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Slavic Studies

Slavic Studies is concerned with the languages, literatures, and civilizations of the Slavic world. Built on sound knowledge of one or two Slavic languages, the program allows students to develop an in-depth appreciation and understanding of East European cultures and civilizations through a broad spectrum of interdisciplinary fields. Students take courses in literature, history, culture, theater, political science, economics, and international relations. Concentrators focusing on Russia learn one of the world’s most commonly spoken languages and study some of the world’s best-regarded authors, such as Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Gogol, and Chekhov. Courses on film, literature, and the visual arts introduce students to the historical and social contexts of Russia in the 20th and 21st centuries.  Students can enhance their study of Czech or Polish through courses on literature,  film, and history, thereby gaining an understanding of the unique histories and cultures of the East Central European Slavic countries. Most concentrators study abroad in a Slavic country, either during the academic year or the summer. 

Requirements for the AB Degree

Six semesters of one Slavic language or the equivalent, or a combined total of eight semesters of two Slavic languages or the equivalent.
Introductory Russian
and Introductory Russian
Intensive Russian
Intermediate Russian
and Intermediate Russian
Advanced Russian
and Advanced Russian
In cases where a student's interests and course of study warrant it, and only upon consulting the concentration advisor, the student may apply more than one Slavic language to the concentration (Czech or Polish in addition to Russian), and would then need a combined total of eight semesters of two Slavic languages:
Introductory Czech
and Introductory Czech
Intermediate Czech
and Intermediate Russian
Introductory Polish
and Introductory Polish
Intermediate Polish
and Intermediate Polish
The concentration in Slavic Studies requires students to complete a minimum of seven 1000-level courses devoted to the study of the East European civilizations: literature, history, culture, theater, political science, economics, international relations. Typically, at least four of these courses will be from within the Department of Slavic Studies. Students' choice of courses is subject to the approval of the concentration advisor.
Courses in the Department of Slavic Studies:
Dimensions of Czech Animation: Contexts, Interpretations, and Dialogs with the East
Special Topics in Russian Studies I: Advanced Reading and Conversation
Special Topics in Russian Studies II: Advanced Reading and Conversation
Russian Fantasy and Science Fiction
Nationalism and Nationalities
Russian Cinema
Russian Literature in Translation I: Pushkin to Dostoevsky
Russian Literature in Translation II: Tolstoy to Solzhenitsyn
Soviet Culture: Propaganda, Dissidence, Underground
The Russian Novel
Imagining Moscow: Utopia and Urban Spaces in 20th-Century Russian Culture
Love, Adultery, and Sexuality
Approaches to Russian Literature
Beyond the Kremlin: Russian Culture and Politics in the Twenty-First Century
Literature and History: Russian Historical Imagination in the European Context
Sexuality and Revolution in 20th-Century Russian Culture
Central Europe: An Idea and its Literature
Russian Postmodernism
Polish Culture Through Film
Sociolinguistics (with Case Studies on the Former USSR and Eastern Europe)
Sample courses in other departments:
The Rise of the Russian Empire
Russia in the Era of Reforms, Revolutions, and World Wars
The Collapse of Socialism and the Rise of New Russia


Honors candidacy in Slavic studies assumes an excellent academic record, particularly in the concentration. Additional requirements are the same as those for a standard concentration, plus the writing of a senior thesis (SLAV 1990). For procedures and schedule for writing a senior thesis, please refer to the department guidelines.