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The Slavic Department and Our Undergraduate Program

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.

Because we have a choice of major tracks, students may develop a program of study that suits their needs and interests. There is flexibility in the number of languages, literatures and cultures studied and the types of courses taken. Whereas some students focus primarily on literature and language, others pursue a program that embraces a variety of related disciplines. Our majors have the opportunity to work closely with faculty in their areas of interest.

Courses

Our courses combine different disciplines, traditions, approaches, and areas. No matter one’s interest – be it the classics of Russian literature, such as Leo Tolstoy or Fyodor Dostoevsky, Polish Romanticism or poetry of Czeslaw Milosz, the novels of Vladimir Nabokov or Milan Kundera, the languages and cultures of the Balkans, Caucasus or Central Asia, Slavic linguistics, Orthodox religious culture, Slavic folklore, the Russian avant garde, the Soviet experience, the rise and fall of Yugoslavia, the films of Sergei Eisenstein, or contemporary popular culture – the Department has something to offer. In almost all our courses on literature and culture, readings and lectures are in English, and no knowledge of Slavic languages is required. Students with a working knowledge of Russian or another Slavic language relevant to the course are encouraged to do some reading in the original.

Many of our upper-division courses provide the opportunity to undertake an additional research project, coordinated with a lecture course and supervised by the instructor in individual consultations (this involves registering in an additional 1-unit "Research" course).

We welcome students from all programs and disciplines. Among our offerings are courses that fulfill the following five of the seven breadth requirements: Arts and Literature, Philosophy and Values, Historical Studies, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and International Studies. Every year, our faculty offer seminar-style courses in the University program of Freshmen and Sophomore seminars.

Language Instruction

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

Major Programs

The department offers three different major tracks. The major track in Russian/East European/Eurasian Cultures offers an interdisciplinary “area studies” approach. For this major track, two years of study (or the equivalent) in a language (Russian, an East European language or a Eurasian language) are required. The major track in Russian Language and Literature focuses specifically on Russian language and literature. It requires three years of language coursework (or the equivalent). The major track in Czech, Polish, or BCS (Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian) languages and literatures allows students to focus intensively on one of these languages.

Major and Minor Requirements for Heritage Speakers of Russian

Heritage speakers include those who grew up in Russian speaking families, but without a standard Russian language educational background. Heritage speakers may select any major or minor track offered by the Department except the minor in Russian language. The unit requirements are the same as for all majors and minors. However, the balance between courses approved for and taken in language and literature/culture may change depending on each student’s language proficiency. The choice of specific courses in language and literature/culture for any respective major or minor track will be determined on an individual basis by the Heritage Program Advisor, Anna Muza, amuza@berkeley.edu. Before enrolling in language courses and declaring a major or minor, heritage speakers are required to take a proficiency/placement test.

Declaring a Major

All students must see the Major Advisor for consultation, language proficiency referral (as needed), and study list planning and approval prior to pursuing a major track.

Students may declare their major upon entry to the university. However, we encourage one year of study in the student’s major language prior to declaration.

Courses fulfilling major and minor requirements must be taken for a letter grade.

Slavic Studies Outside the Classroom

Our campus hosts many Slavic-related lectures, concerts, films, conferences, and other events. A weekly Russian conversation hour is one of the Berkeley Slavic Department's most lively institutions. The Polish Circle and Czech Circle meet regularly for discussions and social events, and a BCS cultural group is being organized this year. Film showings, of classic and contemporary films from Russia and other countries, are periodically organized by graduate students. Students may participate in study abroad programs in Russia and Eastern Europe. UC-sponsored programs emphasize Russian language as well as cultural studies. For information see the Berkeley Programs for Study Abroad website.

After Graduation

In the world today, in-depth understanding of another culture and knowledge of another language are increasingly valued. Graduates from our department are finding that the recent political, social, and economic changes in the former Soviet Union, East Central Europe, and Southeastern Europe have resulted in an increasing number of opportunities for employment, both in this country and abroad, in fields such as education, journalism, business, diplomacy, social work, health, and environmental affairs. A Slavic major also provides excellent preparation for graduate studies in a number of areas, as well as a sound background in the liberal arts for those wishing to attend professional schools (including law school).

