Program in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies

Academic Unit

Program Information

The Program in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, an affiliate of the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, draws on a core faculty in the humanities, history, and social sciences to support and maintain a diverse undergraduate curriculum. The program offers a certificate of proficiency to undergraduates who combine study of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia with any other departmental concentration from the humanities and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs to the sciences and engineering.

The program's purpose is to provide undergraduates with expertise in a core language of Eurasia--for most students that would be Russian--and a scholarly grounding in the study of the region. Other languages applicable toward the certificate include Polish, Czech, the languages of Southeastern Europe (Romanian, Bulgarian, and Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian), and Turkish, the last being the basis for most Central Asian languages as well as some in the Caucasus and in Russia.

Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies offers preparation for government service, international business and finance, law, media, science, teaching, nongovernmental organizations, and other aspects of global affairs. As such, courses from many departments count toward the certificate. The program is compatible with all concentrations.

Information and Departmental Plan of Study

To be eligible for admission to the Program in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies a student must meet the following requirements by the end of his or her sophomore year:

Satisfactory completion of the established requirements for admission to one of the cooperating departments or to a department whose plan of study may be combined with this interdepartmental program.

Initiation of study of the Russian language or other target language. Students without previous training in Russian are advised to begin their study not later than the first term of the sophomore year and earlier if possible.

A student choosing to pursue a Certificate of Proficiency in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies must complete the normal requirements in their department as well as the following requirements of the program. The proposed course of study must be approved each term by the director.

Program of Study

To obtain the certificate students must choose one of the two tracks currently offered by the Program, the Russian and Eurasian Studies (RES) track, or the East European Cultures and Societies (EECS).

1. Russian and Eurasian Studies (RES) track

The Russian and Eurasian Studies track is offered to undergraduates who combine study of Russia and Eurasia with any other departmental concentration: from the humanities and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs to the sciences and engineering.

Course Requirements

The certificate requires students to complete four regular courses (at least two courses at the 300-level or above, in addition to two 200-level courses) in the following disciplines:

History: One upper-level course on the history of the Russian empire, the Soviet Union, or Eurasia.

Literature: One upper-level course in the literatures of Russia and/or Eurasia.

Social Sciences: One course in the anthropology, sociology, politics and/or economics of Russia and/or Eurasia.

Plus 1: One additional course from the three main subject areas or from a list of preapproved specialty courses.

Language courses

RUS 101 Beginner's Russian I
RUS 105 Intermediate Russian I
RUS 207 Advanced Russian Reading and Conversation I
RUS 208 Advanced Russian Reading and Conversation II
RUS 407 Advanced Russian through Film
RUS 408 Advanced Russian through History and Culture

History

HIS 360 The Russian Empire: From Peter the Great to Nicholas II
HIS 362 Soviet Empire
HIS 480 Property How, Why, and What We Own
NES 406 The Great War in the Middle East

Literature (and Culture)

ART 337/GER 337 Court, Cloister, and City: Art and Architecture in Central and Eastern Europe
COM 410/SLA 410 Bakhtin, Formalists, Cultural Semiotics
COM 415/SLA 415/RES 415 Leo Tolstoy War and Peace, and the Tasks of Literature
ECS 360/SLA 360 Central European Literature of the 20th Century
MUS 339/SLA 311 Russian Music
SLA 219/RES 219 Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky: Introductions to the Great Russian Novel
SLA 220/RES 220 The Great Russian Novel and Beyond: Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, and Others
SLA 221/RES 221 Soviet Literature 1917-1965
SLA 301/ANT 382/RES 301 Russian Folklore
SLA 312/RES 312 Russian Drama
SLA 345/ECS 354/COM 345/RES 345 East European Literature and Politics
SLA 347/JDS 337 Jewish Topics in East European Cinema
SLA 361/RES 361 The Evil Empire: Reading Putin's Russia
SLA 395/RES 395 Czeslaw Milosz: Poetry, Politics, History
SLA 396/ECS 397 Polish Literature on Screen
SLA 411/RES 411 Selected Topics in Russian Literature and Culture
SLA 412/COM 414/ENG 407/ RES 412 Selected Topics in Russian Literature and Culture: Chekhov
SLA 417/COM 418/ENG 424/RES 417 Vladimir Nabokov
SLA 421/JDS 421/COM 420/GER 421 East-Central European Jewish Biographies

