Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies

This certificate program offers students the opportunity to take advantage of the significant multidisciplinary resources in the Five Colleges on Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia.

The Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (REEES) Certificate Program works to offer students an opportunity to draw on rich resources of the faculty members at the Five Colleges and to coordinate curricula across the five campuses. The program also sponsors special events of interest to students and faculty members working in the field.

Faculty

Catherine Ciepiela (Russian)
Sergey Glebov* (History)
Michael Kunichika (Russian)
Boris Wolfson* (Russian)

*Certificate Advisor

Polina Barskova* (Russian Literature)

*Certificate Advisor

Stephen Jones* (Russian and Eurasian Studies)
Jeremy King (History)
Susanna Nazarova (Russian and Eurasian Studies)
Peter Scotto (Russian and Eurasian Studies)

*Certificate Advisor

Justin Cammy (Jewish Studies, World Literatures)
Sergey Glebov* (History)
Thomas Roberts (Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies)

Vera Shevzov* (Religion)

*Certificate Advisor

Audrey Altstadt (History)
Evgeny Dengub (Russian)

Olga Gershenson (Judaic and Near Eastern Studies)
Julie Hemment* (Anthropology)
Lauren McCarthy (Legal Studies)
Robert Rothstein (Slavic Studies, Emeritus)
Regine Spector (Political Science)

*Certificate Advisor

Certificate Requirements

This certificate program offers students the opportunity to take advantage of the significant multidisciplinary resources in the Five Colleges on Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia. The certificate consists of a minimum of six courses. Courses applied to the certificate may also be used to fulfill major requirements. The list of courses fulfilling particular requirements is maintained and regularly updated by the Five College Committee for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies.

Course Requirements

A. The program's core course, normally taken in the first or second year. The core course is offered every year on a rotating basis at one of the campuses and introduces an interdisciplinary perspective on the historical and contemporary experiences of the peoples of Russia, Eurasia (here understood as the former republics of the Soviet Union) and East (and Central) Europe. The course includes guest lectures by noted specialists in the Five Colleges.

B. Five additional elective courses, distributed as indicated below. (Independent study courses may be included with approval from the student's campus program advisor.) 

C. At least four courses, including the core course, must be taken within the Five Colleges.

Language Requirement

Students receiving the certificate must possess proficiency in a language of one of the certificate regions equivalent to the level achieved after four semesters of post-secondary course work. This proficiency may be demonstrated by course work or examination.

Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to study abroad in one of the certificate regions.

Elective Course Distribution

In choosing the five elective courses satisfying the certificate requirements, the following guidelines should be observed:

Courses should be drawn from more than one of the three geographical areas: Russia, Eurasia (here understood as the former republics of the Soviet Union) and Eastern (and Central) Europe.

  • At least one of the elective courses must focus on a period before the 20th century.
  • At least one course must be taken from each of the following disciplinary categories: history, social sciences and humanities/arts. No single course can fulfill more than one disciplinary distribution requirement. 
  • Elementary or intermediate language courses cannot be included as one of the five electives. A language course beyond the intermediate level can be counted toward one of the electives.
  • Credit for one-time courses, special topics courses and transfer or study abroad courses requires approval from the home campus faculty advisor to the program.

Courses

Fall 2021 Courses

01
4.00

Michael Kunichika

MW 12:00PM-01:20PM

Amherst College
BLST-392-01-2122F

CHAP 203

mkunichika@amherst.edu
RUSS-252-01,BLST-392-01,FAMS-352-01

(Offered as RUSS 252, BLST 392 and FAMS 352) This course focuses on the modes by which race has been represented in Russian and Soviet culture. We approach this topic in two ways: first, we examine how Russian and Soviet culture grappled with questions of race, focusing on episodes in the representation of minority peoples throughout the empire and the Soviet Union; secondly, we consider how Russian and Soviet culture served as a mirror in which minorities from other countries saw their experiences partially reflected or as a source from which they found models to articulate their own experience of race. These two concerns guide us through the course as we study such works as Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground as it enters into dialogue with Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man and Leonid Tsypkin’s Summer in Baden Baden; the representation of Central Asia by such figures as Langston Hughes and Andrei Platonov; the appeal of the Soviet Union to Western intellectuals, in particular African-American thinkers and writers, from W.E.B. Du Bois, Hughes, and Claude McKay; Alexander Pushkin and the question of his “blackness” and universality; the cinematic representation of minorities in the films of Dziga Vertov and Vsevolod Pudovkin. We will draw our critical theoretical models from Homi Bhabha, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Patricia Hall Collins, Johannes Fabian, Stuart Hall, and Mary Louise Pratt, among others.

