Introduction to the History and Language of Russia/Ukraine I

Prerequisite: successful completion of Latin I or the equivalent
May fulfill either World Language or History elective (LANG, HIS)

In this introductory course, students embark on a journey into the Russian and Ukrainian languages and cultures. Students begin by learning simple greetings and ways of introducing themselves. You will learn the Cyrillic alphabet and how to read and write in it. We study the geography of Russia, the world’s largest nation in terms of land mass, and learn why Ukraine has historically been of such strategic significance to the Russians. We study an overview of East Slavic history including Kievan Rus’ to Cyril and Methodius; the Fall of Constantinople and the emergence of Moscow Third Rome; Peter the Great and his creation of a “Window on the West.” Over the course of the semester, students read a sampling of key works of Russian and Ukrainian literature in translation and engage in cultural activities like singing songs, trying tongue twisters, and watching cartoons. We read micro-biographies of famous and not-famous Russians and Ukrainians. Students choose a person of their choice to research and present to the class. Throughout the course we will incorporate discussion and research into ongoing current events and reflect on their historical roots.