RUS 106   Russian Intensive

Marina Kostalevsky / Jennifer Day

M T W Th .

10:30  -12:30 pm



8 credits   This intensive course is designed as a continuation for students who have completed Beginning Russian 101. Our focus on speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills continues through cultural context, video materials, songs, and literary analysis. This course culminates in a 4-week June program in St. Petersburg, where students will attend classes (earning an additional 4 credits) and participate in a cultural program while living in Russian families. Successful completion of the intensive sequence qualifies the student to pursue semester or yearlong study in St. Petersburg at Smolny College of the Liberal Arts, a joint educational venture of Bard and St. Petersburg University. 



RUS 207   Continuing Russian II

Jennifer Day

M . W . F

1:25 pm -2:25 pm



This course is designed to continue refining and engaging students’ practice of speaking, reading and writing Russian. Advanced grammar topics are addressed through a wide variety of texts and contexts, with emphasis on literary analysis and the modern press. Students expand their vocabulary and range of stylistic nuance by writing response  papers and presenting oral reports. Study includes a semester-long project that provides an opportunity to build our own Web design dictionary; to research aspects of modern Russian culture; and to present findings in a collaborative creative effort, such as a play, “news broadcast”, or a concert. 



RUS 312   Nabokov: Puzzle, Pattern, Game

Jennifer Day

. . W . .

9:30  -11:50 am

OLIN 310


As poet, master fiction writer, translator, chess enthusiast, and lepidopterist, Vladimir Nabokov made it his life’s work to cultivate a creative understanding able to recognize hidden patterns and sleights-of-hand, and to play along in his own art.  In this course, structured as a seminar, we will approach our selection of Nabokov’s works as “players” and treasure-seekers, training our senses to discern what has been so carefully and lovingly hidden.  As we search, we will consider such major interpretive strategies as: life as design and variants on (auto)biography; memory and its role in art; varieties of translation; aesthetic and ethical implications of patterns and their manipulation; and the usefulness of categories such as modern and postmodern in reading Nabokov.  Significant attention will be given to the Russian cultural and literary context that underlies Nabokov’s sense of design in both his life and art.  Students will read, in addition to poems, short stories, and critical articles, The Defense, Invitation to a Beheading, The Gift, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, Pnin, and Pale Fire, as well as Nabokov’s autobiography, Speak, Memory.  Conducted in English.



RUS 325   Body, Mind, and  Spirit

in Dostoevsky

Marina Kostalevsky

. T . Th .

2:30 pm -3:50 pm

OLIN 306


An exploration of Dostoevsky’s multifaceted world. Particular attention will be paid to the way the writer experiments with the themes of body and sexuality, intellectual pursuit and philosophy, spiritual quest and religion. Readings include three short stories: “Bobok,” A Gentle Creature,” “Notes from the Underground;” three novels: “Crime and Punishment,” “The Idiot,” “The Brothers Karamazov;” as well as Dostoevsky’s letters and excerpts from “A Diary of a Writer.” Analysis of ideas, devices and structures of these texts will be supplemented by reference to major critical and theoretical writings. The course is meant to provide both an approach to Dostoevsky and to existing scholarship on Dostoevsky’s art and techniques. All readings and discussions in English.