Fall semester. Professor Kunichika.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Anston Bosman, Catherine Ciepiela

TTH 01:00PM-02:20PM

Amherst College
ENGL-320-01-2122F

NEWP 100

abosman@amherst.edu caciepiela@amherst.edu
EUST-303-01,ENGL-320-01,RUSS-310-01

(Offered as EUST 303, ENGL 320 and RUSS 310) Acts of translation underwrite many kinds of cultural production, often invisibly. Writers of the Harlem Renaissance, for instance, engaged with black internationalism through bilingualism and translation, as Brent Edwards has reminded us. In this course we will study literary translation as a creative practice involved in the making of subjects and cultures. We will read key statements about translation by theorists and translators, such as Walter Benjamin, Roman Jakobson, Lawrence Venuti, Peter Cole and Gayatri Spivak. We also will directly engage in translation work: each student will regularly present translations in a workshop format to produce a portfolio as a final project. The class will be “polyglot,” meaning that students are welcome to translate from any language of which they have knowledge; when they share translations, they will be asked also to provide interlinear, or “literal,” translations for those who may not understand the language they are working in.

Requisite: Two years of college-level study of the chosen language. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. Professors Bosman and Ciepiela. 

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during all registration periods.

01
4.00

Anston Bosman, Catherine Ciepiela

TTH 01:00PM-02:20PM

Amherst College
EUST-303-01-2122F

NEWP 100

abosman@amherst.edu caciepiela@amherst.edu
EUST-303-01,ENGL-320-01,RUSS-310-01

(Offered as EUST 303, ENGL 320 and RUSS 310) Acts of translation underwrite many kinds of cultural production, often invisibly. Writers of the Harlem Renaissance, for instance, engaged with black internationalism through bilingualism and translation, as Brent Edwards has reminded us. In this course we will study literary translation as a creative practice involved in the making of subjects and cultures. We will read key statements about translation by theorists and translators, such as Walter Benjamin, Roman Jakobson, Lawrence Venuti, Peter Cole and Gayatri Spivak. We also will directly engage in translation work: each student will regularly present translations in a workshop format to produce a portfolio as a final project. The class will be “polyglot,” meaning that students are welcome to translate from any language of which they have knowledge; when they share translations, they will be asked also to provide interlinear, or “literal,” translations for those who may not understand the language they are working in.

Requisite: Two years of college-level study of the chosen language. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. Professors Bosman and Ciepiela. 

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during all registration periods.

01
4.00

Michael Kunichika

MW 12:00PM-01:20PM

Amherst College
FAMS-352-01-2122F

CHAP 203

mkunichika@amherst.edu
RUSS-252-01,BLST-392-01,FAMS-352-01

(Offered as RUSS 252, BLST 392 and FAMS 352) This course focuses on the modes by which race has been represented in Russian and Soviet culture. We approach this topic in two ways: first, we examine how Russian and Soviet culture grappled with questions of race, focusing on episodes in the representation of minority peoples throughout the empire and the Soviet Union; secondly, we consider how Russian and Soviet culture served as a mirror in which minorities from other countries saw their experiences partially reflected or as a source from which they found models to articulate their own experience of race. These two concerns guide us through the course as we study such works as Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground as it enters into dialogue with Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man and Leonid Tsypkin’s Summer in Baden Baden; the representation of Central Asia by such figures as Langston Hughes and Andrei Platonov; the appeal of the Soviet Union to Western intellectuals, in particular African-American thinkers and writers, from W.E.B. Du Bois, Hughes, and Claude McKay; Alexander Pushkin and the question of his “blackness” and universality; the cinematic representation of minorities in the films of Dziga Vertov and Vsevolod Pudovkin. We will draw our critical theoretical models from Homi Bhabha, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Patricia Hall Collins, Johannes Fabian, Stuart Hall, and Mary Louise Pratt, among others.

Fall semester. Professor Kunichika.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Tatyana Babyonyshev

MTWTHF 10:00AM-10:50AM

Amherst College
RUSS-101-01-2122F

WEBS 219

tbabyonyshev@amherst.edu

Introduction to the contemporary Russian language, presenting the fundamentals of Russian grammar and syntax. The course helps the student make balanced progress in listening comprehension, speaking, reading, writing, and cultural competence. Five meetings per week.

Limited to 12 students. Fall semester. Senior Lecturer Babyonyshev.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
0.00

Tatyana Babyonyshev

Amherst College
RUSS-101F-01-2122F
tbabyonyshev@amherst.edu

01
4.00

Boris Wolfson

MWF 11:00AM-11:50AM

Amherst College
RUSS-201-01-2122F

WEBS 219

bwolfson@amherst.edu

This course stresses vocabulary building and continued development of speaking and listening skills. Active command of Russian grammar is steadily increased. Readings from authentic materials in fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Brief composition assignments. Five meetings per week, including a conversation hour and a drill session.

