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 social sciences to the natural 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 related to 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 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  departmental concentration: from the humanities and social sciences to the natural sciences and engineering.

Course Requirements

The certificate requires students to complete four regular courses in the following disciplines:

History: One  course on the history of the Russian empire, the Soviet Union, or Eurasia.
Literature: One  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:
RUS 105  Beginner’s Russian I
RUS 107  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

TUR 105  Intermediate Turkish I
TUR 107  Intermediate Turkish II
TUR 305  Advanced Turkish
TUR 405  Introduction to Ottoman Turkish

Culture, Literature, and the Arts:
ART 337/GER 337  Court, Cloister, and City: Art and Architecture in Central and Eastern Europe
ART 393/SLA 393/AMS 392/RES 393  Getting the Picture: Photojournalism in the U.S. and Russia
COM 410/SLA 410  Bakhtin, Formalists, Cultural Semiotics
COM 415/SLA 415/RES 415  Tolstoy War and Peace
ECS 360/SLA 360  Central European Literature of the 20th Century
MUS 339/SLA 311  Russian Music
SLA 218/RES 218  Soviet Cinema
SLA 219/RES 219  Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky: Introduction 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 Culture, Above and Below Ground
SLA 301/ANT 382/RES 301  Russian Folklore
SLA 308/RES 309  The Russian Short Story
SLA 310/COM 369/RES 310  Philosophy and Literature: Western Thought and the Russian Dialogic Imagination
SLA 312/RES 312  Russian Drama
SLA 345/ECS 345/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 365/RES 365  Russian Science-Fiction (SF) in the 20th
SLA 367/RES 367  On Space in Russian Culture
SLA 368/HUM 368/RES 368/COM 348  Literature and Medicine
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/RES 412  Selected Topics in Russian Literature and Culture
SLA 413/RES 413  Pushkin and His Time
SLA 415/COM 415/RES 415  Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace: Writing as Fighting
SLA 416/RES 416  Dostoevsky
SLA 417/COM 418/ENG 424/RES 417  Vladimir Nabokov

History:
HIS 360  The Russian Empire: From Peter the Great to Nicholas II
HIS 362  The Soviet Empire
HIS 406  Two Empires: Russia and the U.S. from Franklin to Trump
HIS 480  Property How, Why and What We Own
NES 362  Blood, Sex and Oil: The Caucasus
NES 406  The Great War in the Middle East

Social Sciences:
NES 362  Blood, Sex and Oil: The Caucasus
NES 364/REL 399  Secularism in Muslim Central Asia and the Middle East
POL 432  Seminar in Comparative Politics: Russia, Ukraine, and the New Cold War
POL 433  Seminar in Comparative Politics: Democratization and Economic Reforms After Communism
SLA 338/ANT 338  Between Heaven and Hell: Myths and Memories of Siberia
SLA 368/HUM 368/RES 368  Literature and Medicine
SLA 420/ANT 420/COM 424/RES 420  Communist Modernity: The Politics and Culture of Soviet Utopia
SOC 308/RES 308  Communism and Beyond: China and Russia

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 social sciences to the natural 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

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

Culture, Literature and the Arts:
ART 337/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, Formalists, 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

History:
EPS 302/ECS 302  Landmarks of European Identity
HIS 346/HLS 346  Introduction to Byzantine Civilization
HIS 358/HLS 358  The History of the Balkans
HIS 452/EPS 342  Communism and Dissent in East Europe
HIS 542/HLS 542/MED 542  Problems in Byzantine History -- Rethinking the 11th century in Byzantium

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.