Contacts | Program of Study | Program Requirements  | Grading | Honors | Advising | Study Abroad | Summary of Requirements for the Major in Russian and East European Studies | Minor Program in Russian and East European Studies | Courses

Department Website: http://slavic.uchicago.edu

Program of Study

The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures offers courses in the Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Czech, Polish, and Russian languages and literatures, and other Slavic and East European cultures, leading to a BA in Russian and East European Studies. The BA degree program is designed to provide students with skills and facility in the languages and cultures of the region. It is intended for students preparing for graduate work, those planning a career in government or industry, and those whose primary aim is to master Russian and East European cultures in the original languages. Students interested in the program are encouraged to consult with the director of undergraduate studies. The contact information for the current director of undergraduate studies may be obtained by consulting the Departmental website at slavic.uchicago.edu.

Students who are majoring in other fields of study may also complete a minor in Russian and East European Studies.

Program Requirements 

Major in Russian and East European Studies (REES)The BA in REES requires twelve courses, which fall into three categories: courses in the major language of study; courses that demonstrate a core competency in the major literature and culture of study; and elective courses. Students have flexibility to construct a course of study that accords with their interests.

1. Six language courses at the 20000 level or above. This requirement may be satisfied in whole or in part by examination credit based on a University placement exam. Students who fulfill the language requirement with fewer than three quarters of study must substitute elective courses offered in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. Introductory courses in another Slavic or East European language qualify as substitute electives for the purposes of this requirement.

2. Two REES courses with numbers between 20000 and 25799.

3. Four elective courses. Up to two non-REES courses in related areas of study may be applied toward the major with the prior approval of the director of undergraduate studies. A maximum of one Reading and Research course (REES 29700 Reading/Research: Russian and Eastern European Studies) may be counted as an elective course.

Courses in the major may not be double-counted with general education requirements. 

NOTE: Students who entered the University prior to Autumn 2015 may choose to fulfill the requirements here or those that were in place when they entered the University. For questions about course eligibility, contact the director of undergraduate studies.

Grading

Students who are majoring or minoring in Russian and East European Studies must receive a quality grade in all courses taken to meet requirements in the major or minor. Nonmajors and nonminors have the option of taking courses on a P/F basis at the discretion of the instructor (except for language courses, which must be taken for quality grades).

Honors

To be eligible for honors in Russian and East European Studies, students must maintain an overall College GPA of 3.25 or higher and of 3.5 or higher in the major. Students must indicate their intention to pursue honors to the director of undergraduate studies no later than the end of the first week of the first quarter of their fourth year.

In addition, students pursuing honors must write an acceptable BA paper in their final year under the supervision of a faculty member in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. Students must submit the BA paper to the BA supervisor no later than Friday of fifth week in Spring Quarter of their fourth year.

At the latest by the Autumn Quarter of their fourth year, students should begin the BA process by consulting with the director of undergraduate studies. Students may register for the BA Paper seminar (REES 29900 BA Paper Workshop) with approval of the BA supervisor. This course will confer general College elective credit, but it will not count toward the major. If the completed bachelor’s paper is judged by the supervisor and a second faculty member to be a distinguished example of original research or criticism, the student is recommended to the College for graduation with honors in Russian and East European Studies. The final decision regarding the granting of any degree with honors rests with the Collegiate divisional master.

Advising

Students wishing to declare the major should meet with the director of undergraduate studies. Further information on the undergraduate program is available in the departmental office (Foster 406, 773.702.8033). Questions about placement, competency, and proficiency examinations in Russian should be directed to the coordinator of Russian language courses.

Study Abroad

Several study abroad opportunities are offered in subjects and geographic areas of interest to students who are majoring in Russian and East European Studies, including those described below. For more information, students should consult with the study abroad advisers or visit study-abroad.uchicago.edu.

  1. Smolny College: The University of Chicago sponsors summer, semester-long, and year-long programs at Smolny College, a joint Russian-American college in St. Petersburg. College-level courses are taught in Russian and English on a broad range of subjects, as well as language courses.
  2. Europe East and West Program: A three-part sequence of courses is taught by University of Chicago faculty at the Chicago Center in Paris. The Europe East & West Program focuses on the history of cultural relations between East and West Europe and includes an excursion to a major East European capital city.
  3. FLAG study: Students who wish to do a summer study abroad program can apply for a Foreign Language Acquisition Grant (FLAG) that is administered by the College and provides support for a minimum of eight weeks of study at a recognized summer program abroad. Students must have completed RUSS 10300 First-Year Russian III or its equivalent to be eligible for FLAG support for the study of Russian. For more information, visit study-abroad.uchicago.edu/programs/byType/summer-grants.

Summary of Requirements for the Major in Russian and East European Studies

Six courses in Russian or an East European language at the 20000 level or above *600
Two REES courses numbered 20000 to 25799200
Four elective courses (must include at least two REES courses)400
Total Units1200
*

Credit may be granted by examination. Up to three quarters worth of placement credit can be counted toward the major. When more than half of the language requirement (the equivalent of four to six quarters of study) is met by examination, electives in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures must be substituted for the additional quarters of language credit granted (i.e., if a student places out of four quarters of language study, one elective course must be substituted into the major. If five quarters of credit are granted, two electives must be substituted, etc.) For purposes of this requirement, introductory courses in another Slavic or East European language can be substituted as electives.

General Education

Depending on the language(s) of concentration, it is recommended that students majoring in REES satisfy the Civilization Studies requirement with SOSC 24000-24100 Introduction to Russian Civilization I-II or HIST 13100-13200-13300 History of Western Civilization I-II-III.