Requisite: RUSS 102 or the equivalent. This will ordinarily be the appropriate course placement for students with two to three years of high school Russian. Limited to 12 students. Fall semester. Professor Wolfson.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
0.00

Boris Wolfson

TTH 12:00PM-12:50PM

Amherst College
RUSS-201F-01-2122F

WEBS 219

bwolfson@amherst.edu

01
4.00

Michael Kunichika

MW 12:00PM-01:20PM

Amherst College
RUSS-252-01-2122F

CHAP 203

mkunichika@amherst.edu
RUSS-252-01,BLST-392-01,FAMS-352-01

(Offered as RUSS 252, BLST 392 and FAMS 352) This course focuses on the modes by which race has been represented in Russian and Soviet culture. We approach this topic in two ways: first, we examine how Russian and Soviet culture grappled with questions of race, focusing on episodes in the representation of minority peoples throughout the empire and the Soviet Union; secondly, we consider how Russian and Soviet culture served as a mirror in which minorities from other countries saw their experiences partially reflected or as a source from which they found models to articulate their own experience of race. These two concerns guide us through the course as we study such works as Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground as it enters into dialogue with Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man and Leonid Tsypkin’s Summer in Baden Baden; the representation of Central Asia by such figures as Langston Hughes and Andrei Platonov; the appeal of the Soviet Union to Western intellectuals, in particular African-American thinkers and writers, from W.E.B. Du Bois, Hughes, and Claude McKay; Alexander Pushkin and the question of his “blackness” and universality; the cinematic representation of minorities in the films of Dziga Vertov and Vsevolod Pudovkin. We will draw our critical theoretical models from Homi Bhabha, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Patricia Hall Collins, Johannes Fabian, Stuart Hall, and Mary Louise Pratt, among others.

Fall semester. Professor Kunichika.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Boris Wolfson

TTH 03:00PM-04:20PM

Amherst College
RUSS-257-01-2122F

WEBS 219

bwolfson@amherst.edu
RUSS-257-01,THDA-221-01

(Offered as RUSS 257 and THDA 221) What gives force to our actions, our words, and our creations? How do their meanings shape our experience of ourselves and the world around us? We will examine these fundamental questions by drawing on two scholarly resources: the methods of performance studies and materials drawn from various points in Russia’s cultural history. The field of performance studies asks what makes performances matter, on stage and screen as well as  in our daily lives, and radically expands our idea of what counts as performance, bringing together politics and material culture, psychology and sociology, the past and the present. Performances in this sense, broadly understood—from imperial rituals of power to avant-garde artists’ experiments, from early-Soviet public festivals to intimate diaries, poems to monuments, exquisite jewelry to medal ribbons—have been central to the story of Russia’s continuing transformation. Yet the Russian language has no single word that serves as an adequate equivalent of the English-language concept of “performance.” What, then, do the Russian performances we will examine together— a sampling of specific events, objects, and writings from a range of periods—illuminate for us about the promise, and the limits, of using the idea of performance to understand the complex connections between art and experience, creating and acting? Among our primary sources will be materials from the Amherst Center for Russian Culture; students will have an opportunity to work with rare publications and archival documents from the collection. No knowledge of Russian or previous study of Russian history or performance required; all materials in English. Two 80-minute meetings a week.

Fall semester. Professor Wolfson.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Michael Kunichika

MW 01:30PM-02:50PM

Amherst College
RUSS-301-01-2122F

WEBS 219

mkunichika@amherst.edu

This course advances skills in reading, understanding, writing, and speaking Russian, with materials from twentieth-century culture. Readings include fiction by Chekhov, Babel, Olesha, Nabokov, and others. Conducted in Russian, with frequent writing and grammar assignments, in-class presentations, and occasional translation exercises. Two seminar-style meetings and one hour-long discussion section per week.

Requisite: RUSS 202 or consent of the instructor. First-year students with strong high school preparation (usually 4 or more years) may be ready for this course. Limited to 12 students. Fall semester. Professor Kunichika and Senior Lecturer Babyonyshev.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
0.00

Tatyana Babyonyshev

Amherst College
RUSS-301F-01-2122F
tbabyonyshev@amherst.edu

01
4.00

Anston Bosman, Catherine Ciepiela

TTH 01:00PM-02:20PM

Amherst College
RUSS-310-01-2122F

NEWP 100

abosman@amherst.edu caciepiela@amherst.edu
EUST-303-01,ENGL-320-01,RUSS-310-01

(Offered as EUST 303, ENGL 320 and RUSS 310) Acts of translation underwrite many kinds of cultural production, often invisibly. Writers of the Harlem Renaissance, for instance, engaged with black internationalism through bilingualism and translation, as Brent Edwards has reminded us. In this course we will study literary translation as a creative practice involved in the making of subjects and cultures. We will read key statements about translation by theorists and translators, such as Walter Benjamin, Roman Jakobson, Lawrence Venuti, Peter Cole and Gayatri Spivak. We also will directly engage in translation work: each student will regularly present translations in a workshop format to produce a portfolio as a final project. The class will be “polyglot,” meaning that students are welcome to translate from any language of which they have knowledge; when they share translations, they will be asked also to provide interlinear, or “literal,” translations for those who may not understand the language they are working in.

Requisite: Two years of college-level study of the chosen language. Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. Professors Bosman and Ciepiela. 

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during all registration periods.

01
4.00

Tatyana Babyonyshev

TTH 05:00PM-06:20PM

Amherst College
RUSS-401-01-2122F

WEBS 215

tbabyonyshev@amherst.edu

The topic changes every year. Taught entirely in Russian. Two class meetings per week.

