Programs by Country: Russia + Dialogue of Civilizations


Russia: Russian Language and Culture – A Tale of Three Cities

Dialogue of Civilizations | Moscow, Russia

Faculty Leader: Ekaterina (Katya) Burvikova (e.burvikova@neu.edu) and Kimberly Jones (k.jones@neu.edu)

Study Abroad Coordinator: Katherine Pruess (k.pruess@neu.edu)

Term: Summer II

Courses: 

  • RSNN 1301/1302/2301/2302/3301/3302 Russian Language Immersion (multiple levels)
  • CLTR4944 Cultural Engagement Abroad, NU Core humanities level 1

Description:

This is a Dialogue that invites students to examine Russia beyond the headlines. As part of the Dialogue program, we explore Russia's language, culture and history, as well as its geography and politics. Much of what is written and read in today's news, especially in the United States, offers a limited and narrow view of Russia. Too often, our understanding of this vast and vibrant country is reduced to examining the actions of its leader, President Vladimir Putin. However, understanding President Putin, and indeed understanding Russia, requires looking (and listening) beyond soundbites, and investigating the broader context of state and society.

Accordingly, students will have the opportunity to explore and deepen their knowledge of the Russian language through regular classes as well as immersion in the broader society. They will also be exposed to Russia's culture and history through visits to key historic and contemporary landmarks and related lectures and readings. Russia's geography and politics will also be examined though discussions and site visits, which will also build on readings. Students will be asked to delve deeper through reflective journal entries, essays which bring the readings to life, and have the opportunity to write a research paper.

This Dialogue will be a journey - an intellectual one, but also a geographic one as we travel through to and explore three key cities in Russia: Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kazan. In many ways, Moscow is seen as the center of Russia, and it is in terms of population, government, and politics. Next, we travel to a former capital of imperial Russia - St. Petersburg - a place of great historic and cultural importance.  It also occupies a place of geopolitical prominence along the Baltic and is quite proximate to Europe.    Lastly, we travel to Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan. Tatarstan is home to many in Russia's ethnic Tatar minority community. It is also a place where the influence of the area's Muslim population is manifest in it's many mosques, and the Kazan Kremlin, a World Heritage site, sits at the region's cultural and historic crossroads.