The Middlebury Russian Department is recognized around the world for excellence in language instruction. All members of the department are dedicated to teaching language at every level. But they are also specialists in literature, film, culture, and literary translation. Courses are taught both in English and in Russian.
For example, a recent Winter Term course on "Performing Chekhov" included two one-act plays, "The Proposal" in the original Russian
and "The Bear" in English translation,
so that Russian-speaking and non-Russian-speaking students could enjoy the course together.
Small class sizes and a talented faculty make it possible for students to graduate from Middlebury with a higher level of proficiency than many graduate students. Most students return from Russia and take a seminar conducted entirely in Russian. Recent senior seminar topics have included the history of Russian poetry, Pushkin, the Russian media, Nabokov, and Bulgakov.
Middlebury's rich combination of resources for Russian study has made ours one of the best-known Russian programs in the world.
Not only is there a Russian Department, which teaches Russian language, literature, and culture, but the Russian & East European Studies track of the International Studies Program offers courses in the history, political science and economics of Russia and Eastern Europe. Most Middlebury students attend one or more of the College's three School in Russia sites for one or two semesters, and many also take advantage of the intensive immersion program of the summer Russian School.
Students in Tom Beyer's 19th Century Russian Literature class recently completed projects using new media. These included a Google Earth Tour of Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, a series of podcasts on iTunes called Turgenev Talk, a blog for Anna Karenina to pour her heart out, a Facebook page for the Russian writer Lermontov, and a MySpace page devoted to the Underground Man, from Dostoevsky's Notes from the Underground.