Fall semester. Senior Lecturer Babyonyshev.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Boris Wolfson

TTH 03:00PM-04:20PM

Amherst College
THDA-221-01-2122F

WEBS 219

bwolfson@amherst.edu
RUSS-257-01,THDA-221-01

01
4.00

Stephen Jones

TTH 03:15PM-04:30PM

Mount Holyoke College
115458

Reese 324

sfjones@mtholyoke.edu
115082,115458
Russia was transformed by communist revolution into a global superpower that challenged the dominant ideologies of liberalism and nationalism. It became a powerful alternative to capitalism. In 1991, this imperial state collapsed and underwent an economic, political, and cultural revolution. What explains the Soviet Union's success for 70 years and its demise in 1991? What sort of country is Russia as it enters the twenty-first century? Is it a democracy? How has Russia's transformation affected ordinary people and Russia's relationship to the West?
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Stephen Jones

M 01:30PM-04:20PM

Mount Holyoke College
115467

Skinner Hall 212

sfjones@mtholyoke.edu
115084,115467
By the 1980s, after the failure of Marxist revolutions, scholars and politicians declared that "history" and with it, the age of revolution was over. From now on, they said, all states will move toward the model of market capitalism. But the last decade of the 20th century and the first fifteen years of the 21st century have shown that history, and with it, revolution, is far from over. We will look at the American and Russian revolutions, at Nazism, the Iranian revolution of 1979, Eastern Europe in 1989, the 'colored revolutions,' and the Arab Spring. Revolutions are still with us, and we will study why.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Daniel Brooks

MWF 08:30AM-09:45AM

Mount Holyoke College
115077

Ciruti 113

dbrooks@mtholyoke.edu
The four-skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) introduction to the Russian Language with the focus on communicative skills development. Major structural topics include pronunciation and intonation, all six cases, basic conjugation patterns, and verbal aspect. By the end of the course the students will be able to initiate and sustain conversation on basic topics, write short compositions, read short authentic texts and comprehend their meaning, develop an understanding of the Russian culture through watching films and listening to songs.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
0.00

Daniel Brooks

W 02:00PM-02:50PM

Mount Holyoke College
115078

Ciruti 211

dbrooks@mtholyoke.edu

02
0.00

Daniel Brooks

TH 10:00AM-10:50AM

Mount Holyoke College
115079

Ciruti 211

dbrooks@mtholyoke.edu

03
0.00

Daniel Brooks

TH 03:15PM-04:05PM

Mount Holyoke College
116328

Ciruti 211

dbrooks@mtholyoke.edu

01
4.00

Peter Scotto

MW 01:45PM-03:00PM

Mount Holyoke College
115081

Williston Memorial Library 618

pscotto@mtholyoke.edu
In no other culture has literature occupied the central role it enjoyed in nineteenth-century Russia. Political, social, and historical constraints propelled Russian writers into the roles of witness, prophet, and sage. Yet, far from being limited to the vast, dark 'Big Question' novels of legend, Russian literature offers much humor, lyricism, and fantasy. We will focus on the Russian novel as a reaction to western European forms of narrative and consider the recurring pattern of the strong heroine and the weak hero. Authors will include: Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Chekhov.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Stephen Jones

TTH 03:15PM-04:30PM

Mount Holyoke College
115082

Reese 324

sfjones@mtholyoke.edu
115082,115458
Russia was transformed by communist revolution into a global superpower that challenged the dominant ideologies of liberalism and nationalism. It became a powerful alternative to capitalism. In 1991, this imperial state collapsed and underwent an economic, political, and cultural revolution. What explains the Soviet Union's success for 70 years and its demise in 1991? What sort of country is Russia as it enters the twenty-first century? Is it a democracy? How has Russia's transformation affected ordinary people and Russia's relationship to the West?
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Stephen Jones

M 01:30PM-04:20PM

Mount Holyoke College
115084

Skinner Hall 212

sfjones@mtholyoke.edu
115084,115467
By the 1980s, after the failure of Marxist revolutions, scholars and politicians declared that "history" and with it, the age of revolution was over. From now on, they said, all states will move toward the model of market capitalism. But the last decade of the 20th century and the first fifteen years of the 21st century have shown that history, and with it, revolution, is far from over. We will look at the American and Russian revolutions, at Nazism, the Iranian revolution of 1979, Eastern Europe in 1989, the 'colored revolutions,' and the Arab Spring. Revolutions are still with us, and we will study why.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Justin Daniel Cammy

M W 1:20 PM - 2:35 PM

Smith College
JUD-284-01-202201

Seelye 308

jcammy@smith.edu
The modern history of the largest Jewish community in the world, from life under the Russian tsars until its extermination in World War II. Topics include Jewish political autonomy under the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth; the shifting effects on Jews in Russian, Soviet and Polish society of Partition, tsarist legislation, Revolution, Sovietization and the emergence of the modern nation-state; the folkways and domestic culture of Ashkenaz; competition between new forms of ecstatic religious expression and Jewish Enlightenment thought; the rise of mass politics (Zionism, Socialism, Diaspora Nationalism, Yiddishism) and the role of language (Yiddish, Hebrew, Russian, Polish) in the creation of secular Jewish identity; and the tension between memory and nostalgia in the aftermath of the Holocaust. Concludes with an analysis of the recently opened Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. Enrollment limited to 18.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Vera Shevzov,Thomas Lee Roberts