Minor Program in Russian and East European Studies

The minor in Russian and East European Studies requires seven courses, including at least three language courses at the 200 level or higher and at least two REES courses.

Students who elect to complete the minor program must meet with the director of undergraduate studies before the end of Spring Quarter of their third year to declare their intention to complete the minor. Students choose courses in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies. The approval of the director of undergraduate studies for the minor program should be submitted to a student's College adviser by the deadline above on a form obtained from the College adviser.

Courses in the minor (1) may not be double counted with the student’s major(s) or with other minors and (2) may not be counted toward general education requirements. Courses in the minor must be taken for quality grades, and more than half of the requirements for the minor must be met by registering for courses bearing University of Chicago course numbers.

Summary of Requirements for the Minor in Russian and East European Studies

Three second-year courses in a Russian or East European language *300
Four elective courses (including at least two REES courses)400
Total Units700

*Credit may be granted by examination.

Slavic Languages and Literatures - Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian Courses

BCSN 10103-10203-10303. First-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian I-II-III.

The major objective of the sequence is to build a solid foundation in the basic grammatical patterns of written and spoken Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, while simultaneously introducing both the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets. This sequence is complemented with cultural and historical media from the Balkans and is designed for students with a wide range of interests. Screenings of movies and other audio-visual materials are held in addition to scheduled class time. Knowledge of a Slavic language and background in linguistics not required.

BCSN 10103. First-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian I. 100 Units.

In this introductory course of a three-course sequence in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (BCS) languages and cultures, students are encouraged to concentrate on the language of their interest and choice. The major objective is to build a solid foundation in the grammatical patterns of written and spoken BCS, while introducing both the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets. This is achieved through a communicative situation-based approach, textbook dialogues, reinforcement by the instructor, screenings of film shorts, TV announcements, documentaries, commercials, and the like. The course includes a sociolinguistic component, an essential part of understanding the similarities and differences between the languages. Mandatory drill sessions are held twice per week, offering students ample opportunity to review and practice materials presented in class.

Instructor(s): Nada Petkovic     Terms Offered: Autumn

BCSN 10203. First-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian II. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): Nada Petkovic     Terms Offered: Winter

BCSN 10303. First-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian III. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): Nada Petkovic     Terms Offered: Spring

BCSN 20103-20203-20303. Second-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian I-II-III.

The second-year sequence in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian languages and cultures is a continuation of first-year BCS and therefore assumes one year of formal study of the target language(s) or equivalent course work elsewhere. The sequence is focused on spoken and written modern BCS, emphasizing communicative practice in authentic cultural contexts. The language(s) are introduced through a series of dialogues gathered from a variety of textbooks published in Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia, as well as newspaper articles, short biographies, poems, and song lyrics in both the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets. A vast archive of audiovisual materials, representing both high and popular culture, constitutes an integral part of every unit. Simultaneously, aural comprehension, speaking, grammar, and vocabulary are reinforced and further developed throughout the year. Mandatory drill sessions are held twice a week, offering students ample opportunity to review and practice materials presented in class.

BCSN 20103. Second-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian I. 100 Units.

The first quarter is devoted to an overview of grammar, with emphasis on verbal morphology and syntax, through the reading of a series of literary texts in both the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets.

Instructor(s): Nada Petkovic     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): BCSN 10303 or consent of instructor

BCSN 20203. Second-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian II. 100 Units.

The second and third quarters are devoted to further developing active mastery of Bosian/Croatian/Serbian through continued readings, grammar drills, compositions, and conversational practice. Study of word formation, nominal and adjectival morphology, and syntax are emphasized. Screenings of movies and other audio-visual materials are held in addition to scheduled class time.

Instructor(s): Nada Petkovic     Terms Offered: Winter

BCSN 20303. Second-Year Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian III. 100 Units.

The second and third quarters are devoted to further developing active mastery of Bosian/Croatian/Serbian through continued readings, grammar drills, compositions, and conversational practice. Study of word formation, nominal and adjectival morphology, and syntax are emphasized. Screenings of movies and other audio-visual materials are held in addition to scheduled class time.

Instructor(s): Nada Petkovic     Terms Offered: Spring

BCSN 21101. Advanced Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian: Language through Fiction. 100 Units.

Advanced BCS courses encompass both the 3rd and 4th years of language study, with the focus changed from language structure and grammar to issues in interdisciplinary content. The courses are not in sequence. Language through Fiction is designed to help students and instructors over one of the most difficult hurdles in language training—the transition from working through lessons in a textbook to reading unedited texts. Literature represents the greatest development of the expressive possibilities of a language and reveals the bounds within which language operates. The texts will immerse motivated language students in a complete language experience, as the passages and related exercises present the language’s structure on every page. Students will learn how to engage the natural, organic language of a literary text across a variety of styles and themes. The course assumes that students are familiar with basic grammar and vocabulary, as well as both the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets. It is particularly appealing to students who are interested in the literature, history, and anthropology of the region.

Instructor(s): Nada Petkovic     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): REES 31103,BCSN 31101,REES 21100

BCSN 21200. Advanced Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian: Language through Film. 100 Units.