Social Science

POL 433 Sem. in Comparative Politics: Democratization and Economic Reforms after Communism
SOC 308/RES 308 Communism and Beyond: China and Russia
SLA 338/ANT 338 Between Heaven and Hell: Myths and Memories of Siberia
NES 364/REL 399 Secularism in Muslim Central Asia and the Middle East
NES 362 Blood, Sex, and Oil: The Caucasus

Independent Work

Senior thesis or junior paper in the student's home department related to Russian and Eurasian studies. Students should consult with the director of the Program in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies for approval of their independent work plans.

Languages for RES track

Expertise in a core language of Eurasia is central to the program. Applicable languages include Russian and Turkish, Students whose primary language is Russian must successfully complete one Russian-language course beyond 207, or otherwise achieve this level of competence. Students in the program whose focus is Turkish must complete the equivalent of the second year in that language. Native speakers and students with previous training in any of the languages of Eurasia can fulfill the language requirement by demonstrating intermediate proficiency on a placement examination.

2. East European Cultures and Societies (EECS) track

The East European Cultures and Societies (EECS) track is offered to undergraduates who combine study of Eastern Europe with any other departmental concentration: from the humanities and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs to the sciences and engineering.

Course Requirements

The certificate requires students to complete one gateway course and four regular courses. The four courses can be chosen from the fields of literature, art, history, anthropology, politics, economy (two courses in one of these fields are permitted if a student concentrates in that field). The gateway course will be the Eastern European survey course offered every second year.

Gateway Course

SLA 366/ECS 356/RES 347 Eastern Europe: Culture and History

Language courses

BCS 101 102 Beginning Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian I and II
BCS 105 107 Intermediate Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian I and II
PLS 101 102 Beginning Polish I and II
PLS 105 107 Intermediate Polish I and II
CZE 101 102 Beginning Czech I and II
CZE 105 107 Intermediate Czech I and II

History

EPS 302/ECS 302 Landmarks of European Identity
HIS 346/HLS 346 Introduction to Byzantine Civilization
HIS 358/HLS 358 Balkan Nationalisms: Greeks, Turks, and Slavs
HIS 452/EPS 452 Communism and Dissent in Eastern Europe

Literature and (Culture)

ART 334/GER 337 Court, Cloister, and City: Art and Architecture in Central and Eastern Europe
COM 404 Literature Across Languages: The East European Novel of the 20th Century
COM 410/SLA 410 Bakhtin, the Russian Formalists, and Cultural Semiotics
ECS 360/SLA 360 Central-European Literature of the 20th Century
ECS 391/COM 391/JDS 391 Holocaust Testimony
JDS 221/PHI 221 Philosophy after Auschwitz
SLA 236 Rituals, Songs, and Stories: Balkan and East European Oral Traditions
SLA 345/ECS 354/COM 345 East European Literature and Politics
SLA 347/JDS 337 Jewish Topics in East European Cinema
SLA 366/ECS 356/RES 347 Eastern Europe: Culture and History
SLA 396/ECS 397 Polish Literature on Screen

Social Sciences:

ANT 351/HLS 351 Tolerance and Governance in the Mediterranean

Study and Work Abroad

Students pursuing the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies certificate are expected to combine classwork with study abroad for a term or a summer to sharpen their language skills, conduct independent research, and, in general, gain a better appreciation of at least one country and culture in Eurasia. Summer internships abroad, partly subsidized by the program or the University, are also highly encouraged.

Certificate of Proficiency

Students who fulfill the requirements of the program receive a certificate of proficiency in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies upon graduation.