TU TH 10:50 AM - 12:05 PM

Smith College
REL-140-01-202201

Seelye 201

vshevzov@smith.edu,troberts@smith.edu
RES 140-01, REL 140-01
Offered as RES 140 and REL 140. Often portrayed as hostile to the West, Vladimir Putin and the Russia he rules remain little known. Going beyond the headlines, this course examines contemporary Russia, and historical events and figures that have shaped Putin-era Russia. We will trace the culture wars that have ensued in this post-communist and post-atheist state, across historical documents, art, film, literature, and journalism. Topics include state power and political opposition; the resurgence of religion, and tensions between religion and the secular in the public sphere; debates over the Soviet past, including revolution, war and political terror; human rights and "traditional values."
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
5.00

Ilona Sotnikova

M W F 10:50 AM - 12:05 PM

Smith College
RES-100Y-01-202201

Hatfield 107

isotnikova@smith.edu
The four-skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) introduction to the Russian language with the focus on communicative skills development. Major structural topics include pronunciation and intonation, all six cases, all tenses and verbal aspect. By the end of the course, students are able to sustain conversation on basic topics, write short compositions, read short authentic texts, as well as develop an understanding of Russian culture through watching, discussing and writing on movies, short stories, folk tales and poems. This is a full-year course. Yearlong courses cannot be divided at midyear with credit for the first semester.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Daniel Brooks

TU TH 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM

Smith College
RES-126-01-202201

Hatfield 107

dbrooks97@smith.edu
Populated with many unique and eccentric characters — from revolutionary socialists to runaway human noses — nineteenth-century Russian literature displays a startling experimentation and innovation that advanced Russia to the vanguard of Western literature. Encompassing poetry, fiction, and journalism, this survey explores how authors such as Pushkin, Gogol, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Chekhov positioned literature at the center of public discourse, as a venue for addressing important philosophical, political, religious, and social issues, including gender and class relations; personal and national identity; and the role of the writer in public life.Conducted in English. No previous knowledge of Russian is required.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Vera Shevzov,Thomas Lee Roberts

TU TH 10:50 AM - 12:05 PM

Smith College
RES-140-01-202201

Seelye 201

vshevzov@smith.edu,troberts@smith.edu
RES 140-01, REL 140-01
Offered as RES 140 and REL 140. Often portrayed as hostile to the West, Vladimir Putin and the Russia he rules remain little known. Going beyond the headlines, this course examines contemporary Russia, and historical events and figures that have shaped Putin-era Russia. We will trace the culture wars that have ensued in this post-communist and post-atheist state, across historical documents, art, film, literature, and journalism. Topics include state power and political opposition; the resurgence of religion, and tensions between religion and the secular in the public sphere; debates over the Soviet past, including revolution, war and political terror; human rights and "traditional values."
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Ilona Sotnikova

M W F 9:25 AM - 10:40 AM

Smith College
RES-221-01-202201

Hatfield 107

isotnikova@smith.edu
The first half of a two-semester sequence. Students practice all four language modalities: reading, listening, writing and speaking. The course incorporates a variety of activities that are based on a range of topics, text types and different socio-cultural situations. Authentic texts (poems, short stories, TV programs, films, songs and articles) are used to create the context for reviewing and expanding on grammar, syntax and vocabulary. Prerequisite: RES 100Y or equivalent.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Ilona Sotnikova

TU TH 1:20 PM - 2:35 PM

Smith College
RES-331-01-202201

Hatfield 107

isotnikova@smith.edu
This course aims at expansion of students' vocabulary and improvement of reading, writing, and speaking skills. The course is intended for students who have completed at least four semesters of Russian or the equivalent. Heritage learners of Russian (those who speak the language) will also benefit from the course. With a strong emphasis on integrating vocabulary in context, this course aims to help students advance their lexicon and grammar, increase fluency, and overcome speaking inhibitions. We will read and discuss a variety of texts in the original Russian including articles, short stories, and poems. Prerequisite: RES 222 or permission of the instructor.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
3.00

Audrey Altstadt

TU TH 10:00AM 11:15AM

UMass Amherst
15599

Herter Hall room 225

altstadt@history.umass.edu
This course examines events and ideas of Russia's revolutionary period from circa 1900 to the revolutions of 1917 and then the mechanisms of establishing Soviet power until about 1921. We will include the history of intellectual and social trends that form the basis of later revolutions and consider the Russian Empire and the USSR as multinational empires in which the non-Russians at times had their own interpretations of socialist and nationalist thought.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during all registration periods.