Advanced BCS courses encompass both the 3rd and 4th years of language study, with the focus changed from language structure and grammar to issues in interdisciplinary content. The courses are not in sequence. This course addresses the theme of Yugoslav and Post-Yugoslav identity through discussion and interpretation based on selected films, documentaries, images, and related texts—historical and literary, popular press, advertisements, screenplays, and literature e on film. Emphasis is on interpersonal communication as well as the interpretation and production of language in written and oral forms. The course engages in systematic grammar review, along with introduction of some new linguistic topics, with constant practice in writing and vocabulary enrichment. The syllabus includes the screening of six films, each from a different director, region, and period, starting with Cinema Komunisto (2012), a documentary by Mila Turajlic. This film will be crucial for understanding how Yugoslav cinema was born and how, in its origins, it belongs to what a later cinephile, Fredric Jameson, has called a “geopolitical aesthetic.” We shall investigate the complex relationship between aesthetics and ideology in the Yugoslav and Post-Yugoslav cinema, and pay close attention to aesthetic conceptions and concrete formal properties, and more importantly, to language, narrative logic, and style.

Instructor(s): Nada Petkovic     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): BCSN 31203,REES 21200,REES 31203

BCSN 21300. (Re)Branding the Balkan City:Contemp. Belgrade/Sarajevo/Zagreb. 100 Units.

The course will use an urban studies lens to explore the complex history, infrastructure, and transformations of these three cities, now the capitals of Serbia, Bosnia and Hercegovina, and Croatia. Drawing on anthropological theory and ethnography of the city, we will consider processes of urban destruction and renewal, practices of branding spaces and identities, urban life as praxis, art and design movements, architectural histories and styles, metropolitan citizenship, and the broader politics of space. The course is complemented by cultural and historical media, guest speakers, and virtual tours. Classes are held in English. No knowledge of BCS is required. However, this module can fulfill a language requirement or simply further the study of BCS with additional weekly sections, materials, discussions, and presentations in the target language.

Instructor(s): Nada Petkovic     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): BCSN 31303,REES 21300,REES 31303

Slavic Languages and Literatures - Czech Courses

CZEC 10103-10203-10303. First-Year Czech I-II-III.

First-Year Czech

CZEC 10103. First-Year Czech I. 100 Units.

This course introduces the Czech language to those students who would like to speak Czech or use the language for reading and research purposes.  All four major communicative skills (i.e. reading, writing, listening, speaking) are stressed.  Students will also learn about Czech culture through readings, films and class activities. This three- quarter sequence prepares students for the second-year Czech course and to study or travel abroad in the Czech Republic. Conversation practice is held weekly.

Instructor(s): STAFF     Terms Offered: Autumn

CZEC 10203. First-Year Czech II. 100 Units.

No description available.

Terms Offered: Winter

CZEC 10303. First-Year Czech III. 100 Units.

No description available.

Terms Offered: Spring

CZEC 20103-20203-20303. Second-Year Czech I-II-III.

The main goal of this sequence is to enable students to read Czech proficiently in their particular fields. Conversation practice is included. The program is flexible and may be adjusted according to the needs of the students.

CZEC 20103. Second-Year Czech I. 100 Units.

No description available.

Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): CZEC 10300 or consent of instructor

CZEC 20203. Second-Year Czech II. 100 Units.

No description available.

Terms Offered: Winter

CZEC 20303. Second-Year Czech III. 100 Units.

No description available.

Terms Offered: Spring

CZEC 27700. Kafka in Prague. 100 Units.

The goal of this course is a thorough treatment of Kafka's literary work in its Central European, more specifically Czech, context. In critical scholarship, Kafka and his work are often alienated from his Prague milieu. The course revisits the Prague of Kafka's time, with particular reference to Josefov (the Jewish ghetto), Das Prager Deutsch, and Czech/German/Jewish relations of the prewar and interwar years. We discuss most of Kafka's major prose works within this context and beyond (including The Castle, The Trial, and the stories published during his lifetime), as well as selected critical approaches to his work.

Instructor(s): Malynne Sternstein     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CZEC 37700,FNDL 22207,GRMN 29600,GRMN 39600

Slavic Languages and Literatures - Polish Courses

POLI 10103-10203-10303. First-Year Polish I-II-III.

This sequence teaches students to speak, read, and write in Polish, as well as familiarizes them with Polish culture. It employs the most up-to-date techniques of language teaching (e.g., communicative and accelerated learning, and learning based on students’ native language skills), as well as multileveled target-language exposure.

POLI 10103. First-Year Polish I. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): Kinga Kosmala     Terms Offered: Autumn

POLI 10203. First-Year Polish II. 100 Units.

This course includes instruction in grammar, writing, and translation, as well as watching selected Polish movies. Selected readings are drawn from the course textbook, and students also read Polish short stories and press articles. In addition, the independent reading of students is emphasized and reinforced by class discussions. Work is adjusted to each student’s level of preparation. Drill sessions to be arranged.

Terms Offered: Winter

POLI 10303. First-Year Polish III. 100 Units.

No description available.

Terms Offered: Spring

POLI 20103-20203-20303. Second-Year Polish I-II-III.

This sequence includes instruction in grammar, writing, and translation, as well as watching selected Polish movies. Selected readings are drawn from the course textbook, and students also read Polish short stories and press articles. In addition, the independent reading of students is emphasized and reinforced by class discussions. Work is adjusted to each student’s level of preparation.

POLI 20103. Second-Year Polish I. 100 Units.

No description available.

Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): POLI 10300 or equivalent

POLI 20203. Second-Year Polish II. 100 Units.

No description available.

Terms Offered: Winter

POLI 20303. Second-Year Polish III. 100 Units.

No description available.

Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): POLI 10300 or equivalent; drills to be scheduled

POLI 20500-20600-20700. Third-Year Polish I-II-III.

