Available as either a stand-alone major or as part of a joint disciplinary area of concentration, our Russian AOC features both the challenging curriculum and individualized attention from faculty that you would expect from one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges. Through small classes and seminars, individual and group tutorials, and independent study projects (ISPs), you will have the chance to explore Russian language, literature and culture in depth with native speaking faculty and others who are experts in the field.
Whether in literature, music, science, economics or international affairs, it is difficult to overstate the importance of Russia, the world’s largest country in terms of geography. From Dostoevsky to Nabokov, Tchaikovsky to Shostakovich, Pavlov to Mendeleev, and Bakunin to Gorbachev, Russian culture and politics transformed world history throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, and this seminal influence continues today.
Whether chosen as a stand-alone major, combined with another discipline as a “slash” area of concentration, or taken simply as a foreign language option, our Russian Language and Literature AOC will introduce you to the rich culture and history that this country of about 100 million people have to offer.
This small but intellectually challenging program offers both Russian language courses from beginning to advanced for those who want to gain mastery of this important Indo-European language, and literature courses taught in English translation, accessible to non-majors. Small group and individual tutorials on a variety of Russian and Slavic topics supplement our formalized course offerings.
Courses and seminars offered on a regular basis include language instruction from the elementary to the advanced level and a reasonably wide range of topics in 19th and 20th century Russian literature, including monograph courses on Dostoevsky, Nabokov and other world-famous authors, and surveys, such as “Russian Short Stories in Translation” and “Russian Realism.” In fact, because of our faculty’s strength in the area, literature is typically a major academic component of any Russian AOC. Recent small group tutorials and ISPs include “Readings in Gulag Literature,” “Gogol and the Visual Arts,” “Russian Word Formation” and “A Film Adaptation of Nabokov’s Invitation to a Beheading.”
In recent years, students within our program, as well as those who were simply studying Russian as part of their overall New College curriculum, have won a number of major national and international fellowships, including two Fulbright Scholarships, a Kremlin Fellowship and two Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships. Common career paths among our graduates in the program include foreign service, education, translation and law.
To foster greater cross-cultural understanding, students who choose to pursue Russian as a stand-alone major are encouraged to pursue a semester abroad through one of the many available programs of language and cultural study in Russia or through off-campus study at another institution.
Our students must complete seven contracts, three Independent Study Projects and a senior thesis project to graduate. Contracts consist of three to five academic activities — courses, tutorials, internships, independent reading projects, etc. — that will develop your personal educational goals during a semester.
Here’s a list of recent course offerings in Russian:
Beginning Russian I
Beginning Russian II
Intermediate Russian I
Intermediate Russian II
The Brothers Karamazov: A Seminar
Dostoevsky: The Major Novels
Nabokov’s Early Novels: Resident and Stranger
Readings in Russian: Language and Verbal Art (A)
The Russian Short Story
Tolstoy and Chekhov
Women in Russian Literature: 1780s-1990s
For a complete list of courses, click here.
Although a major in Political Science and Economics, Danielle Korngold used her experience taking Russian Language and Literature classes and working as a Russian language TA at New College to earn a Fulbright Scholarship in 2011 to teach English in Russia after graduation. Korngold used an eclectic mix of American music, TV and film to teach students vocabulary, pronunciation, and listening skills and to familiarize them with regional differences in American culture, government and history. Korngold’s interest in Russian was first sparked because her great-grandparents emigrated from Russia in the 1910s.
New College is proud of our many students who have studied Russian Language and Literature. Here’s a sampling of what some of them are up to today:
• Aimee Anderson is a lawyer practicing in the areas of tort litigation and civil rights. She is on the faculty at Loyola University Chicago School of Law and works as a freelance manuscript editor for the academic presses in the areas of law, history and the humanities.
• Rebecca Schaaf is vice president of energy programs at Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future. She was also a program officer at CHF International and spent two years in the Peace Corps teaching math and computers in Ghana.
• Michael Getz studied Russian in St. Petersburg, Russia, as a part of the ACLI exchange program, through SUNY Stony Brook. Michael is interested in international relations, political science, and Russian culture, as well as the role of NGOs in developing nations. A 2013 graduate in International and Area Studies/Russian, Michael is currently teaching English in Moscow as part of the TEFL program.
• Samantha Hannah served as the co-vice president for advertising and community outreach for New College’s Hillel as a student and wrote her senior thesis on authority and authorship in Vladimir Nabokov’s Despair and Invitation to a Beheading. A 2013 graduate, she plans to study film in graduate school.
• Morgan Shafter studied Russian language and literature extensively at New College and worked as a TA for Beginning Russian as well as conversation partner for Third Year Russian students. A 2013 graduate, he wrote a senior thesis “Gogol’s Shinel in English: A Commentary and Translation” and presented his original research at New Scholars New College. Morgan is currently an adjunct instructor of college preparatory writing at State College of Florida.