01
3.00

Audrey Altstadt

TU TH 1:00PM 2:15PM

UMass Amherst
15581

Bartlett Hall room 206

altstadt@history.umass.edu
Our topic is the politics and impact of energy (especially oil and gas) on democratization and human rights in the Caspian basin in historical and current strategic context. This course will address pluralistic perspectives and awareness of cultural difference and one's self as learner; effective oral and written communication; effective collaborative work; creative and analytical thinking and problem solving; application of methods of analysis to real world problems, and evaluating the consequences and implications of choices and actions. Assignments will be written and oral including evaluation of readings and two role-playing exercises.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during all registration periods.

01
4.00

Olga Gershenson

M W 2:30PM 3:45PM

UMass Amherst
16395

Herter Hall room 205

gershenson@umass.edu
This course explores Jewish life in Eastern Europe from the perspective of cultural studies. Particular emphasis is on origins of Soviet-Jewish culture, ethnicity, and identity, interaction with the surrounding society, immigration, Jews under communism, Holocaust, and transformation of Russian Jewish life in the twentieth century. Readings from various historical and literary sources; excerpts from film and media. (Gen.Ed. HS, DG)
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
3.00

Lauren McCarthy

TU TH 1:00PM 2:15PM

UMass Amherst
16987

Lederle Grad Res Tower rm 123

mccarthy@legal.umass.edu
19489,22172
Since 2000, Russia has turned from a country reeling from a transition away from Communism to a strong state with a renewed sense of national identity and purpose. Yet there are important questions still to be asked and answered about where Russia is headed. This class will give students the analytical tools and the historical background to understand and intelligently debate and discuss the past, present and future of Russia. Students will gain a comprehensive view of both Western and Russian perspectives on Russia?s development over the past century and to look at both high politics and every-day life. This broad sweep will help with understanding the political, economic, legal and social patterns that we see today.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
3.00

Lauren McCarthy

TU TH 1:00PM 2:15PM

UMass Amherst
19489

Lederle Grad Res Tower rm 123

mccarthy@legal.umass.edu
16987,22172
Since 2000, Russia has turned from a country reeling from a transition away from Communism to a strong state with a renewed sense of national identity and purpose. Yet there are important questions still to be asked and answered about where Russia is headed. This class will give students the analytical tools and the historical background to understand and intelligently debate and discuss the past, present and future of Russia. Students will gain a comprehensive view of both Western and Russian perspectives on Russia?s development over the past century and to look at both high politics and every-day life. This broad sweep will help with understanding the political, economic, legal and social patterns that we see today.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
3.00

Krzysztof Rowinski

M W F 9:05AM 9:55AM

UMass Amherst
19675

Herter Hall room 746

krowinski@umass.edu
First semester of four-skill language course. Develops basic fluency in speaking, reading, and writing.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
3.00

Jeremi Marek Szaniawski

TU TH 2:30PM 3:45PM

UMass Amherst
19674

Herter Hall room 746

jszaniawski@umass.edu
Increases basic fluency in speaking, reading, and writing. Prerequisite: POLISH 120 or equivalent.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Anna Shkireva

M W F 2:30PM 3:45PM

UMass Amherst
20389

Herter Hall room 202

ashkireva@umass.edu
Beginning of four-skill language course. Russian spoken in class, grammar introduced gradually. Regular written assignments to develop proficiency in all four language skills. No previous language experience required.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Anna Shkireva

M W F 4:00PM 5:15PM

UMass Amherst
20391

Herter Hall room 202

ashkireva@umass.edu
Emphasis on grammar, simple conversation and readings. Conducted primarily in Russian. Prerequisite: RUSSIAN 120 or equivalent.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
3.00

Anna Shkireva

M W F 11:15AM 12:05PM

UMass Amherst
20394

Herter Hall room 204

ashkireva@umass.edu
Conducted in Russian. Grammatical structure, principles of word building, exercises, translation, readings, close analysis of texts. Goal: understanding lectures in Russian; ability to respond with some degree of fluency; vocabulary sufficient to be able to read using a dictionary. Prerequisite: a year of intermediate Russian or equivalent.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
3.00

Lauren McCarthy

TU TH 1:00PM 2:15PM

UMass Amherst
22172

Lederle Grad Res Tower rm 123

mccarthy@legal.umass.edu
16987,19489
Since 2000, Russia has turned from a country reeling from a transition away from Communism to a strong state with a renewed sense of national identity and purpose. Yet there are important questions still to be asked and answered about where Russia is headed. This class will give students the analytical tools and the historical background to understand and intelligently debate and discuss the past, present and future of Russia. Students will gain a comprehensive view of both Western and Russian perspectives on Russia?s development over the past century and to look at both high politics and every-day life. This broad sweep will help with understanding the political, economic, legal and social patterns that we see today.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

Spring 2022 Five College Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies Courses

01
4.00

Tatyana Babyonyshev

MWF 10:00AM-10:50AM

Amherst College
RUSS-102-01-2122S
tbabyonyshev@amherst.edu

Continuation of RUSS 101.

