A World of Opportunities

Study the many facets of Russia including history, language, literature, cinema and culture in the Russian Area Studies Department. Working closely with a faculty mentor, you’ll design your major or minor around the topics you are already passionate about and those that ignite your curiosity. Finish the program with a capstone course that delves deeper into cultural theory and allows you to apply the knowledge you’ve collected in previous courses to a new project.

Experiential EducationBringing Russia to You

experiental learning

Practice Russian recipes at the Intercultural Affairs Center, attend a lecture on Russian political dissidents or test your language speaking skills in the New York State Collegiate Competition of Spoken Russian.

At Hobart and William Smith Colleges, learning goes beyond textbooks and classrooms. You’ll gain high-impact practical experience that deepens learning and opens doors.

Global Education

No Borders: Global Education

Study post-Soviet identity and conflict in Ukraine or explore Russian culture in Moscow. Summer study opportunities with rigorous Russian language and culture classes are often available through the Fulbright-Hays program.

Wherever you go, our top-ranked global education program will allow you to apply classroom knowledge, develop cultural understanding and build global connections that expand your personal capacity and sense of purpose.

Global Education

Belonging, Diversity and Equity

Courses in Russian area studies explore people of different backgrounds and offer a diverse look into the history, culture and society of Russia.

A sampling of courses that align with the Colleges’ commitment to belonging, equity and diversity:

  • RUSE 251/351 Sexuality, Power, and Creativity in Russian Literature
    Topics include Russian perceptions of male/female, masculinity/femininity; the female voice; the tension between poet and muse; gender bending; understandings of sexuality in the early Soviet period; the breaking of sexual mores during Glasnost and how current Russian debates on gender and sexuality cite and relate to this cultural heritage.
  • RUSE 112 Tsars, Mad Cats, and Comrades
    Topics include: the African heritage of Russia’s greatest writer, Alexander Pushkin, and how Pushkin’s Blackness has been perceived in Russia and by Black American artists; Islam in Russian literature: writers, characters, and topics, including Anna Politkovskaya’s writings on the Chechen Wars.
  • RUSE 101 Blood and Ice: Russian Empires
    This course looks at the diversity of the Russian Empire, including the history of marginalization and discrimination of ethnic and religious minority peoples in Russia and the USSR.

Dobro Slovo

Dobro Slovo, an internationally renowned Honors Society, recognizes academic excellence in the study of Slavic languages and literatures and provides incentive for scholarly interest in Slavic life and culture. Since the installation of the Colleges’ Delta Mu chapter of Dobro Slovo in 2003, Hobart and William Smith have recognized students majoring or minoring in Russian area studies.

Explore and embrace all aspects and areas of Russia.

  • RUSE 237 Russian Folklore

    Survey a wealth of Russian and Slavic folk tales, epic songs, legends, riddles and other elements of the oral tradition, as well as the later literatures these genres inspired.

  • RUSE 203 Russian Prison Literature

    Gain insight on the responses from those falsely imprisoned under the dictatorship of Josef Stalin.

  • RUSE 208 Fantastika: Sci-Fi and Fantasy in the Russian World

    Explore how science fiction and fantasy relate to Russian cultural and historical context and the ideological stance they portray.

  • RUSE 206 America through Russian Eyes

    View American culture and identity with a Russian lens by studying readings and films by American and Russian poets, novelists, and directors.

Alum Impact Cultural Combinations

Sarah Cavanaugh ’20,
Consultant at the Russian American Foundation

“I’m primarily working with their ballet programs and it’s been a really good way to tie my interests together. The Tales of the Village Idiot FSEM that I took with Associate Professor of Russian Area Studies David Galloway got me into the RAS program, as well as a winter break trip to St. Petersburg and Moscow that he led. I didn’t enter college thinking that I was going to study Russian, but the mentorship from Prof. Galloway was influential in my choice to pursue that course of study.”

Companies that Employ Our Graduates

  • Columbia University
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • MIT Skoltech Initiative
  • Overseas Strategic Consulting
  • Program to Expand the Access of Vulnerable Groups to HIV Prevention, Treatment and Care
  • Russian American Foundation
  • TechnoServe
  • U.S. Department of Defense (Dept. of the Air Force)
  • U.S. Department of State

Universities where our graduates are studying

  • Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
  • Columbia University Teachers College
  • Georgetown University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Northeastern University
  • Simmons College
  • University of Colorado Josef Korbel School of International Studies
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School