The process of learning in all three quarters of Third-Year Polish is framed by three themes, which most succinctly but aptly characterize Polish life, culture, and history: in the Autumn Quarter—the noble democracy in the Commonwealth of Both Nations, in the Winter Quarter—the fight for independence, and in the Spring Quarter—the newly independent Poland. During the course of the year, students also improve their knowledge of advanced grammar and stylistics. All work in Polish.

POLI 20500. Third-Year Polish I. 100 Units.

No description available.

Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): POLI 20300 or equivalent
Equivalent Course(s): POLI 30100

POLI 20600. Third-Year Polish II. 100 Units.

Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): POLI 30200

POLI 20700. Third-Year Polish III. 100 Units.

Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): POLI 30300

POLI 24100-24200-24300. Polish Through Literary Readings I-II-III.

An advanced language course emphasizing spoken and written Polish. Readings include original Polish prose and poetry as well as nonfiction. Intensive grammar review and vocabulary building. For students who have taken Third Year Polish and for native or heritage speakers who want to read Polish literature in the original. Readings and discussions in Polish.

POLI 24100. Polish Through Literary Readings I. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): Kinga Kosmala     Terms Offered: Autumn

POLI 24200. Polish Through Literary Readings II. 100 Units.

Instructor(s): Kinga Kosmala     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): POLI 30300 or equivalent.
Equivalent Course(s): POLI 40200

POLI 24300. Polish Through Literary Readings III. 100 Units.

Instructor(s): Kinga Kosmala     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): POLI 30300 or equivalent
Equivalent Course(s): POLI 40300

POLI 25303. Kieslowski's French Cinema. 100 Units.

Krzysztof Kieślowski’s long-lived obsession with parallel histories and repeated chances is best illustrated by his The Double Life of Veronique. The possibility of free choice resulting in being granted a second chance conjoins this film with his French triptych White, Blue, Red, all co-written by Krzysztof Piesiewicz. In this course we discuss why and how in the Kieślowski/Piesiewicz virtual universe the possibility of reconstituting one’s identity, triggered by tragic loss and betrayal, reveals an ever-ambiguous reality. We also analyze how these concepts, posited with visually and aurally dazzling artistry, shift the popular image of Kieślowski as auteur to his viewers’ as co-creators. We read selections from current criticism on the “Three Color Trilogy.” All materials in English.

Instructor(s): B. Shallcross     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 25312,POLI 35303,REES 27025,REES 37025

POLI 29900. BA Paper. 100 Units.

No description available.

Terms Offered: Autumn, Winter, Spring
Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor and Departmental Adviser. Open only to fourth-year students who are majoring in Slavic Languages and Literature.
Note(s): Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form. This course must be taken for a quality grade.

Slavic Languages and Literatures - Russian Courses

RUSS 10100-10200-10300. First-Year Russian I-II-III.

This course introduces modern Russian to students who would like to speak Russian or to use the language for reading and research. All four major communicative skills (i.e., reading, writing, listening comprehension, speaking) are stressed. Students are also introduced to Russian culture through readings, videos, and class discussions. This yearlong course prepares students for the College Language Competency Exam, for continued study of Russian in second-year courses, and for study or travel abroad in Russian-speaking countries. Conversation practice is held once a week.

RUSS 10100. First-Year Russian I. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): Staff     Terms Offered: Autumn

RUSS 10200. First-Year Russian II. 100 Units.

Instructor(s): Staff     Terms Offered: Winter

RUSS 10300. First-Year Russian III. 100 Units.

Instructor(s): Staff     Terms Offered: Spring

RUSS 20100-20200-20300. Second-Year Russian I-II-III.

This course continues RUSS 10100-10200-10300; it includes review and amplification of grammar, practice in reading, elementary composition, and speaking and comprehension. Systematic study of word formation and other strategies are taught to help free students from excessive dependence on the dictionary and develop confidence in reading rather than translating. Readings are selected to help provide historical and cultural background. Conversation practice is held once a week.

RUSS 20100. Second-Year Russian I. 100 Units.

No description available.

Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): RUSS 10300 or consent of instructor

RUSS 20200. Second-Year Russian II. 100 Units.

No description available.

Terms Offered: Winter

RUSS 20300. Second-Year Russian III. 100 Units.

No description available.

Terms Offered: Spring

RUSS 20702-20802-20902. Third-Year Russian through Culture I-II-III.

This course, which is intended for third-year students of Russian, covers various aspects of Russian grammar in context and emphasizes the four communicative skills (i.e., reading, writing, listening comprehension, speaking) in a culturally authentic context. Excerpts from popular Soviet/Russian films and clips from Russian television news reports are shown and discussed in class. Classes conducted in Russian; some aspects of grammar explained in English. Drill practice is held twice a week.

RUSS 20702. Third-Year Russian through Culture I. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): V. Pichugin     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): RUSS 20300 (two years of Russian) or equivalent

RUSS 20802. Third-Year Russian through Culture II. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): V. Pichugin     Terms Offered: Winter

RUSS 20902. Third-Year Russian through Culture III. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): V. Pichugin     Terms Offered: Spring

RUSS 21002-21102-21202. Fourth-Year Russian through Short Story I-II-III.

This course treats some difficult issues of grammar, syntax, and stylistics through reading and discussing contemporary Russian short stories. This kind of reading exposes students to contemporary Russian culture, society, and language. Vocabulary building is also emphasized. Classes conducted in Russian. Conversation practice is held twice a week.

RUSS 21002. Fourth-Year Russian through Short Story I. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): STAFF     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Three years of Russian or equivalent

RUSS 21102. Fourth-Year Russian through Short Story II. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): STAFF     Terms Offered: Winter

RUSS 21202. Fourth-Year Russian through Short Story III. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): STAFF     Terms Offered: Spring

RUSS 21302-21402-21502. Advanced Russian through Media I-II-III.