Requisite: RUSS 101 or equivalent. Limited to 12 students per section. Spring semester. Senior Lecturer Babyonyshev.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
0.00

Tatyana Babyonyshev

TTH 10:00AM-10:50AM

Amherst College
RUSS-102F-01-2122S
tbabyonyshev@amherst.edu

01
4.00

Catherine Ciepiela

TTH 11:30AM-12:50PM

Amherst College
RUSS-111-01-2122S
caciepiela@amherst.edu

This introduction to Russian culture and history examines Russia’s vast and varied contributions to world culture, from literature and the arts to intellectual and political history. Setting aside cultural commonplaces about Russia—from borscht to nesting dolls and vodka—and various clichés of Russia as some enigmatic, reason-defying civilization, this course considers Russia’s ongoing development as it responds to the world and fashions its own forms of art, culture, and thought. The course will survey Russian culture and history from the early eighteenth century to the present, a broad span of time in which we see periods of upheaval and change to which its writers, artists, and intellectuals gave artistic and intellectual expression. We will be guided throughout the course by such questions as: How has Russia imagined its place in the world and in world culture? How has it responded to developments from abroad in fashioning its own culture? What is distinctive about Russia’s literary, visual, and performing styles? What can Russian cultural history tell us about the ways people experience, negotiate, and navigate multiple identities in a single polity stretching from Germany to Alaska? About class and gender politics?

This course will draw upon the rich holdings of the Amherst Center for Russian Culture and the Mead Art Museum, which, together, form a premier teaching and research collection of Russia’s culture history in the West. Each module of the course will, for example, focus upon an archival, verbal, or visual artifact held in these collections, using it as a springboard to consider broader themes of Russian culture and history. 

Spring Semester. Professor Ciepiela.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Boris Wolfson

MW 04:00PM-05:20PM

Amherst College
RUSS-122-01-2122S
bwolfson@amherst.edu

Who is to blame? What is to be done? How can we love, and how should we die? In an age when such larger-than-life questions animated urgent debates about self and society, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Anton Chekhov and other writers whose famous shorter works we’ll read in this course reinvented the idea of literature itself. Political terrorism and non-violent resistance, women’s rights and imperial expansion, quests for social justice and personal happiness: as nineteenth-century Russian authors explored the cultural anxieties provoked by these challenges of modernity, their ambition was not to mirror experience but to transform it by interpreting its deepest secrets. This is an introduction to the daring, contradictory visions of life and art that forever changed how we do things with words. No familiarity with Russian history or culture expected. All readings in English.

Spring Semester. Professor Wolfson. 

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Sergey Glebov

TTH 08:30AM-09:50AM

Amherst College
RUSS-130-01-2122S
sglebov@amherst.edu
HIST-112-01,ASLC-112-01,EUST-112-01,RUSS-130-01

(Offered as HIST 112 [AS/EUCP], ASLC 112, EUST 112 and RUSS 130) In the course of five hundred years, the Russian empire in Eurasia evolved as the largest territorial polity in the world. In this course, we will explore the medieval foundations of the imperial state and look at its predecessors and models (Kievan Rus’ and the empire of the Mongols), discuss ways in which cooperation and resistance shaped the imperial state and society, and study cultural and political entanglements among different ethnic, linguistic and confessional groups in Eurasia. Chronologically, we will cover the period from the tenth century to the crisis of the empire in the early twentieth century. Thematically, we will focus on structures of imperial state and society (the imperial house, peasantry, nobility, confessions, intelligentsia, revolutionary movement) and most important regions of the Russian Empire (Ukraine, the Caucasus, the Baltics, Siberia, Central Asia). Two class meetings per week.

Spring semester. Professor Glebov.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Catherine Ciepiela

MWF -

Amherst College
RUSS-202-01-2122S
caciepiela@amherst.edu

01
0.00

Catherine Ciepiela

TTH -

Amherst College
RUSS-202F-01-2122S
caciepiela@amherst.edu

01
4.00

Daniel Brooks

TTH 01:00PM-02:20PM

Amherst College
RUSS-274-01-2122S
danbrooks@amherst.edu
Russia stretches from Europe to Asia, and its vast tundra, steppe, and forests have been conceptualized in many ways throughout history: as a rich paradise or an inhospitable hell; a meaningless, empty space or site of limitless potential and transformation; a foe to be conquered or a guarantor of freedom. Russia’s specific geographical circumstances and complex political and cultural legacies have produced a unique understanding of the natural world. This course will consider that understanding through a cross-disciplinary lens, exploring how changes in Russian culture, science, and the environment all influenced one another. We will encounter works of fiction, nonfiction, visual art, cinema, history, philosophy, and natural science—and, through Russians’ eyes, ponder what the future of our planet might look like.
 
Two 80-minute meetings a week. Spring semester. Five College Lecturer Daniel Brooks.
Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Boris Wolfson

MW 01:30PM-02:50PM

Amherst College
RUSS-302-01-2122S
bwolfson@amherst.edu

01
2.00

Tatyana Babyonyshev

Amherst College
RUSS-304H-01-2122S
tbabyonyshev@amherst.edu

A half course designed for intermediate-level students who wish to develop their fluency, pronunciation, oral comprehension, and writing skills. We will study and discuss Russian films of various genres. Two hours per week.

