscience under totalitarianism; the artist's moral dilemmas in Soviet and post-Soviet society; materialism versus spirituality. Films of Andrei Tarkovsky, Nikita Mikhalkov, and others. One three-hour seminar. Knowledge of Russian not required. E. Chances

SLA 410 Bakhtin, the Russian Formalists, and Cultural Semiotics (see COM 410)

SLA 411 Selected Topics in Russian Literature and Culture   LA

Topics include: Russian literature and the city; Russian literature and the intellectual; the search for moral value in post-Communist literature; satire; Russian literature and music; 20th-century Russian poetry, Russian emigre literature. M. Wachtel

SLA 412 Selected Topics in Russian Literature and Culture   LA

Topics include: Russian literature and the city; Russian literature and the intellectual; the search for moral value in post-Communist literature; satire; Russian literature and music; 20th-century Russian poetry, Russian emigré literature. O. Hasty

SLA 413 Pushkin and His Time   LA

An introduction to Pushkin's works with attention to a number of genres (lyric, long poem, drama, short story). Readings in Russian with discussions in Russian or English, depending on students' preference. Two 90-minute classes. Prerequisite: RUS 207 or instructor's permission. M. Wachtel

SLA 415 Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace, and the Tasks of Literature (see COM 415)

SLA 416 Dostoevsky   Fall LA

A consideration of Dostoevsky's major works with particular emphasis upon their relation to the political, social, religious, and literary currents of his time. Knowledge of Russian not required. One three-hour seminar. E. Chances

SLA 417 Vladimir Nabokov (also COM 418/ENG 424)   LA

An examination of Nabokov's major accomplishments as a Russian/American novelist in the context of the Russian literary tradition and the cultural climate of emigration. Two lectures, one preceptorial. O. Hasty

SLA 419 19th- and 20th-Century Russian Poetry   LA

An introduction to major Russian poets from Pushkin to the present. No prior knowledge of Russian literature is assumed. The focus of the course will be on close readings of individual poems, but the intention is, by generalization, to reach an understanding of the development of Russian literature as a whole. Readings in Russian, with discussion in English, and an optional hour for discussion in Russian. Prerequisites: RUS 207 (may be taken concurrently) or permission of instructor. Two 90-minute seminars. M. Wachtel