Current Courses

Fall 2023

Select Courses in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies

Note: The courses listed below are not an exhaustive list of courses being offered on the REEE region. Please see course explorer for additional classes.

*Check with Advisor or FLAS Coordinator whether the course will fulfill area studies course requirements


Area Studies

ARTH 415/CLCV 443: Archaeology of Greece*
Betsy Bevis
11:00AM – 12:20PM, TTR, 1136 FLB

Monuments, material remains, and sculpture and other arts illustrating the development of Greek civilization to 323 B.C. Same as ARTH 415. 3 undergraduate hours. 3 graduate hours. Prerequisite: A course in ancient history, art, or language, or consent of instructor.


BCS 115: South Slavic Cultures
Peter Wright
12:30PM – 01:50PM, TTR, 123 David Kinley Hall

Exploration of South Slavic cultures in the historically rich and complex region sometimes referred to as "the Balkans," focusing particularly on those groups found within the successor states of the former Yugoslavia. Critical look at the traditional view of the region as the crossroads or the bridge between East and West, and at the term Balkanization which has become a pejorative term used to characterize fragmented, and self-defeating social systems.


EURO 501: EU Institutions and Governance*
Markian Dobczansky
12:00PM – 2:50PM, R, TBA

A graduate-level introduction to the European Union, its history, decision-making processes, legal framework and economic effects.


GER 575: Revolutionary Archives: Post-1989 Literature, Film, and Theory
Anke Pinkert
3:00PM - 5:00PM, R, 106 Bevier Hall

In this seminar, we examine the relationship between archives, memories and artistic forms in the postrevolutionary era since 1989. After the collapse of the German Democratic Republic, the Federal Stasi Records Agency took over massive amounts of files, the East German Secret Service had compiled spying on their citizens. Narratives about the GDR-Stasi archive and the all-pervasive surveillance in East Germany have shaped collective memory to the point that the revolutionary uprising in 1989 is largely forgotten. Indeed, archives wield power over memories in the public sphere. In this course, we study theories of the archive (e.g., Foucault, Derrida, Taylor) and the anarchival force (e.g., Foster, Buck-Morss, Gumbs) in conjunction with post-1989 texts (e.g., Erpenbeck, Heise, Epperlein/Tucker, Çağatay) to explore alternative “revolutionary archives.” These archival spaces explore the revolutions that unmoored the East-West European Cold War order but they also self-reflexively play with archival forms. We will discuss a range of post-1989 literature, film, and memorials to reexamine the so-called Peaceful Revolution and the interval year of ’89-90. More specifically, we ask what kind of cultural memories of street activism, resistance, and alternative social vision were left behind by the uprising in the GDR that official institutional archives cannot contain. Most scholarship in the last two decades has associated the legacies of 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall and Germany’s reunification, viewing this historical break in terms of trauma, defeat, and takeover. Instead, we take our cue from memory studies which is currently shifting from a focus on violence and trauma to more hopeful legacies of social justice and political responsibility.


HIST 356: Modern Balkans Through Literature and Film
Stefan Djordjevic
11:00AM - 12:20PM, MW, 111 Gregory Hall

History of the creation and development of the independent Balkan states during the 19th and 20th centuries. Special attention is given to Balkan nationalism, its roots, evolution and various manifestations. Other topics cover the modernization of the rural societies, ethnic conflict and/or accommodation, inter-Balkan relations, and the role of the great powers. Finally, a close look will be taken on contemporary developments in the Balkans, especially the Yugoslav crisis, the fall of communism and post-communist development. By discussing fictional work and films by Balkan authors, students will be introduced to the intellectual production of the region.


HIST 462: Soviet Union Since 1917
Anna Whittington
10:00AM – 11:20AM, 329 Gregory Hall

Political, social, and economic development of the USSR since the 1917 revolutions that brought the Bolsheviks to power; social change and social engineering; political struggles among Stalin and his rivals; the "Stalin revolution" from above and economic modernization; the USSR's emergence through World War II and the Cold War as a world power; "developed socialist" society. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 2 or 4 graduate hours. Graduate students will write an additional substantial paper and engage in special discussion sections.


HIST 502: Problems in Comparative History*
Tamara Chaplin
03:00PM - 04:50PM, T, 307 English Building

Topic: Comparative History of Queer Sexualities Description: This graduate course is an exploration of the themes, debates, and methods shaping queer history. It incorporates theory and is focused on the production of historical work in the field, ranging geographically and chronologically in order to examine the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer past. We will give special attention to persecution, pathologizing, and modalities of resistance and desire while also investigating the forms of power that have influenced the historical gendering and racialization of sexual identity categories.


LAW 656: International Law*
Francis Boyle
03:00PM - 04:15PM, MT, Location TBD

The nature, sources, and subjects of international law and its place in the control of international society; includes an examination of the law of jurisdiction, territory, recognition and succession of states, rights and immunities of states in foreign courts, diplomatic immunities, treaties, protection of citizens abroad, settlement of international disputes, war and neutrality, the United Nations, and the International Court of Justice. Course Information: 4 graduate hours. 3 professional hours.


