Not only does the Department of Russian at Dartmouth provide instruction in one of the world's most important languages, but it also offers courses in literature and linguistics, conducts foreign study programs in Russia, and coordinates an Area Studies Program for those with a broad interest in Russia and Eastern Europe. Throughout the year the department sponsors or co-sponsors a wide variety of activities, ranging from film series and lectures to visits by groups from abroad. The faculty members within the department have special interests in such literary fields as modernism, literary theory, and poetics; in linguistic areas such as diglossia and verb structure; and in various aspects of language pedagogy, including the development of computer programs and interactive video to assist in the teaching of Russian. Other faculty members involved in the Area Studies Program conduct research in related disciplines: Russian history, the politics of the Soviet Union, the geography of Russia and the former Soviet Republics, and the sociology of the peoples of Eastern Europe.
Most students who study Russian at Dartmouth arrive with no background at all in the language, and therefore enroll in Russian 1 during the fall of their first year. Since Russian 1 is offered only in the fall and since the language courses are sequential, scheduling is much easier for those who start Russian during their first fall at Dartmouth. Those students who take Russian 1 in the fall generally continue with Russian 2 in the winter and Russian 3 in the spring. After completing Russian 3, students are eligible to participate in the Language Study Abroad program in St. Petersburg over the summer.
Other courses recommended in the first year include:
Russian 31: (Transgressive Novels: Masterpieces of Russian Fiction), offered every year. The readings (all in translation) consist of representative works by the classic figures of Russian literature such as Pushkin, Lermontov, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Chekhov.
Russian 10: (Introduction to Russian Civilization) offered every year. Topics of study include a brief survey of Russian history along with the art, cinema, music, thought and religion of Russia.
Other occasional offerings, devoted to specific aspects of Russian culture. For a listing, please see the following links:
The following Major and Minor options are available to students:
The Standard Russian Major for those whose interest is primarily in literature and culture, or who simply wish to attain a mastery of the language.
The Area Studies Major is intended for those who want to learn Russian and to do work in International Studies.
The Minor in Russian is for those who wish to obtain a minor in Russian language or in Russian literature.
The Minor in Russian Area Studies is for those who want to learn about Russian literature and civilization without advanced language study.
A qualified student in any of these majors also has the option of participation in the Honors Program.
The Russian Department is an institutional member of the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (ASEES).
Last Updated: 3/4/14