The Classroom Experience

Courses offered by the department concentrate on Russian language and on Russia's achievements in culture and literature. Students also take courses in Russian film, religion, and art, as well as economics, history, geography, politics, international relations, and gender studies at Mount Holyoke, and are encouraged to explore the numerous courses offered in the Five Colleges. Please also see our advice for selecting courses.

Alessandra Massa at Catherine Palace
For JTerm 2017, 3 Mount Holyoke students received stipends to travel to Saint Petersburg
French army retreats from Russia in 1812
Arguably one of the best books ever could you not want to take this class?!?
Russian writers in the Summer Garden, by Grigory Chernetsov
What's so special about nineteenth century Russian literature? Take this course and find out!
Russian Poster
Russian is the language of diverse people and diverse opportunities. It can connect you to people, places, and ideas that you may never have imagined!
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn 1974
(FYSEM-110WP): Writers, Politics, and Power: examine the interaction between aesthetics and politics, and the relationship between writers and governments
This book was refused publication in the USSR, used by the CIA as a tool for creating dissent, and made into a movie starring Omar Sharif!
Nationalism cartoon
What strategies have governments created to deal with one of the greatest challenges to multiethnic states in history, and where do we go from here?
Dancing during the break between sessions of the 19th Komsomol congress
What was the Cold War and how did it transform Europe? Take a look at this tumultuous time from all the angles.
"Fantasia," Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, 1925
Continue on your path to fluency!
Master and Margarita
"I challenge you to a duel!" bellowed the cat, soaring over their heads on a swaying chandelier, a Browning appearing in his paws. The cat took aim....
Yurt Building
I got an understanding of how the yurt really worked as a part of the nomadic culture - light, easy to assemble, and versatile.
Russian alphabet
Looking for a new perspective? Learn a new alphabet and see the world in ways you've never imagined!
Dostoevsky in prison, 1849
What are the sources of evil and redemption?
How do we understand Russia in the twenty-first century?
Modern silk road
The silk roads were ancient transportation and trade links. Today the new silk roads carry capitalism -- what are the parallels?
Putin and Rex Tillerson
(RES-241): What should U.S. policy be toward Russia and the developing new states of the Baltics, Central Asia and the Caucasus?
Dead Souls by Nikolai Vasil'Evich Gogol
“Gogol was a strange creature, but genius is always strange.” - Vladimir Nabokov
William Faulkner called the novel "the best ever written," and to Dostoyevsky it was "flawless as a work of art."