Russian Literature and Culture
(Barnard equivalent: Russian Language and Literature*)
The major in Russian Literature and Culture is designed to make you conversant with a variety of Russian literary, historical and theoretical texts in the original, and to give you a critical understanding of Russian literature, culture, and society. It is addressed to students who would like to complement serious literary studies with intensive language training. If you plan to pursue an academic career (PhD program) in the field of Russian literature or culture, this is the major for you.
You can also pursue a Concentration in Russian Literature and Culture (see below). Students with a serious interest in literature but no Russian language training may wish to consider the Concentration in Russian Literature (non-language track).
*Barnard students please note: Although Barnard and Columbia Slavic majors share classes, professors, and many of the same requirements, they are subject to different requirements for the B.A. degree. Barnard students should consult the major and minor requirements listed on the website of the Barnard Slavic Department.
For a Major in Russian Literature and Culture
The program consists of 15 courses, 6 of which meet language requirements. Of the remaining 9 courses, 3 are introductory surveys in Russian literature and culture (in translation), and the other 6 are electives, chosen in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies. The course requirements are distributed as follows:
- Six semesters of coursework in Russian language (from First- through Third-year Russian) or the equivalent
- UN3220 Literature & Empire: The Rise of the Novel in Russia (19th Century) and UN3221 Literature & Revolution (20th Century), plus one more survey. Surveys include: SLCL UN3001, Slavic Cultures; RUSS GU4107 Russian Literature and Culture in the New Millennium; RUSS GU4155, Intro to Russian and Soviet Film.
- Six additional courses in Russian literature, culture, history, film, art, music, or in advanced Russian language. At least one of the additional courses should be taught in Russian.
Thesis: There is no thesis requirement for Slavic Department majors in Columbia College or the School of General Studies. (All Barnard students, regardless of major, are required to write a senior thesis.) However, any student who wishes to be considered for Departmental honors (see below) must complete a thesis. Columbia students who wish to undertake a thesis project should confer with the director of undergraduate studies during the registration period in April of their junior year and register to take the Senior Seminar (RUSS UN3595x) fall term of their senior year. Those who opt to expand the thesis into a two-semester project register for Supervised Individual Research with their thesis advisor (RUSS UN3998y) in the spring. (Senior Seminar may be used to satisfy one elective requirement; the optional second semester of thesis work, however, is in addition to the 15 courses required for the major.)
- Students considering graduate study in Russian literature are strongly advised to complete 4 years of language training.
- To complement these courses, students are urged to spend a semester, year, or summer studying abroad in Russia. The Russian Language Coordinator is available to help you choose a suitable program.
- Courses in which a grade of D has been received do not count toward major or concentration requirements.
- Students graduating in May 2008 or earlier should meet with the DUS to clarify how their existing coursework satisfies the newly reorganized requirements.
For a Concentration in Russian Literature and Culture
The goal of this concentration is to make you conversant with a variety of Russian literary texts and cultural artifacts that facilitate a critical understanding of Russian culture. It is addressed to students who would like to combine language training with study of the Russian literary tradition. The program consists of 10 courses, 4 of which meet language requirements. Of the remaining 6 courses, 2 are introductory surveys in Russian literature and culture, and the other 4 are electives, chosen in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies. The course requirements are distributed as follows:
- Four semesters of coursework in Russian language (First- and Second-year Russian) or the equivalent
- Either UN3220 Literature & Empire: The Rise of the Novel in Russia (19th Century) or UN3221 Literature & Revolution (20th Century), plus one additional survey. Surveys include: SLCL UN3001, Slavic Cultures; RUSS GU4107, Russian Literature and Culture in the New Millennium; RUSS GU4155, Intro to Russian and Soviet Film.
NOTE: Courses in which a grade of D has been received do not count toward major or concentration requirements.
Students who have a grade point average of at least 3.6 in courses taken for the major and who have submitted a senior thesis of outstanding quality will be considered for departmental honors. Normally no more than 10 percent of the graduating majors may be awarded departmental honors in any given year. For more information, consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies no later than the change-of-program period in the fall term of your senior year.