This is a three-quarter sequence designed for fourth- and fifth-year students of Russian. It is also suitable for native speakers of Russian. This sequence covers various aspects of advanced Russian stylistics and discourse grammar in context. This sequence emphasizes the four communicative skills of listening, reading, speaking, and writing in a culturally authentic context. It builds transcultural competence by expanding students’ knowledge of the language, culture, history, and daily lives of the Russian-speaking people. Vocabulary building is strongly emphasized. We add to the existing skills and develop our abilities to analyze increasingly complex texts for their meaning: to identify various styles and registers of the Russian language and to provide their neutral equivalents in standard Russian. We also work on developing our abilities to paraphrase, narrate, describe, support opinions, hypothesize, discuss abstract topics, and handle linguistically unfamiliar situations (in spoken and written format). Classes conducted in Russian. Course-specific grammar issues are covered during drill sessions (weekly) and office hours (by appointment). Oral Proficiency Interviews are conducted in the beginning and the end of the course (Autumn and Spring Quarters).

RUSS 21302. Advanced Russian through Media I. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): Valentina Pichugin     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Four years of Russian, or equivalent, or consent of instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): RUSS 30102

RUSS 21402. Advanced Russian through Media II. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): Valentina Pichugin     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Four years of Russian, or equivalent, or consent of instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): RUSS 30202

RUSS 21502. Advanced Russian through Media III. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): Valentina Pichugin     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Four years of Russian, or equivalent, or consent of instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): RUSS 30302

Slavic Languages and Literatures – Russian and East European Studies Courses

REES 13802. The Russian Empire. 100 Units.

Empire is back in contemporary Russia. Old imperial insignia have replaced hammers and sickles on government buildings, the bodies of the last tsar and his family have been exhumed and venerated, and Putin's foreign policy stakes imperial claims on the nations on Russia's border. This course examines what the Russian empire was, how it worked, and the legacies that it left behind. Themes to be considered include the culture of the autocracy and the tradition of reform from above; imperial expansion and multiethnic society; the construction of class, ethnic, and estate identities; and the causes and consequences of the Old Regime's collapse. Mondays and Wednesdays are reserved for lectures, Fridays for discussion.

Instructor(s): F. Hillis     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): First-year students warmly welcomed; no prior Russian history, culture, or language assumed.
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 13802

REES 20001. War and Peace. 100 Units.

Tolstoy’s novel is at once a national epic, a treatise on history, a spiritual meditation, and a masterpiece of realism. This course presents a close reading of one of the world’s great novels, and of the criticism that has been devoted to it, including landmark works by Victor Shklovsky, Boris Eikhenbaum, Isaiah Berlin, and George Steiner. (B, G)

Instructor(s): William Nickell     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): REES 30001,CMLT 22301,CMLT 32301,FNDL 27103,ENGL 28912,HIST 23704,ENGL 32302

REES 20020. Pale Fire. 100 Units.

This course is an intensive reading of Pale Fire by Nabokov.

Instructor(s): M. Sternstein     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 29610,REES 30020,FNDL 25311

REES 20024. Nabokov's Ada, or Ardor. 100 Units.

Described as a "difficult book [...] filled with 'dense of intertextual allusion'," Ada, Nabokov's last (completed) novel (1969), is also his longest, most puzzling, and, arguably, most rewarding. As one critic has put it, "Aesthetically, intellectually, and even morally, this is a Difficult Book par excellence. It demands a lover’s patience. But sentences like these are our steadfast consolation for submitting to the wiles of Ada." In this course we submit ourselves. (B)

Instructor(s): Malynne Sternstein     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): REES 30024,ENGL 20024,FNDL 20024

REES 21002. Kieślowski’s French Cinema. 100 Units.

Krzysztof Kieślowski’s The Decalogue and The Double Life of Veronique catapulted the Polish director to the international scene. His subsequent French triptych Blue, White, Red turned out to be his last works that altered his image and legacy to affirm his status as an auteur and a representative of the transnational cinema. We discuss how in his virtual universe of parallel histories and repeated chances, captured with visually and aurally dazzling artistry, the possibility of reconstituting one’s identity, triggered by tragic loss and betrayal, reveals an ever-ambiguous reality. By focusing on the filmmaker’s dissolution of the thing-world, often portrayed on the verge of vague abstraction of (in)audibility or (un)transparency, this course bridges his cinema with the larger concepts of postmodern subjectivity and possibility of metaphysics. The course concludes with the filmmaker’s contribution to world cinema. All along, we read selections from Kieślowski’s and Piesiewicz’s screen scripts, Kieślowski’s own writings and interviews, as well as from the abundant criticism of his French movies. All materials are in English.

Instructor(s): Bożena Shallcross      Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): REES 31002,CMST 24405,CMST 34405

REES 21006. Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent: A Simple Tale. 100 Units.

Course centers on Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent: A Simple Tale. Contemporary critics often consider this novel the archetypal fictional work about terrorism, as it is based on the bomb attack that occurred in Greenwich in 1888. The Secret Agent demonstrates, however, much more than its prophetic significance rediscovered after 9/11. Therefore, the course seeks how the novel’s relevance stems in equal measure from Conrad’s interest in a wider political process and his distrust of state power; in particular, the course explores how these forces determine the individual caught in a confining situation. We read The Secret Agent as a political novel, that struggle for solutions defies chaos as well as an imposition of a single ideology or one authorial point of view. Its ambiguities and political antinomies allow for interdisciplinary readings that also present an opportunity to critically overview the established approaches to main Conradian themes. In analyzing the formation of the narrative’s ideology we discuss Conrad’s historical pessimism that demonstrates with sustained irony how capitalism breeds social injustice that, in turn, breeds anarchism. The class also focuses on how the novel exposes duplicity in staging surveillance, terrorism, as well as adjacent forms of violence or sacrifice. Critical texts include several older but still influential readings (Jameson, Eagleton) and the most recent.

