2022-2023 Edition

Academic Catalog

Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies Minor


The study of Russia, Eurasia, and East-Central Europe is fundamental in today’s world. Solutions to many geopolitical and environmental crises require nuanced understanding of the countries that used to be part of the Soviet Union and the Russian Empire. Wesleyan’s REES Department is unique among its peers in its impressive interdisciplinary makeup: the REES faculty specialize in literature, history, politics, music, cinema, art, dance, and religion. In addition to Russian, the REES faculty speak Ukrainian, Buryat, Tatar, and Kazakh languages. Most REES courses are taught in English and are designed for majors and non-majors alike. Our graduates have gone on to careers in research and cultural analysis, education, law, artistic production, diplomacy and public service, business, and communication.

Admission to the Minor

Any student who intends to earn the minor in REES should speak with the program chair by the end of the junior year at the latest.

Minor Requirements

The minor in REES consists of six courses, in which the student must achieve a GPA of B. These courses must include RUSS101  and RUSS102  or two semesters of Russian language study at the appropriate level and four more REES courses, of which three must be taken in the areas of social sciences and/or literature & culture (see course list). The sixth course may be in either of the two areas or may be a semester of intermediate or advanced Russian. Two of the courses may be taken during study abroad (with prior approval). All courses except RUSS101 and RUSS102 must be taken for a grade. Students should plan the minor in consultation with REES faculty.

If a student places out of one or more semesters of language, they must take enough courses in REES to add up to a total of 6.

Students who wish to fulfill the language requirement by studying a language of Eastern Europe or Central Asia other than Russian may do so, subject to approval by the chair.

Satisfactory completion of the minor will be certified by the program.

Social Sciences
GOVT274Russian Politics1
HIST151Introduction to History: The "Russian World" Past and Present1
HIST219Russian and Soviet History, 1881 to the Present1
HIST353The Communist Experience in the 20th Century1
HIST318The Politics of Death: The Living, the Dead, and the State1
HIST395If there is no God, then everything is permitted?" Moral Life in a Secular World1
RELI225Socialist Utopias: Transcendence and Religion in Communist States1
RELI225FSocialist Utopias: Transcendence and Religion in Communist States (FYS)1
RELI271Secularism: Godlessness from Luther to Lenin1
RELI239Modern Shamanism: Ecstasy and Ancestors in the New Age1
RELI289Indigenous Religions: Politics, Land, Healing1
RELI299Imagining Communities: National Religions and Political Rituals1
Literature and Culture
MUSC121Queering Russian Music1
MUSC296Soundscapes of Islam1
MUSC297Music of Central Asia1
REES205Murder and Adultery: Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and the 19th-Century Russian Novel1
REES208FOtherness & Belonging (FYS)1
REES220Speak, Memory: The Russian Memoir1
REES223After Communism: Animals, Avatars, Hybrids1
REES224Performing Russian Culture: From Peter the Great to the Russian Revolution1
REES233Introduction to Russian and Soviet Cinema1
REES235Queer Russia1
REES240FReading Stories: Great Short Works from Gogol to Petrushevskaya (FYS)1
REES254Nobel Laureates: The Politics of Literature1
REES255Prague, Vienna, Sarajevo: 20th-Century Novels from Central and Eastern Europe1
REES256The Soviet Century1
REES267Parody: Humor, Artistic Evolution, and Restoration of the Sacred1
REES276Contemporary Russian Literature1
REES279Chekhov: Prose vs. Drama1
REES277Gogol and His Legacy: Witches, Con Men, and Runaway Noses1
REES321Moscow/Berlin: Dreamworld and Catastrophe1
Courses Conducted in Russian
CGST234Introduction to Russian and Soviet Cinema (CLAC.50)0.5
CGST330Reading Tolstoy in Russian (CLAC .50).5
CGST350Twentieth-Century Russian Poetry (CLAC .50).5
CGST352The Communist Experience in the Soviet Union (CLAC.50).5
RUSS101Elementary Russian I1.5
RUSS102Elementary Russian II1.5
RUSS201Intermediate Russian I1
RUSS202Intermediate Russian II1
RUSS301Third-Year Russian I1
RUSS302Third-Year Russian II1