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This archived information is dated to the 2009-10 academic year only and may no longer be current.

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Slavic Languages and Literatures

Emeriti: (Professors) Joseph Frank,* Richard D. Schupbach, Joseph A. Van Campen

Chair: Gregory Freidin

Director of Graduate Studies: Monika Greenleaf

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Gabriella Safran

Professors: Lazar Fleishman, Gregory Freidin

Associate Professors: Monika Greenleaf, Gabriella Safran

Assistant Professor: Nariman Skakov

Courtesy Professor: Nancy Ruttenberg

Senior Lecturer: Rima Greenhill

Lecturer: Eugenia Khassina

* Recalled to active duty.

Department Offices: Building 240, Room 102

Mail Code: 94305- 2006

Phone: (650) 723-4438


Web Site:

Courses offered by the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures are listed on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site under the subject codes SLAVGEN (Slavic General), SLAVLANG (Slavic Language), and SLAVLIT (Slavic Literature).

The department supports coordinated study of Russian language, literature, literary and cultural history, theory, and criticism. The department's programs may also be combined with the programs in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, Jewish Studies, Film Studies (Russian and East-European film), modern Russian theater, International Relations, Stanford's Overseas Studies, Special Languages Program, and the Honors Program in Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities (now administered through the Individually Designed Majors Program in the Dean's Office of Humanities and Sciences).

A full undergraduate program provides a choice of several tracks leading to a B.A. (with a major or a minor) or to a B.A. with honors. The department offers a full graduate program leading to an M.A. in Russian and a Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures. Stanford undergraduates are eligible to apply to the department for a coterminal B.A./M.A. degree. Students in the department's Ph.D. program are required to choose among minor programs in other national literatures, linguistics, Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, Jewish Studies, art and music history, theater, or film studies; they may design their own Mminor, choose the related field option, or participate in the Graduate Program in Humanities leading to the joint Ph.D. degree in Slavic Languages and Literatures and Humanities. Students already enrolled in the joint program with ISH are permitted to complete that degree program; no new students are being accepted.

The department runs a colloquium series, which brings distinguished speakers to Stanford, and organizes international conferences and symposia; and since 1987 maintains, a continuing publication series, Stanford Slavic Studies. Along with the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, the department offers qualified undergraduates summer grants (on a competitive basis) for intensive Russian language instruction in accredited programs in Russia and the U.S.

Improving cultural understanding is a critical part of the department's mission, and the department offers a full range of courses at all levels, including Freshman and Sophomore Seminars devoted to Russian literature, music and visual arts that do not require specialized knowledge, and advanced research seminars for graduate students. The Slavic theme house, Slavianskii Dom, serves as an undergraduate residence for many students in the program and often hosts program-related activities. Undergraduates may also choose to study in Moscow through the Stanford Overseas Studies Program. The undergraduate program has attracted students seeking careers in journalism, business, international relations, law, and human rights, as well as academia. Russian is still the lingua franca over the vast territory of the former Soviet Union, and a good command of this language offers a gateway to Eurasia's diverse cultures, ethnicities, economies, and religions, including Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam.

Stanford students are in a privileged position in relation to Russian and, more broadly, East European and Eurasian Studies, because of Stanford's faculty resources that are without peer in the U.S. Green Library and the Hoover Institution libraries and archives hold the premier Russian and East European collections, which undergraduates and graduate students use in their research. Department students master a difficult language and a rich and challenging literature, and are rewarded by gaining entry into a unique, powerful, and diverse civilization that defined major trends in the past century and plays an increasingly significant role in the world today.


The mission of the undergraduate program in Slavic Language and Literatures is to expose students to a variety of perspectives in Russian language, history, culture, literature, and philosophical thought. The program offers three tracks. Courses in the Russian Language and Literature track focus on the linguistic and philological study of literature, as well as the history of Russian literature. The Russian Language, Culture, and History track guides students through a comprehensive interdisciplinary study of Russian literature and culture in a historic context. The Russian and Philosophy track provides students with a background in the Russian language and literary tradition with emphasis on philosophical thought. The Slavic Language and Literature major prepares students for future careers in business, government agencies, teaching, and graduate school programs and professional schools.


The department expects undergraduate majors in the program to be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes. These learning outcomes are used in evaluating students and the department's undergraduate program. Students are expected to demonstrate:

  1. the ability to develop effective and nuanced lines of interpretation.
  2. critical thinking skills using Russian literary materials.
  3. analytical writing skills and close reading skills.
  4. skills in active listening and productive communication.
  5. a language proficiency in Russian or another Slavic language.

Slavic Theme House

Slavianskii Dom, at 650 Mayfield Avenue, is an undergraduate residence that offers opportunities for students to expand their knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia.

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