Russian Area Studies


The Russian Area Studies program is designed to give students knowledge of the Russian language, to help students better understand Russian culture and the situation in the newly independent countries, and to prepare students for continued study beyond the Colleges.



If you'd like to view a full listing of our course options in Russian Area Studies or any other subject, please visit the Online Course Catalogue.

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Requirements for Major, History and Society

interdisciplinary, 11 courses

  • RUSE 112 (Introduction to Russian Literature)
  • HIST 263 (The Russian Land)
  • Three Russian language courses, starting with RUS 102.
  • Two courses from the Russian area studies humanities electives
  • Three courses from the Russian area studies social science electives
  • One additional course either in Russian language or from the Russian area studies electives.

Restrictions: At least two courses must be at the 300-level or above. No more than one course can come from the contextual courses category. Students are encouraged to take at least three years of language study.

Audit/Declaration Form

Requirements for Major, Language and Culture

disciplinary, 11 courses

  • RUSE 112 (Introduction to Russian Literature)
  • HIST 263 (The Russian Land)
  • Seven Russian language courses, starting with RUS 102.
  • Two non-language courses from the Russian Area Studies offerings, one of which must be from the Humanities and one of which must be from the Social Sciences.

Restrictions: No course from the list of "Contextual Courses" will count towards the major. Students pursuing the disciplinary major should plan to spend at least one semester studying abroad in Russia.

Audit/Declaration Form

Requirements for Minor, Russian Language

disciplinary, 6 courses

Six Russian language courses starting with RUS 102.

Audit/Declaration Form

Requirements for Minor, Russian Area Studies

interdisciplinary, 6 courses

  • RUSE 112 (Introduction to Russian Literature)
  • HIST 263 (The Russian Land)
  • Four courses from the Russian area studies electives selected in consultation with an adviser.

Restrictions: Two courses must be in the social sciences. No courses from the list of contextual courses may count toward the minor.

Audit/Declaration Form


Our students choose from a variety of introductory and advanced courses, each designed to provide students with an understanding of Russian history, culture, and language.

Below, you'll find a sampling of some of our most popular classes, as well as suggestions for making Russian a part of your larger interdisciplinary experience at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

RUSE 137 Vampires: From Vlad to Buffy


Long before Buffy Summers was slaying them, vampires seduced their way into our world. Trace the origins of the vampire in folklore, discover the startling reality of Vlad Tepes, and fall under the spell of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Once you're ready to exorcise the demons, learn about more divine beings and enroll in REL 217 Gurus, Saints, Priests and Prophets.

RUSE 203 Russian Prison Literature


Under the dictatorship of Joseph Stalin, millions of Soviet citizens were accused of crimes against the state and imprisoned - most for crimes they did not commit. Scattered throughout the far reaches of Siberia, these victims wrote haunting tales of injustice and their struggles to survive. You've heard the voices of the disenchanted Soviet people, now study the literature that gives them voice in ENG 354 Forms of Memoir.

RUSE 238 Spies, Reds, and Poets


Uncover the true lives of Russian spies and trace their origins from Ivan the Terrible's secret police all the way to the KGB. Examine stereotypes such as the starving Soviet poet, the fearsome Russian gangster, and the seductive femme fatale through the more subtle representations crafted by the writers who experienced this culture firsthand. When you're done, analyze these stereotypes and more by taking SOC 223 Inequalities, and explore stereotypes and inequalities in American society.




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Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

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