Major Track in Russian/East European/ Eurasian Cultures
(50-52 units)

This major track integrates the study of languages and cultures of a large area: Russia, East Central Europe, Southeastern Europe, and Eurasia. Students design their own programs by selecting courses offered by the Slavic Department and other departments such as History, Political Science, Political Economy, Anthropology, Geography, Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS), and others. While all majors in this track will gain knowledge of the whole area, the program also allows each student (1) to emphasize a specific cultural region, (2) to compare different regions, and/or (3) to define a particular field of study. Students are advised to see the Major Advisor in advance to prepare an individualized study plan.

REQUIREMENTS:

Lower-division (21-24 units):

  • Four semesters of one language of the area (18 to 20 units) (or the equivalent, as determined by examination). Russian heritage speakers should see page 2 for language placement approval instructions.
  • The Department highly recommends additional exposure to language through course work, intensive summer language programs, or the Education Abroad Program. Languages regularly offered by our department that can be used for this track are: Russian, Polish, Czech, BCS (Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian), Armenian, and Hungarian.
  • One lower-division course in the Slavic Department. Slavic 50: Introduction to Russian/East European/Eurasian Cultures. In rare instances, and with permission of the Major Advisor, it may be possible to substitute another lower-division course, e.g. Slavic 39, 45, or 46.

Upper-division (28 units):

  • REQUIREMENT FOR NEW MAJORS DECLARING SPRING 2014 ONWARD: Slavic 100 (Seminar: Russian, East European, and Eurasian Cultures for 4 units) offered each Fall beginning Fall 2014.
  • One cultural topics course: Slavic 148: Topics in Russian Cultural History or Slavic 158: Topics in East European & Eurasian Cultural History
  • One relevant course in the Department of History, e.g. History 171A, B, or C (History of Russia); 172 (Russian Intellectual History); 173 or 174A (History of Eastern Europe, History of Poland-Lithuania); 177A or B (History of Armenia)
  • Four elective courses chosen from the upper-division offerings of the Slavic Department, and the following courses from outside the department: Geography 55C; Political Science 129B, 129C, 141A, 141C; Sociology 181. With permission of the Major Advisor, students may utilize relevant courses from the following departments: History (a course not used for the major history requirement), Anthropology, Comparative Literature, Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, Economics, Journalism, Legal Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, Political Economy.

Variations: With permission of the Major Advisor, up to two upper-division language courses (taken in addition to the initial four semesters of the same language) may be counted among these five electives. Similarly, up to two lower- or upper-division language courses in another language relevant to the program of study may be counted.

Major Track in Russian Language and Literature
(53-56 units)

This major track integrates the study of Russian language, literature, and culture. Students will learn what defines Russia's unique place in civilization, both in earlier times and in today's world. Students are advised to see the Major Advisor in advance to prepare an individualized study plan. Students may declare the major after completion of Slavic 2 and either Slavic 45 or 46.

REQUIREMENTS:

Lower-division (26 units):

  • The first four semesters of Russian (Slavic 1, 2, 3, 4), or the equivalent (Russian heritage speakers should see language placement approval instructions.)
  • A two-semester survey of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian literature (Slavic 45 & 46)

Upper-division (27-30 units):

  • REQUIREMENT FOR NEW MAJORS DECLARING SPRING 2014 ONWARD:
  • Slavic 100 (Seminar: Russian, East European, and Eurasian Cultures for 4 units) offered each Fall beginning Fall 2014.
  • Advanced Russian language (Slavic 103A & 103B) and Russian conversation (Slavic 120A or B)
  • One literature course with readings in Russian (Slavic 180, 181, 182, or 188)
  • One Russian literature class in English translation (Slavic 131, 132, 133, or 134A, B, C, D, E, F, G, N)
  • One course in culture selected from the following: Russian culture (Slavic 130, 131, 140, 148, 190), the literatures of other Slavic peoples (Slavic 150, 160, 170), Folklore (Slavic 147A, 147B), Linguistics (Slavic C137), Film (Slavic 138)
  • One upper-division elective course (3 or 4 units) in Russian language, literature, or culture selected from the courses listed above. Relevant courses from other departments—for example, History—may be substituted with permission of the Major Advisor.

MAJOR TRACK in CZECH, POLISH,
BCS (BOSNIAN, CROATIAN, SERBIAN)
LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
(53-56 units)

With advance consultation, students may pursue a major track in Czech, Polish, or BCS (Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian). Advance consultation is critical, since not all required courses are offered each year.

