The department encourages students to complete at least one independent study with a faculty member, either as part of senior thesis research (RES-395), or as a way to pursue topics of interest not offered elsewhere in the Five Colleges (RES-295 or 395). Students should discuss their research interests, and whether an independent study is in fact recommended, with a faculty member with similar research interests (see below). Independent studies usually culminate in a written paper or presentation.
Peter Scotto's Research
Professor Scotto's research interests lie in 19th- and 20-century Russian literature. Currently he is investigating the life and work of Sergei Stepniak Kravchinskii, a 19th-century Russian terrorist-turned-novelist, who was forced to flee to England, where he became one of the foremost interpreters of the Russian Revolutionary movement to the English-speaking world. Professor Scotto's article on Stepniak's novel, The Career of a Nihilist, is scheduled to appear in a collection on the culture of Russian terrorism to be published by Northwestern University Press. He is currently at work on a piece tentatively titled "The Topography of Terror: Distortions of Time and Space in the Dynamite Novel."
Stephen Jones' Research
Stephen F. Jones is professor of Russian and Eurasian Studies at Mount Holyoke College (Ph.D. London School of Economics, 1984). Professor Jones specializes in modern Russian politics with a focus on the Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia). He has written on post-communist societies and on the problems of state-building and democratization. Author of four volumes on the Caucasus, Professor Jones has also written over 70 articles and chapters on Georgian politics and history. He has traveled to Georgia as a consultant for the World Bank and UNHCR (the United Nations High Commission for Refugees) to examine the impact of economic reform and to investigate the plight of IDPs (internally displaced persons). Professor Jones is a foreign member of the Georgian Academy of Sciences.