Beloit College's program in Russian studies is one of several minor concentrations in area studies available to students. Comprised of courses taken in Russian language, literature, history, politics, film, and culture, the Russian studies minor offers students a broad base upon which to build specific interests within related disciplines. The rich cultural, intellectual, and political history of Russia and the former Soviet Union continues to serve as a stimulating source of insight into the changing world around us.
The Russian studies minor is designed to allow the student to explore this broad area of study through a multidisciplinary approach. The basic framework for the minor rests upon course work in language, literature, history, political science, and culture. Students will come to understand the way Russians perceive themselves and the world around them through an analysis of the concerns that have motivated their actions throughout the years. Study of the Russian language provides an indispensable tool for gaining insight into the uniquely Russian perspective of the world.
The Broader Context
The contribution of Russian thinkers and artists to the world of ideas has been undeniably enormous. Russia has a remarkably expressive language and an even more remarkable national literature. Despite its internal conflicts, Russia continues to play a major role in the current course of world events. Recent changes in the economic and political structure of the countries composing the former Soviet Union have brought about new challenges for those interested in Russian studies. Moreover, the relaxed restrictions upon travel and the increased opportunities for study and work within Russia have kept this field vital and strong.
Beloit College students interested in Russian studies have the opportunity to participate in study abroad programs such as Beloit's exchange with the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow, or through the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM), which conducts a semester program in Krasnodar, Russia. Students are also encouraged to live in the College's Russian House, a special interest residence hall for students studying Russian language and culture. The campus Russian Club is also active and regularly sponsors events ranging from Russian meals to Russian conversation hours to Russian videos and films. Exchange students from Russia studying at Beloit offer yet another opportunity for Russian studies students to practice their language skills while gaining a special perspective on the realities of contemporary Russian life.
Graduates from Beloit College's Russian program have gone on to do graduate work in Russian studies and related fields at universities within the United States and in Europe. Several students have returned to Russia and other former Soviet republics to teach English.