Instructor(s): Bożena Shallcross     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): English majors: this course fulfills the Fiction (B) distribution requirement.
Equivalent Course(s): REES 31006,FNDL 21006,ENGL 21006,ENGL 31006

REES 21100. Advanced Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian: Language through Fiction. 100 Units.

Advanced BCS courses encompass both the 3rd and 4th years of language study, with the focus changed from language structure and grammar to issues in interdisciplinary content. The courses are not in sequence. Language through Fiction is designed to help students and instructors over one of the most difficult hurdles in language training—the transition from working through lessons in a textbook to reading unedited texts. Literature represents the greatest development of the expressive possibilities of a language and reveals the bounds within which language operates. The texts will immerse motivated language students in a complete language experience, as the passages and related exercises present the language’s structure on every page. Students will learn how to engage the natural, organic language of a literary text across a variety of styles and themes. The course assumes that students are familiar with basic grammar and vocabulary, as well as both the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets. It is particularly appealing to students who are interested in the literature, history, and anthropology of the region.

Instructor(s): Nada Petkovic     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): REES 31103,BCSN 21101,BCSN 31101

REES 21200. Advanced Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian: Language through Film. 100 Units.

Advanced BCS courses encompass both the 3rd and 4th years of language study, with the focus changed from language structure and grammar to issues in interdisciplinary content. The courses are not in sequence. This course addresses the theme of Yugoslav and Post-Yugoslav identity through discussion and interpretation based on selected films, documentaries, images, and related texts—historical and literary, popular press, advertisements, screenplays, and literature e on film. Emphasis is on interpersonal communication as well as the interpretation and production of language in written and oral forms. The course engages in systematic grammar review, along with introduction of some new linguistic topics, with constant practice in writing and vocabulary enrichment. The syllabus includes the screening of six films, each from a different director, region, and period, starting with Cinema Komunisto (2012), a documentary by Mila Turajlic. This film will be crucial for understanding how Yugoslav cinema was born and how, in its origins, it belongs to what a later cinephile, Fredric Jameson, has called a “geopolitical aesthetic.” We shall investigate the complex relationship between aesthetics and ideology in the Yugoslav and Post-Yugoslav cinema, and pay close attention to aesthetic conceptions and concrete formal properties, and more importantly, to language, narrative logic, and style.

Instructor(s): Nada Petkovic     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): BCSN 31203,REES 31203,BCSN 21200

REES 21300. (Re)Branding the Balkan City:Contemp. Belgrade/Sarajevo/Zagreb. 100 Units.

The course will use an urban studies lens to explore the complex history, infrastructure, and transformations of these three cities, now the capitals of Serbia, Bosnia and Hercegovina, and Croatia. Drawing on anthropological theory and ethnography of the city, we will consider processes of urban destruction and renewal, practices of branding spaces and identities, urban life as praxis, art and design movements, architectural histories and styles, metropolitan citizenship, and the broader politics of space. The course is complemented by cultural and historical media, guest speakers, and virtual tours. Classes are held in English. No knowledge of BCS is required. However, this module can fulfill a language requirement or simply further the study of BCS with additional weekly sections, materials, discussions, and presentations in the target language.

Instructor(s): Nada Petkovic     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): BCSN 31303,REES 31303,BCSN 21300

REES 25600. Realism in Russia. 100 Units.

From the 1830s to the 1890s, most Russian prose writers and playwrights were either engaged in the European-wide cultural movement known as "realistic school" which set for itself the task of engaging with social processes from the standpoint of political ideologies. The ultimate goal of this course is to distill more precise meanings of "realism," "critical realism,"and "naturalism" in nineteenth-century Russian through analysis of works by Gogol, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Aleksandr Ostrovsky, Goncharov, Saltykov-Shchedrin, and Kuprin. Texts in English and the original. Optional Russian-intensive section offered.

Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): REES 35600

REES 25602. Russian Short Fiction: Experiments in Form. 100 Units.

Russian literature is known for the sweeping epics that Henry James once dubbed the “loose baggy monsters.” However, in addition to the famed ‘doorstop novels,’ the Russian literary canon also has a long tradition of innovative short fiction—of short stories and novellas that experiment with forms of storytelling and narration. This course focuses on such works, as well as the narrative strategies and formal devices that allow these short stories and novellas to be both effective and economical. Throughout the quarter, we will read short fiction from a variety of Russian authors and examine the texts that establish the tradition of Russian short fiction as well as those that push its boundaries. This course will serve as a general survey of Russian Literature, as well as a focused introduction to a particular genre in that tradition. Although predominantly discussion-based, the class will also include short lectures by the instructor to introduce students to the broader historical contexts of the course texts, and to sample diverse theoretical approaches to those texts.

Instructor(s): K. Tucker     Terms Offered: Winter

REES 26011-26012. Introduction to Russian Civilization I-II.

