For several years at Michigan State I have taught our upper-level language courses. Instead of a traditional third- and fourth-year Russian progression, we offer four modular courses at the 400 level that can be taken in any order. They are conducted almost exclusively in Russian. Here they are:
RUS 420 (Russia from 862 to 1914). This content-based Russian language course examines important trends in Russian history and culture from 862 to 1914. Course materials include an intensive study of the film Иван Васильевич меняет профессию and reading texts on Russian history and culture. Offered fall of every odd year. Click here for my latest syllabus.
RUS 421 (The Twentieth Century). This content-based course is a survey of Russian and Soviet history and culture in the twentieth century. Course materials include an intensive study of the film Осенний марафон and reading texts about various aspects of Russian and Soviet culture. Students complete two formal oral reports. Offered spring of every even year. Click here for my latest syllabus.
RUS 440 (Contemporary Russia). This content-based Russian language course surveys the Russian political structure and key issues in Russia today. For example, in 2020, after the basics about Russian politics and geography, we looked at texts about gender-neutral Russian, Russian hip-hop today, Navalnyi, and common mistakes in the Russian language made by native speakers. Students complete a series of five formal oral reports on countries where Russian is still widely used. Offered fall of every even year. Click here for my latest syllabus.
RUS 441 (Russian Literature and Culture). This content-based Russian language course looks at the biographies (and pieces of works) mostly of authors and cultural figures who are not always covered in the “big books” courses taught in translation. One course goal is to complement those courses to provide a wider picture of Russian culture and who was making it. Offered spring of every odd year. Click here for my latest syllabus.