Overview and Learning Goals

Overview and Learning Goals

The Department of Russian offers courses on Russian language, literature, and culture which are supplemented by courses taught on Russian history and politics by affiliated faculty. Students can choose to specialize in the Russian language, literature, and culture or to undertake a broad course of interdisciplinary study including courses on Russian history and politics. Students who complete the Russian major develop skills and knowledge including the following:

  1. Majors complete a program of language learning and literary and cultural studies that permits them to operate at an advanced level of Russian and to exhibit core competencies in listening, speaking, reading, writing, and cultural engagement.
  2. Students are able to understand the main ideas in one-on-one and group communication, including conversations, interviews, and lectures on familiar topics.
  3. Students are able to speak clearly in most social situations, narrate and describe events, communicate facts, ask questions, and speak about topics of public and personal interest.
  4. Students are able to read with understanding and follow the essential points in most texts on familiar topics. They can comprehend texts from diverse genres in order to make appropriate inferences and to recognize different uses of language and styles.
  5. Students are able to write about a variety of topics with sufficient precision.
  6. Students display grammatical accuracy in their speaking and writing and familiarity with higher-level language competencies such as a sense for stylistic register.
  7. Students have a general knowledge of Russian literary history and literary genres and are familiar with some of the major Russian writers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. They have developed the tools for effective analysis and close reading of literary texts in Russian and in translation.
  8. Students have a basic knowledge of Russian culture, as well as history and politics depending on their course selection.
  9. Students have achieved a sufficient level of cultural competency to be able to interact in appropriate ways in contemporary Russian society.
  10. Students are able to appreciate the diversity and complexity of human thought and experience embodied by the similarities and differences between Russophone and Anglophone cultures.

Options for Majoring or Minoring in the Department

Students may elect to major in Russian or to coordinate a major in Russian with digital and computational studies, education, or environmental studies. Students pursuing coordinate majors may not normally elect a second major. Non-majors may elect a minor in Russian.

Department Website

This is an excerpt from the official Bowdoin College Catalogue and Academic Handbook. View the Catalogue