Requisite: RUSS 301 or consent of the instructor. Omitted 2021-22. Senior Lecturer Babyonyshev.

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

01
4.00

Stanley Rabinowitz

T 02:00PM-05:00PM

Amherst College
RUSS-317-01-2122S
sjrabinowitz@amherst.edu

A course that examines the stories and novels of rebels, deviants, dissidents, loners, and losers in some of the weirdest fictions in Russian literature. The writers, most of whom imagine themselves to be every bit as bizarre as their heroes, include from the nineteenth century: Gogol (“Viy,” “Diary of a Madman,” “Ivan Shponka and His Aunt,” “The Nose,” “The Overcoat”); Dostoevsky (“The Double,” “A Gentle Creature,” “Bobok,” “The Dream of a Ridiculous Man”); Tolstoy (“The Kreutzer Sonata,” “Father Sergius”), and from the twentieth century: Olesha (Envy); Platonov (The Foundation Pit); Kharms’ (Stories); Bulgakov (The Master and Margarita); Nabokov (The Eye, Despair); Erofeev (Moscow Circles); Pelevin (“The Yellow Arrow”). Our goal will be less to construct a canon of strangeness than to consider closely how estranged women, men, animals, and objects become the center of narrative attention and, in doing so, reflect the writer Tatyana Tolstaya’s claim that “Russia is broader and more diverse, stranger and more contradictory than any idea of it. It resists all theories about what makes it tick, confounds all the paths to its possible transformation.” All readings in English translation.

Not open to first-year students. Limited to 15 students. Spring semester. Professor Emeritus Rabinowitz

Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

Study Abroad

Semester and Academic Year Programs

American Councils Study Abroad

Study abroad for a semester or academic year. Operated in Moscow (Moscow International University), St. Petersburg (St. Petersburg State Pedagogical University) or Vladimir (KORA Center for Russian Culture). Offers a range of programs: Russian Language and Area Studies, Business Russian Language and Internship and Russian Heritage Speakers Program.

Council on International Educational Exchange: St. Petersburg

Study abroad for a semester or academic year. Operated through St. Petersburg State University. Geared toward intermediate and advanced students. Emphasis on language study with electives in literature, culture and history.

Council on International Educational Exchange: Prague

Study abroad for a semester or academic year. Central European Studies program run by CIEE, with courses available at Charles University and Prague Film and Television School. Czech language classes in addition to Czech literature, culture and film.  

C.V. Starr- Middlebury College School in Russia

Study abroad for a semester or academic year. Run by Middlebury College for intermediate and advanced Russian speakers, with an emphasis on intensive immersion. Choice of three program locations: Irkutsk (Irkutsk State University), Moscow (Russian State University for the Humanities) or Yaroslavl (Yaroslavl State Pedagogical University). 

Herzen University 

Study abroad for an academic year (although flexibility is possible). Programs in Russian language, history and culture. Students need to discuss transfer of credit arrangement with school in advance.  

Study abroad for a semester or academic year (individualized plans of study). Most courses taught in Russian, with some English-language electives. 

Study abroad for a semester. Mathematics and/or computer science intensive curriculum, with electives in other areas including Russian language and culture. All courses taught in English.

Moscow State Institute of International Relations

Study abroad for a semester or academic year. Designed for advanced level Russian speakers, with all classes conducted in Russian. Combines Russian language instruction with courses on international relations, diplomacy and economics.  

National Theater Institute: Moscow Art Theater (MATS)

Study abroad for a semester. Taught at Moscow Arts Theater, with emphasis on intensive theatrical training (acting, movement, voice, design and Russian language).

School of Russian and Asiatic Studies

Study abroad for a semester or academic year (with the possibility of a flexible program design). Russian as a Second Language Program, with emphasis on intensive language learning. Offered locations: St. Petersburg, Irkutsk, Moscow, Vladivostok, Kiev and Bishkek.

University of Arizona: Russia Abroad

Study abroad for a semester or academic year. Run by the University of Arizona, with choice of locations in Moscow (Moscow Humanities University) or St. Petersburg (St. Petersburg State University). Open to all levels of Russian speakers. 

Vassar College European University

Study abroad for a semester. Program operated by Vassar College, with classes taught at the Hermitage Museum, the Russian Museum and the European University. Art history focus with language component. 

Vladivostok State University of Economics and Service

Study abroad for a semester or academic year (second semester entails continued language and internship/research project). Strong language component in addition to courses on history, economics and international relations in relation to the Russian Far East. Courses taught in English, but Russian readings/assignments available for advanced students.  

CET: Central European Studies 

Study abroad for a semester or academic year. Organized by CET Academic Programs, a study abroad organization. Programs based in Prague. Choice of Central European Studies, Film Production, Jewish Studies or New Media.  

NYU Prague

Study abroad for a semester or academic year. Program run and operated by New York University. Non-NYU students apply as visiting students. Full range of courses, including language courses in Czech, Polish and Russian. 

Contact Us

Program Director:

Sergey GlebovFive College Associate Professor of History

Five College Staff Liaison:

Ray Rennard, Director of Academic Programs