Other texts provided in free e-copy format (see below)
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The Russians is an innovative course that explores the Russian mindset, historical experience, and world view through Russian culture. Through venues and experiences, students will see and discuss paintings and architecture, analyze books and films, see and discuss theatrical productions, experience the banya and the dacha, and meet Russians to discuss life in modern Russia. The course also includes trips out of St. Petersburg and to Moscow.
This practical course is intended to produce future businessmen, diplomats, historians, professors, and other professionals skilled at overcoming cultural differences and culture shock. To achieve this, the arts are used as a starting point to facilitate cross-cultural communication through a better understanding of local culture, beliefs, and psychology. We will explore the "mental software" which influences the everyday behavior of the average Russian.
This course invites students to think critically about a range of issues that affect everything from diplomacy to daily life. This includes: how Russians perceive and display respect and emotion; what Russians have experienced in the past and what they can be said to widely expect from the present and future; why so many Russians believe that corruption is a permanent fixture of their society and why a "good tsar" is best to lead their country. We will understand better the role of language, gender, religion, and history in creating modern Russia and the modern Russian.
RS-100/200/300 Russian Language Study Courses offered at six different levels, from beginning to advanced. For more information see SRAS's suggested syllabi for beginning (100), intermediate (200), and advanced (300). Academic Hours: Semester 300/ Summer 160
HIS/SOC/CUL/PSY-331 Russian Cultural History and Psychology This course explores the development of the modern Russian cultural psychology by examining the various influences on and products of Russian culture. Five major modules are included: Literature; Cinema; Theater; Art; and Everyday Life. The first three concentrate on reading and/or viewing popular cultural artifacts of the Late-Tsarist, Soviet, and Post-Soviet eras. These modules are taught in the context of Russia's geography and climate, history, religion, folklore, traditions, and linguistics. Students will also experience "everyday culture" in Russia by going to a banya, a dacha, a supermarket, and even a Russian home to help cook Russian food! This program includes travel study to Moscow and the former imperial palaces outside of St. Petersburg.
Students will complete a substantial final project. Ordinarily, this will be an academic or policy paper 12-15 pages in length about any subject related to the program. However, SRAS will consider creative projects, informative videos, annotated photo journalism, field research, and artistic creation to be acceptable forms for the final project to take so long as the project can show substantial insight into Russian culture and make use of on-the-ground research in Russia. Academic Hours: 60+ semester; 40+ summer
RS-302: Internship Available only to second-semester students Study the issues of concern to today's Russia by working at a local NGO, business, museum, or media outlet. Or, meet and host discussions with locals by teaching at a local educational institution. We will discuss with you midway through the first semester what your interests and goals are and begin searching for an appropriate internship for your second semester. Academic Hours: Dependent on Individual Internship
RS-303 Research Project Available only to second semester students Conduct field or archival research on a subject of your choice. Students will submit a project proposal in advance, which will be discussed with SRAS staff to hone its methodology and focus. This course must result in a substatial research project. Academic Hours: Dependent on Individual Project
- Travel Study - (included w/ program cost during first semester)
The Summer Imperial Residences The imperial summer residences are very important for getting a 'feel' of the imperial splendor of the former capital of the Russian Empire. During our tour we will visit Pavlovsk Imperial Palace, one of the better preserved palaces filled with incredible art treasures. The Palace has rich history and provides us with an excellent opportunity to talk about court life and politics in Russia in the late 18-th and early 19-th centuries. If the weather is good on the way back to the city we will stop in Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin) and walk in its elegant Park. Pavlovsk and Pushkin are very close to each other - about 15-20 min by bus. Both places are very beautiful in any season.
Moscow Tour Russia's political capital with a walking tour of the city, admission to several museums, and other culture-oriented events. Roundtrip rail tickets and hostel stay are included (ask about upgrading to a hotel).
*CostIncludes: tuition for study as outlined, dorm stay, visa and registration, pre-departure materials, local orientation, admission to all included venues, health and accident insurance, round-trip airport transfers, SRAS in-country support, and use of a mobile telephone for the duration of the program. Full year students recieve two semesters of Russian language study, one semester of Russian Cultural History and Psychology and travel study options during the fall semester and will take either an internship or research project during the fall semester.
Prerequisites: Minimum GPA of 2.5 overall and 3.0 in major courses. No prior knowledge of Russian required.
About the Classes: All courses are taught in English and designed to fulfill credit requirements in multiple areas. Your classmates will be mostly Americans and others based at US universities, although language classes may have a wider representation from European and other countries. When you arrive for your program, you will be placed in a group according to your language level, as determined by a short written or oral exam.
Credit Transfer and Transcripts:How many credits your home university may award depends entirely on your home university. SRAS recommends discussing this with your advisor and SRAS before you apply. Students planning on applying for credit transfer must read our online FAQ page for more info. The program is based at St. Petersburg State University (SPGU), an accredited institution of higher education in Russia. Transcripts are issued from SPGU.
Note that The Russians is currently out of print, but that many, many used copies are available. The text is still widely used in classrooms as a glimpse into the history and forces that have helped forge the modern "Russian Soul." Note as well that The Squabble is available for free as an e-text, but only in Russian. Those students who will read the text in English should purchase a translated copy before departing America.
The following texts are provided by SRAS in e-copy in Russian and English free-of-charge (they will be emailed to the students): Lefty by Nikolai Leskov; The Bronze Horseman by Alexander Pushkin; The Twelve, by Alexander Blok; and Heart of a Dog, by Mikhail Bulgakov. Students may print the e-copy at their convenience, load the file to a reader, or read from their computers.