REQUIREMENTS:

Lower-division (26 units):

  • Slavic 1 and 2 (2 semesters of elementary Russian), 10 units
  • Two lower-division courses in literature and culture chosen from Slavic 36, 39, 45, 46 or 50 (6 units)
  • Two lower-division courses in the target language [Slavic 25A-25B (Polish), 26A-26B (Czech), 27A-27B (BCS: Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian)], 10 units.

Upper-division (27-30 units):

  • REQUIREMENT FOR NEW MAJORS DECLARING SPRING 2014 ONWARD:
  • Slavic 100 (Seminar: Russian, East European, and Eurasian Cultures for 4 units) offered each Fall beginning Fall 2014.
  • 8 units of the intermediate target language (Slavic 115A-115B (Polish), 116A-116B (Czech), or 117A-117B (BCS)).
  • 3 units of a survey course in the relevant literature (Slavic 150, 160, or 170; or with the appropriate content and permission of the major adviser, Slavic 158).
  • 7 units of two additional courses in the relevant literature in the original (Slavic 151-152, 161-162, or 171-172).
  • A plan of study, designed in advance in consultation with the major adviser, consisting of three two relevant electives (3-4 units each) in Russian or European literature and history.

Minor Programs

The Department offers minors in: (a) Russian language, (b) Russian literature (requiring no knowledge of Russian), (c) Russian language, literature, and culture, and (d) Slavic languages/ literatures with an emphasis in Czech, Polish, or BCS (Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian) language and literature.

Requirements: The minor is in a field academically distinct from the student’s major. An overall grade-point average of 2.0 in upper-division courses applied to the minor program is required. Courses fulfilling minor requirements must be taken for a letter grade. At least three of the required upper division courses must be taken at Berkeley.

Restrictions to Minors: Heritage and native speakers of Russian may choose any minor except the minor in Russian Language. Heritage and native speakers of East European languages may choose any minor except the minor in their native/heritage language. Note: Heritage or native proficiency is determined by the Major Advisor in consultation with the faculty language coordinators. Final approval for a minor rests with the Major Advisor.

Confirmation or “Declaration” of a Minor: Students considering a minor track involving language requirements must see the Major Advisor early on to have their status as a heritage or native speaker determined, to be referred for language placement as needed, and to have their major study list plan approved. The paperwork for the minor, called an L&S Confirmation of Minor form, is completed with the Major Advisor the semester in which the student will earn his/her degree, and no later than the last two weeks of classes in the student’s final semester. Students are required to bring a Bear Facts copy of their transcript when they meet with the Major Advisor to finalize their minor.

Minor in Russian Language, Literature, and Culture
Total Upper-Division Units: 15-20

Prerequisite: Four semesters of elementary/intermediate Russian (Slavic 1, 2, 3, & 4 or equivalent). Russian heritage speakers should see language placement approval instructions.

Five upper-division courses (3 or 4 units each) in Russian language and/or Russian and other Slavic literatures and cultures. These courses may be chosen in any combination by the student, in consultation with the Major Advisor. A course from another related program (for example, comparative literature) may be substituted with approval of the Major Advisor.

Minor in Russian Language
Total Upper-Division Units: 16-20

Prerequisite: Four semesters of elementary/intermediate Russian (Slavic 1, 2, 3, & 4 or equivalent)

Four semesters of advanced Russian (Slavic 103A & 103B, plus two courses chosen from Slavic 104A*, 104B*, 180, 181, 182, or 188), Advanced Russian Conversation (Slavic 120A or B)

*Not currently offered.

Minor in Russian Literature
Total Upper-Division Units: 19-20

Prerequisite: Surveys of Russian literature (Slavic 45 & 46)

One course on the culture of Russia or other Slavic nation chosen from Slavic 130, 138, 140, 147A or B, 148, 150, 160, or 170

Four courses in Russian literature chosen from Slavic 132, 133, 134 (A, B, C, D, E, F, G, N), 180*, 181, 182, 188

*Infrequently offered.

Minor in Czech, Polish, BCS (Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian) Language and Literature
Total Upper-Division Units: 17-18

Prerequisite: Appropriate first-year language sequence (Slavic 25A-B, 26A-B, 27A-B or equivalent)

Two advanced language courses (Slavic 115A-B, 116A-B, or 117A-B), and one literature survey (Slavic 150, 160, or 170)

Two courses in the relevant literature (Slavic 151 and 152 or 161 and 162 or 171 and 172) or substitutes approved by the Major Advisor.

