Who we are: We study and teach the languages, literatures, and cultures of the Russian and other Slavic peoples and their immediate neighbors in East and Central Europe (Hungary and Romania) as well as the Caucasus and Central Asia (hence the terms “Eurasia” and “Eurasian”). Over the centuries, these peoples shared linguistic, literary, cultural and historical experiences, which both united and divided them. These experiences include their intermediary position between the “West” and the “East,” participation in large multi-national states and empires, membership in the Soviet bloc in the twentieth century, and, in recent decades, the transition to post-socialism. In a word, we represent peoples who have influenced the history of a large part of the world.

Our department, which celebrated its one hundredth anniversary in 2001, was one of the first departments of its kind in the United States. It was home to UC Berkeley’s only Nobel Prize winner in the Humanities, Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004). Over the years, it has remained in the vanguard of Slavic, East European and Eurasian studies because of the breadth of coverage and interdisciplinary approach to the field. Our faculty members have a wide range of interests and train students to discover the links between language, literature and other aspects of culture (including history, religious thought, visual arts, theater, film, popular culture) as well as between our subject matter and that of other related disciplines. Thus, students find that our courses complement their studies in other fields as different as History, English, Political Science, or Business.

Although much of what we teach is specific to the Slavic field, the faculty is dedicated to helping students develop skills in expository writing (in English), in interpreting texts, in clear written and oral communication, in research, and in critical thinking. As students in a small department, our majors benefit from the accessibility of their teachers and the community of fellow students.

Courses on literature and culture: Most courses on literature and culture are taught in English, with readings in English translation. Students with a working knowledge of Russian or another Slavic language are encouraged to do some reading in the original. Many of our courses satisfy university breadth requirements (often more than one). Our faculty offer Freshmen and Sophomore seminars. We also offer sections of Reading and Composition. The Slavic Department welcomes students from all majors, programs, and disciplines in our courses.

Language Instruction: We regularly offer instruction in Russian, Polish, Czech, BCS (Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian) and Bulgarian, as well as the non-Slavic languages Armenian, Romanian and Hungarian. The department offers special classes for heritage speakers of Russian and courses in Russian/English, English/Russian oral and written translation.


Fall 2014 Courses

Summer 2014 Courses

Announcing a New Course for Slavic Majors and a Requirement for New Majors Spring 2014 Onward

Spring 2014 Courses

Formal Approaches to Slavic Linguistics 23
2-4 May 2014

TROIKA: An undergraduate journal in Slavic, East European and Eurasian
Studies at UC Berkeley

Berkeley Undergraduate Student Learning Initiative and Slavic Languages & Literatures

Berkeley Online Schedule of Classes

Part of:

University of California, Berkeley

College of Letters & Science

Books by Faculty (refresh the page to see another image):


Design: Renee Perelmutter, 2004. Updated by Elizabeth LaVarge-Baptista, 4/9/14