This two-quarter sequence, which meets the general education requirement in civilization studies, provides an interdisciplinary introduction to Russian civilization. The first quarter covers the ninth century to the 1870s; the second quarter continues on through the post-Soviet period. Working closely with a variety of primary sources—from oral legends to film and music, from political treatises to literary masterpieces—we will track the evolution of Russian civilization over the centuries and through radically different political regimes. Topics to be discussed include the influence of Byzantine, Mongol-Tataric, and Western culture in Russian civilization; forces of change and continuity in political, intellectual and cultural life; the relationship between center and periphery; systems of social and political legitimization; and symbols and practices of collective identity.

REES 26011. Introduction to Russian Civilization I. 100 Units.

The first quarter covers the ninth century to the 1870s; the second quarter continues on through the post-Soviet period. Working closely with a variety of primary sources—from oral legends to film and music, from political treatises to literary masterpieces—we will track the evolution of Russian civilization over the centuries and through radically different political regimes. Topics to be discussed include the influence of Byzantine, Mongol-Tataric, and Western culture in Russian civilization; forces of change and continuity in political, intellectual and cultural life; the relationship between center and periphery; systems of social and political legitimization; and symbols and practices of collective identity.

Instructor(s): E. Gilburd, W. Nickell     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required.
Equivalent Course(s): SOSC 24000,HIST 13900

REES 26012. Introduction to Russian Civilization II. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): R. Bird, E. Gilburd     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required.
Equivalent Course(s): SOSC 24100,HIST 14000

REES 27003. Narratives of Assimilation. 100 Units.

Engaging the concept of liminality—of a community at the threshold of radical transformation—the course analyzes how East Central European Jewry, facing economic uncertainties and dangers of modern anti-Semitism, seeks another diasporic space in North America. Projected against the historical backdrop of the end of the nineteenth century and the twentieth century, the immigration narratives are viewed through the lens of assimilation, its trials and failures; in particular, we investigate why efforts of social, cultural and economic inclusion cannot be mistaken with imposing on a given minority the values of majority. One of the main points of interests is the creative self ‘s reaction to the challenges of radical otherness, such as the new environment, its cultural codes and language barriers. We discuss the manifold strategies of artistic (self)-representations of the Jewish writers, many of whom came from East Central European shtetls to be confronted again with economic hardship and assimilation to the American metropolitan space and life style. During this course, we inquire how the condition called assimilation and its attendants—integration, secularization, acculturation, cosmopolitanism, etc.—are adapted or resisted according to the generational differences, a given historical moment or inherited strategies of survival and adaptation. The course draws on the writings of Polish-Jewish, Russian-Jewish, and American-Jewish authors in English translation.

Instructor(s): Bożena Shallcross     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): This course may be used to fulfill the general education requirement in civilization studies.
Equivalent Course(s): REES 37003,RLST 26623,NEHC 20223,NEHC 30223,JWSC 20223

REES 27025. Kieslowski's French Cinema. 100 Units.

Krzysztof Kieślowski’s long-lived obsession with parallel histories and repeated chances is best illustrated by his The Double Life of Veronique. The possibility of free choice resulting in being granted a second chance conjoins this film with his French triptych White, Blue, Red, all co-written by Krzysztof Piesiewicz. In this course we discuss why and how in the Kieślowski/Piesiewicz virtual universe the possibility of reconstituting one’s identity, triggered by tragic loss and betrayal, reveals an ever-ambiguous reality. We also analyze how these concepts, posited with visually and aurally dazzling artistry, shift the popular image of Kieślowski as auteur to his viewers’ as co-creators. We read selections from current criticism on the “Three Color Trilogy.” All materials in English.

Instructor(s): B. Shallcross     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 25312,POLI 35303,REES 37025,POLI 25303

REES 29009. Balkan Folklore. 100 Units.

Vampires, fire-breathing dragons, vengeful mountain nymphs. 7/8 and other uneven dance beats, heart-rending laments, and a living epic tradition. This course is an overview of Balkan folklore from historical, political, and anthropological perspectives. We seek to understand folk tradition as a dynamic process and consider the function of different folklore genres in the imagining and maintenance of community and the socialization of the individual. We also experience this living tradition firsthand through visits of a Chicago-based folk dance ensemble, “Balkan Dance.”

Instructor(s): A. Ilieva     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 25908,ANTH 35908,CMLT 23301,CMLT 33301,NEHC 20568,NEHC 30568,REES 39009

REES 29010. Strangers to Ourselves: Émigré Lit from Russia and SE Europe. 100 Units.

“Being alienated from myself, as painful as that may be, provides me with that exquisite distance within which perverse pleasure begins, as well as the possibility of my imagining and thinking,” writes Julia Kristeva in "Strangers to Ourselves," the book from which this course takes its title. The authors whose works we are going to examine often alternate between nostalgia and the exhilaration of being set free into the breathless possibilities of new lives. Leaving home does not simply mean movement in space. Separated from the sensory boundaries that defined their old selves, immigrants inhabit a warped, fragmentary, disjointed time. Immigrant writers struggle for breath—speech, language, voice, the very stuff of their craft resounds somewhere else. Join us as we explore the pain, the struggle, the failure, and the triumph of emigration and exile. Vladimir Nabokov, Joseph Brodsky, Marina Tsvetaeva, Nina Berberova, Julia Kristeva, Alexander Hemon, Dubravka Ugrešić, Norman Manea, Miroslav Penkov, Ilija Trojanow, Tea Obreht.

Instructor(s): Angelina Ilieva     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): REES 39010,CMLT 26902,CMLT 36902

REES 29012. Returning the Gaze: The Balkans and Western Europe. 100 Units.