Honors Program

Slavic majors with a minimum GPA of 3.3 overall and in courses for the major are invited to consult with members of the faculty and the Major Advisor in the spring of their junior year about the honors program and a thesis topic. Requirements for the honors program in Slavic include: (a) one additional upper-division Slavic course chosen by the student and (b) an honors thesis course (H195). In the honors thesis course, normally taken during the fall semester of the senior year, the student writes a thesis under the direction of a member of the faculty (as thesis director). In order to enroll in H195, the student must file an application with the department the semester before enrolling in H195 (available from the Staff Student Services Advisor). This application includes a preliminary statement of the thesis topic and the names and signatures of the members of the honors committee, consisting of a faculty director and one additional faculty member (who also reads the completed thesis), and the Department Chair.

Language Placement

Students who have learned Russian or other Slavic languages elsewhere, as well as those returning from study abroad, will need to take a placement test at the beginning of the semester. Please review language placement information listed below.

Students starting with 1st or 2nd year Russian should consult with Anna Muza (amuza@berkeley.edu, or during her office hours), Russian Language Coordinator, about placement in the lower-division language courses (Slavic 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6A-B).

Students needing placement screening for Advanced Russian (Slavic 103A-B, etc.) or testing for the Letters and Science foreign language requirement for Russian should consult with Anna Muza (amuza@berkeley.edu, or during her office hours).

Heritage speakers of Russian considering a major or minor track requiring Russian must make an appointment with the Undergraduate Staff or Major Advisor to obtain information specific to their individual language requirements and to be referred for the proficiency/placement exam.

Students of East European or Eurasian languages should consult with the appropriate Language Coordinator for proficiency testing and placement.

Transfer students and those enrolling in study abroad programs should consult with the Major Advisor regarding course equivalents accepted by the Department.

Office hours are posted on the departmental bulletin board and website.

Education Abroad

The Slavic Department actively encourages students to participate in study abroad programs in Russia and other East European countries. Through the University of California’s Study Abroad Program, students may spend the fall or spring semester in St. Petersburg and do intensive work on Russian language, literature, and culture. Other institutions also offer programs in Russia and East European countries, both during the school year and summer. Please consult with the Major Advisor for information about these programs.

Course Offerings

Students should consult the Schedule of Classes and the Slavic website for current offerings.

RUSSIAN LANGUAGE COURSES

1. Elementary Russian. (5) Five hours of lecture and two hours of language laboratory per week. Beginner's course.

2. Elementary Russian. (5) Five hours of lecture and two hours of language laboratory per week. Prerequisites: 1 or equivalent.

3. Intermediate Russian. (5) Five hours of lecture and one hour of language laboratory per week. Prerequisites: 2 or equivalent.

4. Intermediate Russian. (5) Five hours of lecture and one hour of language laboratory per week. Prerequisites: 3 or equivalent.

6A-6B. Introductory Russian for Heritage Speakers. (3;3)
Prerequisites: Basic proficiency in Russian; placement test and consent of instructor. The course is aimed at "heritage speakers" of Russian, i.e., those who grew up speaking Russian in the family without a full Russian educational and cultural background. These courses are designed for students who have speaking and comprehension ability in Russian but have minimum exposure to writing and reading. This course teaches basic skills of writing, reading, and grammar. Both 6A and 6B include reading and cultural material. (Students with advanced reading proficiency should consider Slavic 190.)

Revised Description Spring 2014
100. Seminar: Russian, East European, and Eurasian Cultures. (4)

An in-depth study of cultural history, literature, language, and society of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Variable topics. Course readings include primary texts (literature, film, popular culture, journalism) and scholarly studies. Course work emphasizes students' research. Required of all majors in the Slavic department. Final research paper of 10-20 pages required.

103A-103B. Advanced Russian. (4;4).
Prerequisites: 4, or equivalent or consent of instructor. Course covers three main aspects of advanced Russian: grammar, syntax, and reading. Grammar is reviewed. Course taught in Russian.

