Program in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies

Faculty

  • Director

    • Michael A. Reynolds
  • Executive Committee

    • Mark R. Beissinger
    • Michael D. Gordin
    • Stephen Kotkin
    • Simon A. Morrison
    • Serguei Oushakine
    • Katherine M.H. Reischl
    • Michael A. Reynolds
    • Ilya Vinitsky
    • Iryna Vushko
    • Michael A. Wachtel
  • Associated Faculty

    • Ellen B. Chances
    • Devin A. Fore
    • Elena Fratto
    • M. Sukru Hanioglu
    • Olga P. Hasty
    • Joshua I. Kotin
    • Ekaterina Pravilova
    • Kim Lane Scheppele
  • Sits with Committee

    • Margaret H. Beissinger
    • Ksana Blank
    • Deborah Kaple
    • Thomas F. Keenan
    • Svetlana Korshunova
    • Mark Pettus

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).

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

In addition to the language requirement, 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

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.

  • 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.

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

In addition to satisfying the language requirement, the certificate requires students to complete 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).

Suggested Language Courses

Expertise in a core language of Eastern Europe is central to the program. The language component of the track requires one year of any language of the region. Applicable languages include Czech, Polish, Romanian, Bulgarian, and Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian. 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.

  • 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

Independent Work

A senior thesis or junior paper in the student’s home department related to Eastern Europe. Students should consult with the  REEES director for approval of their independent work plans.

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.

Courses

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. Instructed by: M. Pettus

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. Instructed by: M. Pettus

RUS 103 Russian for Heritage Speakers Fall

This course is designed for students who can speak and understand Russian, but have little or no practice in reading and writing. The course will train students in literate writing and advanced reading. Normally followed by 107. Instructed by: K. Blank

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. Instructed by: M. Pettus

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. Instructed by: M. Pettus

RUS 108 Russian for Heritage Speakers II Spring

In this class heritage students will continue developing advanced skills in Russian (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) as well as exploring aspects of Russian culture and history. Materials will include Russian animated cartoons, films, and texts drawn from classic and contemporary Russian literature. Instructed by: S. Korshunova

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. Instructed by: S. Korshunova

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. Instructed by: S. Korshunova

RUS 209 Introduction to the History of the Russian Language (also
LIN 209
) Spring

Introduction to the History of the Russian language is intended for undergraduates and graduate students in all fields, e.g. (Russian literature, history, linguistics) who are interested in the Russian language. The course's primary focus is how modern Russian emerged from Old Russian, which involves the history of the Russian sound system, as well as a survey of key changes in Russian word structure and sentence structure. Reading of Old Russ. texts. Instructed by: L. Babby

RUS 405 Advanced Russian Grammar through Reading

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. Instructed by: Staff

RUS 406 Russian Sentence Structure through Reading

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. Instructed by: Staff

RUS 407 Advanced Russian through Film Fall LA

RUS 407 is an advanced Russian language course based on classic Russian films. The object of this course is to improve students' command of Russian (both spoken and written) and to introduce students to some masterpieces of Russian cinema, which serve as a window on Russian culture (both art and history). Since this course emphasizes critical analysis, it is accessible only to students who have already achieved a high level of linguistic sophistication (three years of Russian language or the equivalent). Instructed by: 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. Instructed by: K. Blank

RUS 409 The History of Russian Rock Spring

The course will examine the emergence of rock music in the period leading up to the collapse of the Soviet Union, and its enduring cultural and political significance in post-Soviet Russia (including recent protest movements) while developing students' appreciation of colloquial Russian. We will encounter a number of fascinating people and artists, charting their musical development, their forays into other genres (particularly film), and their political impact. Assignments will be listening to the music while studying the original Russian lyrics (with glosses and translations). Instructed by: Staff