Russian Area Studies Program
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The purpose of the Russian Area Studies (RAS) Program is to offer students, through its academic major and co-curricular offerings, an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to studying Russian civilizaton. Though occupying more territory than any other nation, Russia has traditionally been opaque to the outsider -- a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia has been open to the rest of the world as never before. Its cultural heritage dating back a thousand years is reviving and evolving further and is easily accessible. Russia is also a society with enormous potential undergoing rapid and radical change. For all of these reasons, students must be prepared to understand and interact with Russia on many levels. Based on the premise that students ought to experience Russia directly in order to understand it well, the RAS Program encourages study in Russia. Most RAS major study for at least one term in Russia, mainly in St. Petersburg or Moscow.
The RAS Program has been designed to provide the theoretical and practical background needed for either post-graduate study in a number of fields or for successful pursuit of a career immediately upon graduation. Russian-language classes are small in size, and each year a teacher is recruited from Russia to assist in the instruction. Three years of Russian, in addition to Russian-related course work from several disciplines such as history, literature, politics, anthropology, and art, are required for completion of the RAS major. Exceptional students may pursue an honors program, which requires a thesis based upon original research. Co-curricular features of the RAS program include: a highly developed multi-media language center, Russian library collections for student and faculty research, and daily television transmission from Russia, as well as occasional Russian films, guest lectures, and concerts. The presence on campus of students from Russia also enhances the program.
Recent graduates of the program have followed a wide variety of career paths. Several have completed doctoral degrees in Slavic languages and linguistics, Russian history, law, and political science. Others have worked for private firms and NGOs in Russia.
- Russian Area Studies Major Ryan Hartman Gives Back
Read his story
Ryan Hartman is a Russian area studies and geology major from Yorktown, Va. A member of the Class of 2012, he is on the men's swimming team, the Student Affairs Committee and the Kompost Krew. He is Head Resident Advisor for first year students as well as a member of the University Chamber Singers and Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.
- Lauren Bardin '12 Explores Moscow with Johnson Opportunity Grant
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Russian area studies major Lauren Bardin '12 has won a Johnson Opportunity Grant to spend the summer in Moscow, staying with a Russian family and teaching them English through Geo Vision's Conversation Corps Russia program.
- Webb '13 Wins Carnegie Endowment
Isaac Webb '13 has been named a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Junior Fellow for next year, in the Russia/Eurasia program.
- Russian Food and Culture Writer to Speak at W&L
The Russian Studies Program at Washington and Lee University is pleased to present Anya von Bremzen, one of the most accomplished food and culture writers of her generation, to speak on Monday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. in Northen Auditorium in Leyburn Library.
- Isaac Webb Awarded Fulbright to Ukraine
Washington and Lee University senior Isaac Webb, of Portland, Maine, has received a Fulbright research/study grant to the Ukraine for his project "Disability and Invisibility: Human Rights for the Handicapped in Soviet Ukraine from Brezhnev to Gorbachev."
- Zolotoj Plyos to Perform Russian Folk Music at W&L
Zolotoj Plyos, the colorful and popular Russian folk ensemble, is returning to Washington and Lee University with a new concert program. They will be performing on Friday, March 29, at 7 p.m. in Lee Chapel. The concert is free and open to the public. Zolotoj Plyos was formed in 1994 and has toured all over […]
- W&L 2012 Graduates Win Fellowships
Two members of Washington and Lee University's 2012 graduating class, Tyler Grant of Suwanee, Ga., and Ryan Hartman of Yorktown, Va., have received grants for postgraduate study from the prestigious Fulbright Program while a third, Shiri Yadlin of Irvine, Calif., received a U.S. teaching assistantship to Austria.