105A-105B. Advanced Russian/English/Russian Translation. (1-3;1-3)
Course may be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: 1, 2, 3, 4 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. Advanced training in both oral and written translation skills covering various areas of politics, business, technology, law, science, and culture. Elements of literary and poetic translation. Course may be taken for one unit (5 weeks: basic translation skills), two units (10 weeks: advanced skills), or three units (15 weeks: professional skills).

106A-106B. Advanced Russian for Heritage Speakers. (3;3)
Prerequisites: Advanced speaking and reading proficiency in Russian, placement test, and consent of instructor. The course is aimed at "heritage speakers" of Russian, i.e., those who grew up speaking Russian in the family without a standard Russian educational background. The advanced course aims at building a sophisticated vocabulary, developing advanced reading ability, formal knowledge of grammar, and complete writing competency. This course fosters the student's knowledge and understanding of Russian culture and society today. (Students with no or only rudimentary reading proficiency should consider 6A or 6B by consent of instructor.)

109.* Business Russian. (3)
Course may be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: 103B or equivalent; consent of instructor. This course is designed for students with a good command of basic Russian who would like to gain the vocabulary of business transactions in Russian to be able to establish actual contacts with Russian businesspeople, to participate in business negotiations, to compile business contracts in Russian, and to read Russian business magazines and newspapers. Elements of the business law of Russia will also be discussed.

*Infrequently offered.

120A-120B. Advanced Russian Conversation and Communication. (2-3; 2-3) Course may be repeated for credit. Two to three hours of lecture per week. Prerequisites: Slavic 4 or equivalent. Aimed at fostering advanced conversation and communication skills, this course explores Russian culture through communication. Contains reading, films, vocabulary building, listening exercises, and speaking activities. The course can be taken for two or three credits; for two credits, attendance is required for two classes per week; for three credits, three classes per week.

READING AND COMPOSITION COURSES

R5A-R5B. Reading and Composition. (4;4).
Prerequisites: UC Entry Level Writing Requirement or equivalent for 5A; 5A or equivalent for 5B. Reading and composition course that includes works of Russian and other Slavic writers translated into English. As students develop strategies of writing and interpretation, they will become acquainted with a theme in Russian and/or other Slavic literatures and their major writers. R5A satisfies the first half of the Reading and Composition requirement, and R5B satisfies the second half.

SLAVIC DEPARTMENT CONTRIBUTIONS TO UNIVERSITY LOWER-DIVISION SEMINARS

24. Freshmen Seminars (1)
The Freshman Seminar Program has been designed to provide new students with the opportunity to explore an intellectual topic with a faculty member in a small-seminar setting. Freshman seminars are offered in all campus departments, and topics vary from department to department and semester to semester.

Each focused on the collective exploration of the great novel emphasized, seen both as a work of literary art and as a response to philosophical issues of its time.

In recent years the following seminars have been offered by our department faculty.

a) The Brothers Karamazov: Let’s Read It Together (1)

b) Anna Karenina: Let’s Read It Together (1)

c) War and Peace: Let’s Read It Together (1)

39. Lower-Division Courses for Freshmen and Sophomores (3)
Freshman and Sophomore Seminars offer lower-division students the opportunity to explore an intellectual topic with a faculty member and a group of peers in a small-seminar setting. These seminars are offered in all campus departments; topics vary from department to department and from semester to semester.

In recent years the following seminars have been offered by our department faculty.

39A: Language, Ethnicity and Identity in the Balkans (3)

39B: Stalin and Totalitarian Culture (3)

39C. Images of Eastern Europe (3)

39D. Literature in Revolution: The Soviet 1920s (3)

39D. Science Fiction (3)

39F. Balkan Cultures (3)

39G. Women, Men, Marriage, and Its Problems: Some 19th-Century Russian Views (3)

39H. The Russian-Chechen Wars (3)

39I. The Languages and Peoples of the Caucasus (3)

39J. Love among the Russians (3)

39K: Boredom (3)

39L. Russian Short Fiction (3)

39M. Linguistic Diversity: The Languages of the Former Soviet Union (3)

39N-Z: New topics will be offered in future semesters under these course numbers.

RUSSIAN LITERATURE COURSES

36. Great Books of Russian Literature (3)
Readings in English of representative texts from the Russian literary tradition. Variable topics. Some topics have included prominent works of Russian literature that have significant events in literary and moral history (Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago; Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina; Dostoevsky’s The Idiot). Another explored a particular cluster of definitions for what reading a “great book” might mean. Texts included Tolstoy’s War and Peace; Shalamov’s Kolyma Tales; Babel’s Red Calvary and Other Stories; Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago.

45. Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature. (3)
Three hours of lecture per week. Development of Russian literature from Pushkin to Chekov. No knowledge of Russian required. Prerequisite to admission to the Slavic major.

46. Twentieth-Century Russian Literature. (3)
Development of Russian literature from 1900 to the present: modernism, Soviet and emigré literature. No knowledge of Russian required. Prerequisite to admission to the Slavic major.

132. Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and the English Novel. (4).
A reading of novels by Dostoevsky and Tolstoy along with some relevant English novels. Discussion of how the Russian and English novels respond to each other, resemble each other and differ from each other, especially in their treatment of childhood, family, love, social theory, spirituality, and narrative.

133. The Novel in Russia and the West. (4)
Course may be repeated once for credit with consent of instructor. Study of major Russian and Western (European and American) 19th- and 20th-century novels, and their interrelations. Variable reading list. See Department announcement for description.

134A. Gogol. (4)
Gogol's fiction and plays, treated in relation to his life and to developments in Russian and European literature. Extensive outside reading required for this course.

134C. Dostoevsky. (4)
A survey of the writer's principal artistic works, treated in relation to his life and to developments in Russian and European literature. Extensive outside reading required for this course.

134D. Tolstoy. (4)
A survey of the writer's principal artistic works, treated in relation to his life and to developments in Russian and European literature. Extensive outside reading required for this course.

134E. Chekhov. (4)
Studies in the innovative master of modern narrative forms: short story, drama, letter. Extensive exposure to the life and times of Anton Chekhov. Practice in critical approaches to literature and theater. Writing intensive course.

134F. Nabokov. (4)
A thorough examination of Nabokov's work as a novelist, critic, and memoirist. Explores Nabokov's fiction from his European and American periods, his (imagined) relation to literary predecessors and his construct of an authorial self. Extensive outside reading required for this course.

134G. Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. (4)
A reading of major works by Tolstoy and Dostoevsky in the context of Russian and European philosophy and religious thought. Extensive outside reading required. Variable content.

134N. Studies in Russian Literature. (4)
Course may be repeated for credit with consent of instructor. Special topics in Russian literature and its international context. Variable subject matter; see Department announcement for description. Extensive outside reading required for this course.

134R. Research in Russian Literature. (1)
Special research project to be coordinated with lecture course in the Slavic 134 series (Slavic 134A-B-C-D-E-F-G-N). Supervised by the instructor of the lecture course in which the student is also enrolled. Final research paper of 10-15 pages required.

181. Readings in Russian Literature. (4)
Prerequisites: 103A (which may be taken concurrently). Study and analysis of the development of the Russian literary language and short fiction from the eighteenth century to the present. Reading is done in the original Russian.

182. Pushkin. (4)
A survey of the writer's principal artistic works, treated in relation to his life and to developments in Russian and European literature. All readings are in Russian

188. Russian Prose. (4)
Course may be repeated once for credit with consent of instructor. Prerequisites: 103B (may be taken concurrently). Reading, analysis, and interpretation of representative authors from the nineteenth century to the present. Reading is done in the original Russian. Course conducted in Russian.

CULTURAL CONTEXT COURSES

50. Introduction to Russian/East European/Eurasian Cultures. (3)
Introduction to the cultures of the peoples of the former Soviet bloc (Russia and other areas of the former Soviet Union, including Central Asia and the Caucasus, and Eastern Europe), from early times to the present, with the emphasis on cultural identity. Readings in history, fiction, and folklore, as well as viewing of films and art works. Required of majors in Russian/East European/Eurasian cultures, the course is also aimed at a broad audience. Knowledge of the languages of the area is not required.

130. The Culture of Medieval Rus’. (4)
Introduction to the cultures of East Slavic peoples in the Middle Ages, including history, mythology, Christian religious culture, literature, icon painting, and architecture.

131. Literature, Art, and Society in 20th Century Russia. (4)
Course may be repeated for credit. Examination of Russian literature and culture in the 20th century, focusing on the interaction of literature, other artistic forms (painting, photography, or film), and broader social and ideological changes in one of the key transitional periods of 20th century. No knowledge of Russian is required.

