Russian and Eurasian Studies
Olga Voronina (director), Jonathan Becker, Jonathan Brent, Elizabeth Frank, Marina Kostalevsky, Cecile E. Kuznitz, Sean McMeekin, Oleg Minin
The Russian and Eurasian Studies Program (RES) focuses on the language, literature, history, and culture of Russia, the Soviet Union, and East and East-Central Europe, through a range of interdisciplinary contexts, theoretical perspectives, and analytical approaches. Both Lower and Upper College courses draw upon faculty expertise in history, literature, politics, economics, art, music, culture, and religious studies as they relate to Russia and Eurasia, either separately or in a comparative context.
Proficiency in the Russian language is a key component of the RES major. The Russian course offerings range from beginning to advanced levels, and include opportunities for study in Russia at the Bard-affiliated Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences (Smolny), St. Petersburg State University. Students may choose to specialize in a literature or social science track, or combine Russian and Eurasian Studies with another program of study.
To moderate into RES, a student must complete at least 12 credits of Russian language, one course in Russian literature, and one course from the Division of Social Studies in Russian or Eurasian studies (i.e., history, politics, economics, religion). Native or heritage speakers should consult with their adviser to determine how the language requirement will be adjusted.
For graduation, students should demonstrate language proficiency equivalent to at least the third-year level of Russian. This means taking either the second-year Russian sequence, plus at least one third-year Russian course, or taking Russian classes at Smolny College in St. Petersburg, followed by at least one second-level course and two third- or fourth-level courses at Bard. At least 12 additional credits (three courses) are required in the student’s primary Russian Studies track (either literature or social science). One of these courses must be at the 300 level or above (a major seminar with a substantial research paper). Since the RES curriculum strives for balance and breadth, it is also recommended that one of these courses treat Russia, Eastern Europe, or Eurasia in a comparative context. Also required are at least 4 credits (one additional course) in the other Russian Studies track (either literature or social science) and a Senior Project.
Recent Senior Projects in Russian and Eurasian Studies
- “Anatoly Lunacharsky and Narkompros in Service of Experimental Art in Early Soviet Russia, 1917–29”
- “The Chechen War through the Eyes of Its Victims: A Translation and Analysis of Documentary Writing on the Second Chechen War”
- “See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil: The Poetics of Violence in Isaac Babel’s Red Cavalry”
Opportunities for Practical Experience
RES majors are encouraged to participate in Bard’s study abroad program at Smolny College, a joint initiative of Bard and St. Petersburg State University. Students may enroll in summer intensive Russian language courses and/or semester or academic-year programs at Smolny, where Bard students combine a liberal arts curriculum with linguistic and cultural immersion by taking classes in Russian, side by side with Russian students. For more information, see the “Bard Abroad” chapter in this catalogue.