Saint Louis University’s program in Russian studies seeks to develop in our students an enthusiasm for pursuing knowledge of Russian language, literature, culture, history and political science.
Our current program emphasizes a communicative learner-centered approach to the language classroom, where students quickly immerse themselves in Russian language and culture by presenting on a wide range of topics. Students often pair their degrees in Russian studies with related areas such as computer science, international business, history, political science, social work, chemistry, biology and international studies.
Director: Elizabeth Blake, Ph.D.
"Dr. Blake took a break from her archival research to photograph the record-breaking snowfalls in the heart of Moscow, still decked in New Year’s decorations; here life continues as usual with Lenin and Stalin posing for photographs, visitors shopping at GUM, the faithful stopping by St. Basil’s, and St. Vladimir keeping watch over the city center."
The Russian Club has existed since the 1950s when interest in Russian was boosted by Russian achievements in air-space explorations. The club was one of the few available sources of knowledge and experience of Russian traditions and lifestyle.
Meetings are held twice a semester and focus on various traditional Russian festivals or on a selected topic. Students get hands-on experience making Russian traditional dishes and acquire a taste of genuine Russian food (i.e. borsh, pirozhki, bliny, golubtsy, sushki, prianiki, Russian salad) and drink (e.g. kvas, tea with lemon). On special occasions, Russian club members take field trips to the annual Russian Festival, the Russian Orthodox Church or local Russian restaurants Dvin and Zhivago's.
- RUSS 1010: Communication in Russian I
Introduction to Russian speaking, listening, reading and writing. Emphasis on the acquisition of communicative skills in simple situations related to personal interests and daily and academic life.
- RUSS 1020: Communicating in Russian II
Prerequisite: RUSS 1010 or equivalent, as determined by instructor
Continuation of RUSS 1010. Spring semester.
- RUSS 2010: Intermediate Russian: Language and Culture
Prerequisite: RUSS 1010, RUSS 1020, and RUSS 1020 or equivalent, as determined by instructor. Continued practice in speaking, emphasis on functional skills and on reading and discussion of culture.
- RUSS 2220: Russian Culture and Civilization
Understanding Russian today through a comprehensive outline of its multinational, multicultural past: origins, geography, language; Christianization; Westernizers versus Slavophiles; the new Soviet person; Women in Russia; Russian and the Arts; Breakup of the Soviet Union. Readings in English. Fulfills Cultural Diversity requirement.
- RUSS 2610: Russian Fairy Tales
This course represents a historical and literary introduction to witches, demons, vampires and other dark forces in the Russian folk tradition. Examining classic fairy tales, modern fiction, and visual representations on film and on the web, students will gain an appreciation for the significance of this tradition in Russian culture.
- RUSS 2620: A Taste of Russia
This course is designed to introduce students to Russian culture with particular focus on Russian customs, traditions and attitudes toward food. Exploring the concept of Russian cuisine in literature, arts, holidays, and folk traditions, students will develop a better understanding and appreciation of Russian cultural identity and lifestyle.
- RUSS 2930: Special Topics
- RUSS 2980: Independent Study
- RUSS 3050: Russian Conversation
- RUSS 3070: Scientific Russian
Prerequisite: RUSS 1020 or equivalent, as determined by instructor
Introduction to scientific prose in Russian. Emphasis on word formation and the acquisition of scientific terminology. No spoken Russian required
- RUSS 3010: Oral and Written Proficiency in Russian I
Prerequisite: RUSS 1020 or equivalent, as determined by instructor
Extensive review and refinement of grammar skills. Continued emphasis on speaking. Regular writing assignments.
- RUSS 3020: Oral and Written Proficiency in Russian II
Prerequisite: RUSS 3010 or equivalent, as determined by instructor
Continuation of RUSS 3010.
- RUSS 3200: Saints and Sinners in Russian Literature and Film: 19th Century
The course provides a concise and comprehensive survey of the development of the literary trends in the Golden Age of Russian literature. The students will read and discuss selected works of some outstanding Russian authors of the 19th century and compare some of them to their screen versions.
- RUSS 3230: Russian Literature: 20th Century
Comprehensive and concise survey of the development of Russian literature of the Golden Age. The students will learn about the the main trends in the development of Russian literary tradition and become familiar with selected works of some outstanding Russian authors of the century: Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Chekhov.
- RUSS 3250: Russia from Peter to Putin: Imperial, Soviet, and Post-Soviet Culture
Prerequisites: RUSS 3010 and RUSS 3020 or equivalent
Understanding Russia today through a comprehensive outline of its past: origins, geography, language; Christianization; Westernizers versus Slavophiles; the new Soviet person; women in Russia; Russia and the arts; breakup of the Soviet Union. Readings mainly in Russian. Fulfills cultural diversity requirement. See detailed course description here.
- RUSS 3320 - Dostoevsky Through the Centuries
This course considers Dostoevsky's impact on world culture through an examination of his major works, including Notes from the Underground, Crime and Punishment, and The Brothers Karamazov, and their dialogue with the writings of such famous personages as Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, D.H. Lawrence, and Albert Camus.
- RUSS 3330 - Lev Tolstoy: Writer, Soldier, Lover, Activist
This course examines Tolstoy's major works, including Anna Karenina and War and Peace, in which the author depicts the clash between European modernism and Russian traditionalism as he challenges the reader to explore the brutality of warfare, the impoverishment of the Russian peasantry, and gender roles in modern society.
- RUSS 3350 - Chekhov as Dramatist: Performance, Adaptations, and Intermedial Transpositions
The appeal of Chekhov's major plays remain the focus of this course that examines the adaptation, mutation, and appropriation of his drama on stage and screen to encourage an appreciation for the intermedial transpositions of the Chekhov text across cultures, recent histories, and in Russia, on Broadway, and beyond.
- RUSS 4510 - The Russian Orthodox: Theology and History
This course traces the theological, social, political, and cultural history of the Orthodox Church in Russia with particular foci on theological crises noted for shaping doctrine, iconography, popular religious belief, monasticism, messianism, Sophiology, and relations between Russian spiritual and secular authorities in the Eastern Church.
- RUSS 3930: Special Topics
- RUSS 4100: Fluency in Russian
Prerequisite: RUSS 3020 or equivalent, as determined by instructor
Further practice in speaking, listening comprehension, reading, and writing to achieve fluency. Fall or Spring semester.
- RUSS 4150: Topics in Russian Grammar
Prerequisites: RUSS 3010 and RUSS 3020 or equivalent, as determined by instructor
Structural review of the morphology of the verb and the nominals, syntax, and word formation.
- RUSS 4200: Topics in Russian Literature and Film
Prerequisite: RUSS 4010 or equivalent, as determined by instructor
Semester-long study of selected or one genre: short story, novel, poetry. The students will read and discuss selected works of world famous Russian authors and compare them to their screen versions
- RUSS 4110: Language and Linguistics
Cross listed with FR-A4110, GR-A4110 and SP-A4110. An introduction to the basic concepts and application of linguistic studies. Presentation and discussion of three main aspects of language: Linguistic structures, language as a social dimension, and language as a mirror of cognitive process.
- RUSS 4400: Pragmatics of Conversation
- RUSS 4890: Senior Inquiry: Comprehensive Examination
- RUSS 4950: Senior Residency
- RUSS 4960: Inter-Semester Study Abroad
- RUSS 4980: Advanced Independent Study