137. Introduction to Slavic Linguistics. (3)
Prerequisites: Two years of a Slavic language or consent of instructor. An introduction to the Slavic languages, their structures and histories, and descriptive and theoretical principles for their analysis. The origin and ancient history of the Slavs.

138. Topics in Russian and Soviet Film. (4)
Course may be repeated for credit as topic varies. Three hours of lecture and two hours of screen viewing per week. This course examines the Russian contribution to film history and theory, with particular attention to the role of the cinema in Soviet culture, and to Russian film's complex ties to literary and political movements. Variable topics.

140. The Performing Arts in Russia and Eastern Europe. (4)
Course may be repeated for credit. The course examines Russian and East European contributions to the practice and theory of the performing arts, especially (but not exclusively) theater. The course emphasizes the involvement of the performing arts in the social and cultural fabric.

146.* East/West Encounters. (4)
The course explores the ways in which Asia or the Orient has been figured in the English, French, and Russian literary traditions from the 18th to the early 20th centuries, with attention to the different modes of exoticism, from the stereotypic to the revelatory, that have marked the meetings between "east" and "west" in the wake of the imperial cultures of Europe.

*Infrequently offered

147A. East Slavic Folklore. (3)
Folktales, epic songs, customs, and beliefs of Russians and Ukrainians.

147B. Balkan Folklore. (3)
Folktales, epic songs, customs, and beliefs, and music of the South Slavs and other Balkan peoples.

148. Topics in Russian Cultural History. (4)
This course examines various dimensions of Russian culture—social, political, artistic, literary—in public and private life. Topic and period variable. Instruction and texts in English, but students with a working knowledge of Russian are encouraged to do some reading in the original. Course may be repeated for credit.

150. Polish Literature and Intellectual Trends. (3)
A survey of the major writers, works and trends of the Polish literary tradition from the Middle Ages to the present. Special attention devoted to the Renaissance, the age of Romanticism and the modern period. No knowledge of Polish required.

158. Topics in East European/Eurasian Cultural History. (4)
Course may be repeated for credit. This course examines various dimensions of different East European and Eurasian (Central Asia, the Caucasus, Siberia) cultures (history, society, languages, literature, art). Variable topics. Instruction and readings in English; students with knowledge of the languages of the area are encouraged to do some reading in the original language.

160. Survey of Czech Literature. (3)
Outline of the history of Czech literature from the tenth century to the present, including medieval literature of the fourteenth century, the National Revival of the nineteenth century, and the modern period. No knowledge of Czech required.

170. Survey of Yugoslav Literatures. (3)
Major works of modern Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian authors with attention to their role in the formation and dissolution of Yugoslavia. No knowledge of BCS (Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian) required.

190. Russian Culture Taught in Russian: Country, Identity, and Language. (4)
Course may be repeated for credit as topic varies. Prerequisites: Advanced Russian, at least three years of college level or equivalent with consent of instructor. Based on a wide range of sources from the 19th and 20th centuries—works of fiction, journalism, personal documents—the course traces the formation and historical transformation of Russian cultural identity. The class is aimed at students with advanced knowledge of Russian, both Americans studying Russian and Russians living in America. All readings, lectures, and discussions in Russian.

HUNGARIAN LANGUAGE COURSES
(2-Year Course Sequences)

East European Studies 1A-1B. Introductory Hungarian. (3,4; 3,4)
Prerequisites: 1A, none; 1B, completion of 1A or consent of instructor. Practical instruction in the Hungarian language. The course can be taken for either 3 or 4 units; the additional unit involves language laboratory work and additional written reading assignments.

East European Studies 100. Readings in Hungarian. (2)
Course may be repeated for credit. Two hours of lecture/discussion per week. Prerequisites: 1B or equivalent or consent of instructor.

CZECH, POLISH, AND BCS (BOSNIAN/CROATIAN/SERBIAN) LANGUAGE COURSES (2-Year Course Sequences), AND LITERATURE COURSES

26A-26B. Introductory Czech. (5;5)
Five hours of lecture per week. Prerequisites: 26A, none; 26B, completion of 26A 116A or consent of instructor. Beginner's course. Sequence begins in the fall semester.

116A-116B. Advanced Czech. (4;4)
Course may be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: 116A, completion of 26B; 116B, completion of 116A or consent of instructor. Sequence begins in the fall semester

160. Survey of Czech Literature. (3).
Outline of the history of Czech literature from the tenth century to the present, including medieval literature of the fourteenth century, the National Revival of the nineteenth century, and the modern period. No knowledge of Czech required.

