Undergraduate Courses

Click here for a current list of courses - Choose from SLA (Slavic), PLS (Polish), BCS (Bosnian Serbian Croatian), CZE (Czech) and RUS (Russian).

BCS 101 Beginning Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian I In this continuation of RUS 101, we introduce plural forms while reviewing case usage and verbs in detail. Soviet posters continue to provide us with illustrations of the grammar, while building a basic familiarity with Soviet history and culture. A special unit focuses on everyday Russian, particularly for those planning to travel to Russia for the first time. The semester closes with a two-week reading unit with Soviet-era poetry and prose. M. Beissinger

RUS 101 Beginner's Russian I After learning the Russian alphabet and handwriting in just a few days, we'll continue with daily lessons using original materials - each day covering a basic aspect of Russian grammar and building incrementally. Special emphasis will be placed on learning to express your own feelings and ideas in natural, idiomatic Russian, preparing you to engage with Russian speakers and real Russian texts, and delving into Russian culture, history, music, and literature as we go, learning the language in its own unique and incredibly rich cultural context. The year will end with a sampling of Soviet prose and poetry in the original. M. Pettus

RUS 103 Russian for Heritage Speakers  This course is intended for students with a Russian-speaking family background who seek to acquire / improve their Russian reading, writing, and speaking skills, as well as to learn more about Russian/Soviet culture, literature and history. All main linguistic concepts (orthography, word formation, case system, verb conjugation, aspect, etc.) will be taught through literary texts by 19th and 20th century Russian authors, articles from the current Russian media, and excerpts from films. Students who complete this course in combination with RUS 108 satisfy the Language Requirement. S. Korshunova

RUS 105 Intermediate Russian I Using original textbooks that focus on the Imperial period of Russian culture by incorporating literature and paintings from the period, we will look at more advanced grammar topics, such as prefixed verbs of motion and de-verbal forms (verbal adjectives, adverbs and nouns), that are essential for reading literary Russian. Later in the semester, we will read a selection of classical Russian poetry and prose, from such authors as Pushkin, Lermontov, Chekhov, Nekrasov, and Tolstoy. All readings will be done in the original, with extensive vocabulary and notes provided. M. Pettus

RUS 207 Advanced Russian Reading and Conversation I An expansion of skills in Russian grammar, reading, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension. Work with three films made after the collapse of the Soviet Union, which have won many national and international awards. The class discussion will center around a broad spectrum of cultural, social, historical, and literary topics. K. Blank

RUS 409 Stylistics and Composition The course aims to improve students¿ written and spoken proficiency in Russian through an in-depth study of the major functional styles of Russian: artistic, scientific, publicistic, official, and colloquial. Students will refine their reading, writing, and speaking skills by analyzing and discussing texts drawn from prose works, poetry, drama, mass media, scientific articles, critical essays, and business documents. They will learn to recognize different registers of language and will write compositions in various genres. The course is fully conducted in Russian. K. Blank

SLA 219 Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky: Introduction to the Great Russian Novel This is an introductory course, conducted entirely in English, on the classics of nineteenth-century Russian literature. No previous knowledge of Russian language, literature, culture, or history is expected. The focus of the course is on close readings of individual works. At the same time, we will pay close attention to the way a distinctively Russian national tradition takes shape, in which writers consciously respond to their predecessors. All of these works have a firm position in the Russian cultural memory, and they have significantly contributed to Russian national identity. M. Wachtel

SLA 313 Russian Religious Philosophy  Born of debates between Westernizers and Slavophiles, Russia's astounding religious-philosophical flowering ran parallel to that in literature, and lived on in Europe and North America in the wake of the Revolution. These thinkers confronted modernity in ways that were both radically innovative, yet firmly grounded in the centuries-old traditions of Eastern Orthodox theology. Topics to be discussed include: personhood, freedom, and evil; iconography and artistic creativity; the transformative power of love; tensions between knowledge and faith; and ethics in a universe in which every person and event is "once-occurrent." M. Pettus

SLA 319 Eastern European Cinema: War, Love and Revolutions This class is a survey of Eastern European cinema from the 1960s until the present day. We will look at films and directors from Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, East Germany, Russia, and former Yugoslavia. Despite the state control, the filmmakers of Communist Europe were often more bold, honest and provocative than their profit-driven Hollywood counterparts. By drawing on political and cultural discourses, the course will offer pointed analyses of most significant East European films that touch upon issues of ethnicity, gender, cultural identity, and overcoming censorship. Screened with English subtitles. Y. Leving

SLA 337 'What Is to Be Done?': Social Justice in Russian Literature  Responding to the widespread injustices and social inequalities of their day, Russian writers turned to their literary craft to wrestle with the essential question: "What is to be done?" We will join our authors and the characters they create as they debate competing ideologies, struggle with timeless human questions, imagine more equitable ways of organizing society, and explore the ethical and moral concerns at the root of pressing social and political issues. How do Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and our other captivating writers confront the problems of their era and transform them into literary masterpieces that transcend time and place? L. Matthews

SLA 401 Junior Methods Seminar This Junior Seminar is designed to prepare students to undertake independent research in the Slavic field. We will workshop both methodological approaches and develop the core research skills necessary to complete the English-language research paper. We will identify successful research questions and workshop works-in-progress. Additionally, this seminar will introduce students to the expectations for citations in English for Russian-language sources. E. Fratto

SLA 416 Dostoevsky The goal of the course is to acquaint students with the evolution of Dostoevsky's writings. A multi-faceted approach is used for coming to grips with the works. The focus is on stylistic, ethical, religious, philosophical, and political dimensions of his art as well as on ways in which Dostoevsky fits into the cultural milieu of his time. Both non-Slavic Department and Departmental students are welcome. E. Chances

SLA 417 Vladimir Nabokov In 1919, at the age of twenty, Vladimir Nabokov fled "the bloated octopus of state" of his native Russia and embarked on a dazzling bilingual literary career in emigration. This course focuses on Nabokov's masterly writing, which reflects a modernist preoccupation with narrative, temporality, and memory. The Russian and American novels are at the center of our attention, but readings include also a sampling of his shorter fiction, poetry, essays on literature, and the memoir Speak, Memory. Y. Leving


For more information: https://ua.princeton.edu/academic-units/department-slavic-languages-and-literatures