Courses in Moscow

During their first semester at the School in Russia, participants take four courses. For most students, this consists of:

  • Advanced Russian Grammar
  • Russian Culture & Civilization
  • Choice of two спецкурс in Literature, History or Politics

All courses are taught in Russian and are exclusive to School in Russia participants. Instructors are selected from various departments of the host university. For language courses, students are divided into language level groups based on the results of a language placement test given prior to arrival in Russia, and on the results of interviews and testing on site. Culture & Civilization and спецкурсы are not divided according to language level, but are taught to the group as a whole. Each class meets for two пары (four academic hours) per week and includes written and oral graded exercises. Below are descriptions of frequently offered courses.

Middlebury Courses

(Click on a course title below to see a description of the course.)

Advanced Russian Grammar (Core Course)

This is an advanced seminar designed to develop knowledge of difficult grammatical constructions, the complexities of grammatical choices, and structural features of modern Russian. Topics in morphology include verbs of motion, prefixes and verb formation, numerals, indefinite pronouns and adverbs, and adjective formation.  We’ll mix up this fun with a discussion of syntax using demonstrative and personal pronouns, imperatives, conjunctions, and adverbial and subordinate clauses.

Early Twentieth-Century Literature and Intellectual History

Close reading and discussion of works from the "Silver Age" of Russian literature, the term used by many Russian philologists to describe the first two decades of the twentieth century. Artistic movements discussed include Russian Symbolism, Futurism, and Asceticism, and attention is paid to writers who did not align themselves with these movements, such as Bunin and Tsvetaeva.

Advanced Russian through History

This class is a seminar on Russian composition and conversation through discussion of Russian history, from Kievan Rus’ to the post-Soviet Era. Emphasis is placed on vocabulary acquisition, stylistic analysis, and the ability to participate in scholarly discourse in speech and in writing.  This course is designed for advanced, and heritage students of Russian.

Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Russian Politics

This is a seminar on the history of Russian politics and political culture with special focus on contemporary Russia. Attention is paid to the politics of presidential succession and the dynamics of power in the Kremlin and Duma, with discussion of Putin's reforms, ethnic issues in Moscow and the various regions of Russia, constitutional debates, and the development of democracy. This class will include excursion to the Duma for direct observation of the political process in Moscow.