161. Readings in Czech Literature. (4)
Course may be repeated for credit with consent of instructor. Prerequisite: 116A or consent of instructor. Selected readings in Czech, tailored to the academic interests of students enrolled. All readings are in Czech.

162. Topics in Czech Language and Literature. (3)
Course may be repeated for credit with consent of instructor. Prerequisite: 116A (may be taken concurrently) or consent of instructor. Studies in Czech literature or linguistics, or conversation, depending on the needs of the students enrolled. All readings are in Czech.

25A-25B. Introductory Polish. (5;5)
Five hours of lecture per week. Prerequisites: 25A, none; 25B, completion of 25A or consent of instructor. Beginner's course. Sequence begins in the fall semester.

115A-115B. Advanced Polish. (4;4)
Course may be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: 115A, completion of 25B; 115B, completion of 115A or consent of instructor. Sequence begins in the fall semester.

150. Polish Literature and Intellectual Trends. (3).
A survey of the major writers, works and trends of the Polish literary tradition from the Middle Ages to the present. Special attention devoted to the Renaissance, the age of Romanticism and the modern period. No knowledge of Polish required.

151. Readings in Polish Literature. (4)
Course may be repeated for credit with consent of instructor. Prerequisite: 115A (may be taken concurrently) or consent of instructor. Selected readings in Polish tailored to the academic interests of students enrolled. All readings are in Polish.

152. Topics in Polish Language and Literature. (3)
Course may be repeated for credit with consent of instructor. Prerequisite: 115A or consent of instructor Studies in Polish literature or linguistics, or conversation, depending on the needs of the students enrolled. All readings are in Polish

27A-27B. Introductory BCS (Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian). (5;5)
Five hours of lecture per week. Prerequisites: 27A, none; 27B, completion of 27A or consent of instructor. Beginner's course. Sequence begins in the fall semester.

117A-117B. Advanced BCS (Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian). (4;4)
Course may be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: 117A, completion of 27B; 117B, completion of 117A or consent of instructor. Sequence begins in the fall semester.

170. Survey of Yugoslav Literatures. (3)
Major works of modern Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian authors with attention to their role in the formation and dissolution of Yugoslavia. No knowledge of BCS (Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian) required.

171. Readings in Yugoslav Literatures. (4)
Course may be repeated for credit with consent of instructor. Prerequisite: 117A or consent of instructor. Selected readings in BCS (Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian), tailored to the academic interests of students enrolled. All readings are in the original languages.

172. Topics in BCS (Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian). (3)
Course may be repeated for credit with consent of instructor. Prerequisites: 117A (may be taken concurrently) or consent of instructor. Studies in BCS (Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian) literatures or linguistics, or conversation, depending on the needs of the students enrolled. All readings are in the original languages.

EURASIAN LANGUAGES COURSES
(2-Year Course Sequences)

1A-1B. Beginning Armenian. (3;3)
Prerequisites: 1A, none; 1B, completion of 1A or consent of instructor. An introduction to Armenian language and culture, aiming to give students basic competence in all four skills and an introduction to traditional and contemporary Armenian culture.

101A-101B. Continuing Armenian. (3;3)
Course may be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: 1A-1B or consent of instructor. Further development of proficiency in all four languages skills, using discussion, oral presentations, written assignments, and a variety of readings (literature, non-fiction, folklore, newspaper articles, etc.) chosen partly for their cultural significance and partly based on student needs and interests. Emphasis on particular skills (e.g. reading) depending on student needs and interests.

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On this page:

Berkeley Undergraduate Student Learning Initiative and Slavic Languages & Literatures

The Slavic Department and Our Undergraduate Program

Courses

Language Instruction

Major Programs

Major and Minor Requirements for Heritage Speakers of Russian

Declaring a Major

Slavic Studies Outside the Classroom

After Graduation

Major Track in Russian/East European/Eurasian Cultures:

Major Track in Russian Language and Literature:

Major Track in Czech, Polish, BCS (Bosnian/ Croatian/Serbian) Language and Literature:

Minor Programs:

Honors Program

Language Placement

Education Abroad

Course Offerings:

 


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Design: Renee Perelmutter, 2004. Updated by Elizabeth LaVarge-Baptista, 3/12/2014