Nov 14, 2018  
2017-2018 Catalog 
2017-2018 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Russian Studies

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Professor: Ewington (Chair)
Assistant Professor: Utkin

Foreign Language Requirement

Russian 201 meets the foreign language requirement.  Students who wish to meet the foreign language requirement through previous study of Russian should contact Professor Ewington. Please see information below on placement. 


Students who have studied Russian prior to entering Davidson but have not been awarded college credit for it will take a placement test at Davidson and will be placed at a level appropriate to them on the basis of the test, their language experience, and an oral interview. No student with a background of Russian study may take Russian 101 for credit without the permission of the department.

Cultural Diversity Requirement

Russian 260, 270, 280, 290, 292, 293, 294, 319, 320, 372, 410, and 420 satisfy the cultural diversity requirement.


Students have the opportunity to pursue a major in Russian Language & Literature or Russian Studies through the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies.  Interested students must apply for the major prior to spring break of their sophomore year.  Application information can be found on the CIS website.

Russian Language & Literature Major Requirements

The major requires 12 courses, including:

  1. Six courses taught in Russian
    • courses must be above the 201 level
    • at least two of these must be taken at Davidson.
  2. One Methods Course (Students select one from this list.)
    • ENG 391   (before senior year)
    • GSS 201  
    • Any 300-level LIT course
    • SOC 372  
    • With approval, students may substitute a methods course in Arab Studies, Classics, Chinese Studies, French & Francophone Studies, German Studies, Hispanic Studies, or Theatre.
  3. Three Literature Courses (Students select three courses in literature, literary theory or literary translation.)
    • 200-level Russian Courses (taught in English)
    • 400-level Russian Courses (taught in English)
    • LIT 432  
  4. Thesis (Both courses are required.)

Russian Studies Requirements

The major requires 12 courses, including:

  1. Six courses taught in Russian
    • courses must be above the 201 level
    • at least two of these must be taken at Davidson
  2. One Methods Course (Students select one from this list.)
  3. Three Courses in Culture, History or Literature
    • HIS 125  
    • Any 200-level Russian course (taught in English)
    • Any 400-level Russian course (taught in English)
    • With approval, students may count one course toward this requirement from a department not listed above if they can demonstrate a key connection to the capstone project.
  4. Thesis (Both courses are required.)

Minor Requirements

The minor in Russian requires six courses above Russian 201, of which at least three must be taken at Davidson within the Russian Studies Department. However, with departmental approval, students may count up to two Davidson courses at the 200-level or above in a Russia-related field (such as political science, history, anthropology) towards the minor requirements. Courses to be counted toward the minor may not be taken pass/fail. 

Study Abroad

Students minoring in Russian or majoring in Russian Studies or Russian Language & Literature through the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies are strongly encouraged to spend at least one semester in a Russian speaking country, although a full year is advised. The department works closely with students to determine the approved academic program abroad that best fits their level of Russian and their interests.  

Rationale for Russian Studies Course Numbering

Russian Studies 100-level courses are elementary language courses that introduce students to the basic sound, writing, and case systems of Russian. Students also learn to read, write, and converse about travel, geography, culture, education, and family life.

Russian Studies 200-level language courses are at the intermediate level and help students transition to more advanced proficiency in reading, writing, and oral skills. Students master the grammar necessary for reading authentic Russian texts and writing essays. They learn to read, write and converse on a broad range of themes. Russian 201 completes the language requirement and is prerequisite for Russian 202. 200-level courses taught in English require no knowledge of Russian, nor do they presuppose familiarity with the methods of literary and cultural criticism.

Russian Studies 300-level language courses are at the advanced-intermediate level and focus on literature and culture. Students may register for these courses after completing Russian 202 (or its equivalent abroad). 300-level courses taught in English presuppose familiarity with basic methods of literary and cultural criticism.

Russian Studies 400-level courses are advanced seminars suitable for all students with a strong background in literary or cultural studies. RUS 401 is taught entirely in Russian. RUS 410 and RUS 420 are taught in English and require no knowledge of Russian.

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