Aware of being observed. And judged. Inferior... Abject… Angry... Proud… This course provides insight into identity dynamics between the “West,” as the center of economic power and self-proclaimed normative humanity, and the “Rest,” as the poor, backward, volatile periphery. We investigate the relationship between South East European self-representations and the imagined Western gaze. Inherent in the act of looking at oneself through the eyes of another is the privileging of that other’s standard. We will contemplate the responses to this existential position of identifying symbolically with a normative site outside of oneself—self-consciousness, defiance, arrogance, self-exoticization—and consider how these responses have been incorporated in the texture of the national, gender, and social identities in the region. Orhan Pamuk, Ivo Andrić, Nikos Kazantzakis, Aleko Konstantinov, Emir Kusturica, Milcho Manchevski.

Instructor(s): Angelina Ilieva     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): REES 39012,CMLT 23201,CMLT 33201,NEHC 20885,NEHC 30885

REES 29013. The Burden of History: The Nation and Its Lost Paradise. 100 Units.

How and why do national identities provoke the deep emotional attachments that they do? In this course we try to understand these emotional attachments by examining the narrative of loss and redemption through which most nations in the Balkans retell their Ottoman past. We begin by considering the mythic temporality of the Romantic national narrative while focusing on specific national literary texts where the national past is retold through the formula of original wholeness, foreign invasion, Passion, and Salvation. We then proceed to unpack the structural role of the different elements of that narrative. With the help of Žižek’s theory of the subject as constituted by trauma, we think about the national fixation on the trauma of loss, and the role of trauma in the formation of national consciousness. Specific theme inquiries involve the figure of the Janissary as self and other, brotherhood and fratricide, and the writing of the national trauma on the individual physical body. Special attention is given to the general aesthetic of victimhood, the casting of the victimized national self as the object of the “other’s perverse desire.” With the help of Freud, Žižek, and Kant we consider the transformation of national victimhood into the sublimity of the national self. The main primary texts include Petar Njegoš’ Mountain Wreath (Serbia and Montenegro), Ismail Kadare’s The Castle (Albania), Anton Donchev’s Time of Parting (Bulgaria).

Instructor(s): Angelina Ilieva     Terms Offered: Winter,Spring
Equivalent Course(s): REES 39013

REES 29018. Imaginary Worlds: The Fantastic and Magic Realism in Russia and Southeastern Europe. 100 Units.

In this course, we will ask what constitutes the fantastic and magic realism as literary genres while reading some of the most interesting writings to have come out of Russia and Southeastern Europe. While considering the stylistic and narrative specificities of this narrative mode, we also think about its political functions —from subversive to escapist, to supportive of a nationalist imaginary—in different contexts and at different historic moments in the two regions.

Instructor(s): Angelina Ilieva     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Readings in English. Background in Russia and the Balkans will make the course easier, but is not required.
Equivalent Course(s): REES 39018

REES 29020. The Shadows of Living Things: the Writings of Mikhail Bulgakov. 100 Units.

Open these books and step into a world of fanciful possibilities, magic, and creatures produced by scientific experiments. Contemplate the nature of evil and human responsibility in the face of dehumanizing fear, while at the same time rolling with laughter at Bulgakov’s irresistible seduction into the comedic. Laughter, as shadow and light, as subversive weapon but also as power’s whip, the capacity to be comedic, grounds human relation to both good and evil. The Master and Margarita, Diaboliada, Fatal Eggs, Heart of A Dog, Ivan Vasilievich.

Instructor(s): Angelina Ilieva     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): REES 39020

REES 29700. Reading/Research: Russian and Eastern European Studies. 100 Units.

No description available.

Terms Offered: Autumn, Winter, Spring
Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor and Departmental Adviser
Note(s): Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form.

REES 29813. Comparative Methods in the Humanities. 100 Units.

This course introduces the models of comparative analysis across national literatures, genres, and media. The texts to be discussed include Orson Welles’s “Citizen Kane” and Coleridge’s poem “Kubla Khan”; Benjamin’s “The Storyteller,” Kafka’s “Josephine the Mouse Singer,” Deleuze and Guattari, Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature, and Mario Vargas Llosa’s The Storyteller; Victor Segalen’s Stèles; Fenollosa and Pound’s “The Chinese Character as a Medium of Poetry” and Eliot Weinberger’s Nineteen Ways of Looking at Wang Wei; Mérimée, “Carmen,” Bizet, Carmen, and the film adaptation U-Carmen e-Khayelitsha (South Africa, 2005); Gorky’s and Kurosawa’s “Lower Depths;” Molière, Tartuffe, Dostoevsky, The Village Stepanchikovo and its Inhabitants, and Bakhtin, “Discourse in the Novel”; Gogol, The Overcoat, and Boris Eikhenbaum, “How Gogol’s Overcoat Is Made.”

Instructor(s): Olga Solovieva     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 28918,CMLT 20109

REES 29900. BA Paper Workshop. 100 Units.

No description available.

Terms Offered: Autumn,Winter,Spring


Contacts

Undergraduate Primary Contacts

Director of Undergraduate Studies (Autumn 2016)
William Nickell

773-702-8083
Email

Director of Undergraduate Studies (Winter-Spring 2017)
Malynne Sternstein

773-834-0894
Email

Undergraduate Secondary Contact

Lecturer and Slavic Language Program Coordinator
Erik Houle

773.702.9772
Email

Graduate Primary Contact

Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
Bozena Shallcross
F 508
773.702.7734
Email

Chairman

Chair
Robert Bird

773.702.8195
Email

Administrative Contact

Departmental Coordinator
Tracy L. Davis
F 406
773.702.8033
Email