• Rosalia Maier-Katkin, an International Studies AOC and a 2013 graduate, completed three years of Russian at New College. Her knowledge of Russian, German and Czech, and an interest in Slavic cultures helped her win a Fulbright Fellowship to the Czech Republic for 2013-2014.
Sample of Graduate Schools Attended by NCF Students in Russian Language & Literature
• Columbia University
|Each academic experience builds toward your senior thesis project. It is required for graduation, and our students tell us that while it is demanding, it is also one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives. Here are some thesis projects in Russian Language & Literature:
“Authority and Authorship: The Plight of the Artist in Vladimir Nabokov’s Despair and Invitation to a Beheading” by Samantha Hannah
“Gogol’s ‘Shinel’ in English: A Commentary and Translation” by Morgan Shafter
“Reading and Writing in Invitation to a Beheading” by Lily Carbone
“‘You always see something, but you never see all’: Narrative Devices and the Reader’s Role in James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Andrey Bely’s Kotik Letaev” by Jacqueline Aldrich
“Schillerian Ideals in The Robbers and in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment” by Daniela Rizzo
“The New Capitalism: Cultural Transitions Seen in the Works of Victor Pelevin” by Jesse Brown O’Dell
“Between Two Worlds: Internalized Anti-Semitism in Isaac Babel’s Short Fiction” by Melissa Yael Jacobowitz
“Something Borrowed, Something New: Traditions, Cliches, and Symbolism in Igor Stravinsky’s Les Noces” by Chelsea Evangeline Famiglio
“A Dark, Constraining Silence: The Relationship between Writing and Identity in Selected Works of Ludmila Petrushevskaya and Anna Akhmatova’s Requiem” by Benjamin Estes
“Dream Sequences and Subjective Reality in Two Short Stories by Victor Pelevin” by Jeffrey Riggs
“Children’s Pronoun Case Overextentions in Russian” by Alexandra V. Hartman
“International Trafficking of Russian Women for the Purpose of Sexual Exploitation” by Rebecca Schaaf
“A Translation of Dina Rubina’s Kamera Naezzhaet and Critical Essays” by KellySinger
“What is to Be Done? The Question Revisited” by Todd Allen
“A Quest for Proximity: Dismantling the Barriers Surrounding Joseph Brodsky’s Russian Verse” by J. Martin Daughtry
“The Failed Russification of Soviet Central Asia: A Study in Cultural Manipulation” by Maria Fernandez
“The Poet and the Muse by Leonid Vinogradov: Translation and Production” by John Wesley Hill
“Green Girls and their Men (poems) and The Poetry of Boris Pasternak, an essay with translations” by Karen Volkman
“By Mutual Correspondence” by Laura Dane Johnston
“The Two Comrades, a Translation by Christian Williamson of the Povest’, Dva Tovarisca, by Vladimir Voinovich” by Christian Williamson
“The City as a Setting: Paris and St. Petersburg (A Comparative Study of Balzac and Dostoevsky)” by Claire M. Batutis
“Original Translations with a Comparative Survey Dealing with Four Translations of Selected Passages of Dostoevsky’s Notes From the Underground” by BonnieSimmons
“Leon Trotsky: A Revolutionary in Power” by Tom Groenfeldt
“Handbook of Poetry for Intermediate Russian Students” by Eileen Murphy
“Translation of V. M. Garshin” by Karen Vaughan
The Jane Bancroft Cook Library at New College is home to a broad assortment of books, scholarly journals, national and international databases, and other print and electronic media related to the study of Russian and is available to students throughout the year. The library’s Language Resource Center (LRC) is designed to provide resources and support to language students and faculty. Audio-visual and print resources, language software and games are available. It’s also a social space where students can work individually or in groups as well as relax or interact with each other.
Also available at the library is the Dr. Helen N. Fagin Holocaust Collection. Named in honor of Holocaust survivor and New College benefactress Dr. Helen Fagin, the collection holds materials related to the Holocaust, genocide and humanitarian studies. The Fagin room can be reserved for occasional small meetings connected with the collection.
For the past several years, New College has hosted the annual International Career Development Seminar. The event is co-hosted by Young Professionals for International Cooperation (UNA-USA) Sarasota Chapter and New College of Florida. Through panel discussions, breakout Q&A sessions and networking, presenters share their international work experience in business, public health and medicine, the Peace Corps, the United Nations and the U.S. Foreign Service.
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New Topics New College is a public lecture series that runs from October through March. Free to students, the series features guest speakers discussing a wide range of current topics and issues — local, national and international.