MUS 418: Regional Studies in Musicology
Donna Buchanan
9:30AM-10:50AM, TR, 0357 Music Building

Topic: "SOUNDING ISLAM." How do Muslim communities in different parts of the world conceptualize and navigate the intersection of sound and spirituality? What does “music” mean in an Islamic context? What role do sound and silence play in the politics and shaping of Muslim identity? This interdisciplinary course explores how Islam, as a religious and cultural system of belief, is sounded, listened to, and heard in diverse geographic locales. As time allows, these will include the Arab and Turkish Middle East; Indonesia; Albania and Bosnia; Azerbaijan, Crimea, and Central Asia; Pakistan and Afghanistan; and North America. Course topics will consider the position of music in Islamic societies; major genres of worship, such as Koranic recitation and the call to prayer; devotional music and movement, such as Turkey’s “whirling dervishes,” South Asian qawwali, and Azerbaijani mugam; as well as illustrations of Muslim popular culture and their significance for understanding contemporary Islamic lifeworlds. Throughout the semester, how Islam is sonically practiced and taught, conveyed and contested, will be further contextualized in relation to nationalism and transnationalism, race and ethnicity, gender and sexualities, conflict and social justice, and other pertinent social issues. Course resources will draw upon recent scholarship from the fields of ethnomusicology, anthropology, and sound, popular culture, gender, and religious studies, as well as recordings, music videos, and films. Whenever possible, students will have opportunity to engage with relevant instruments, musical materials, and area experts.


MUS 418A: Regional Studies in Musicology
Donna Buchanan
9:30AM-10:50AM, TTR, 0357 Music Building

Topic: "MUSIC AND REVOLUTION IN EASTERN EUROPE: UKRAINE, RUSSIA, AND BELARUS." This interdisciplinary course explores the implication of music in politics, nation-building, regime change, conflict, and resistance in twentieth- and twenty-first-century Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus, with particular attention to the Maidan revolutions and current war in Ukraine. Course topics will survey the history, regional distribution, popularization, and contemporary social significance of vernacular musics and arts in diverse media and venues—from the fields to the festival stage to flashmobs to Facebook. Course materials will draw upon recordings, music videos, literary works, and films in addition to anthropological, area, and ethnomusicological studies. Whenever possible, students will engage first hand with representative instruments, vocal practices, and regional specialists. While the ability to hear, identify, and understand the significance of regional genres and their distinguishing features is a primary course objective, students from both within and outside the School of Music are encouraged to enroll; instructor expectations will be modified accordingly. Students from outside Music who wish to register for MUS 418 should contact the instructor for permission.


MUSC 449: Balkanalia
Donna Buchanan
06:00PM - 08:50PM, T, 0061A Music Building

Instruction and experience in the performance of various non-Western and vernacular music traditions such as African mbira, Andean panpipes, North American string band, Gamelan Kebyar, European and South American traditional music, etc. Topics vary according to available instructors. Course Information: 1 undergraduate hour. 1 graduate hour. May be repeated to a maximum of 3 hours in the same term if topics vary for a total of 16 undergraduate hours, 12 graduate hours in separate terms. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.


POL 245/CWL 245: Survey of Polish Literature
George Gasyna
11:00AM – 12:20PM, MW, 119 English Building

Critical survey, in translation, of Polish literature from the Middle Ages to the end of the nineteenth century; special attention given to the works in their cultural context. Course Information: Same as CWL 245.


PS 385/EURO 385/FR 385/GER 385: Politics of the European Union*
K. Kourtikakis
2:00PM – 3:20PM, MW, 209 David Kinley Hall

Considers the history of the European Union and its current functions and operations. Focuses on the ongoing process of political and cultural integration. Consists of sections in Illinois and abroad, interacting extensively via the worldwide web. Same as EURO 385FR 385, and GER 385. Prerequisite: PS 240 or PS 241, six hours of Political Science credit, or consent of instructor; cross-listings require language training appropriate for enrollment in the respective overseas programs.


REES 495: Seminar in REEE Studies

03:00PM - 04:50PM, W, 1068 Lincoln Hall

Interdisciplinary seminar involving faculty in a number of disciplines. The course examines Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia and the methodologies of its study through questions of identities, cultural values, and change.


REES 550: Seminar in REEE Studies

03:00PM - 04:50PM, W, 1068 Lincoln Hall

Interdisciplinary seminar involving faculty in a number of disciplines. The course examines Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia and the methodologies of its study through questions of identities, cultural values, and change.


RUSS 220: Golden Age of Russian Literature
David Cooper
12:30PM – 01:50PM, TTR, 1136 Foreign Languages Building

Survey of Russian literature in the long 19th century; romanticism, realism, nationalism, orientalism, empire; writers may include Pushkin, Gogol, Lermontov, Pavlova, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, and others; reading and discussion in English. Course Information: Same as CWL 227.


RUSS 322: Dostoevsky
Harriet Murav
02:00PM - 03:20PM, TTR, 209 David Kinley Hall

Introduction to the major works of Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky. No Russian required. Course Information: Same as CWL 324 and ENGL 322. May be repeated up to 6 credit hours in separate terms. Prerequisite: At least one other college literature course or consent of instructor.


RUSS 522: Dostoevsky
Harriet Murray
02:00PM – 03:20PM, TTR, 04:00PM – 05:20PM, TR, 209 David Kinley Hall

Study of Dostoevsky's works in the original Russian, historical and philosophical contexts, current critical approaches. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 8 hours.


RUSS 418: 18th Century Literature
Valeria Sobol
02:00PM - 04:20PM, M, 301 Architecture Building

Reading of texts; historical and literary background of the period. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.


RUSS 512: Russian Literature 1855-1905
Valeria Sobol
02:00PM - 04:20PM, W, 301 Architecture Building

Graduate-level survey of Russian literature of the second half of the nineteenth century, tracing the emergence, blossom, and decline of the great Russian realist novel, as well as the social and ideological debates of the 1850s and 1860s that were that form's most significant context. Explores the emergence and varied meanings of the term "realism" in Russian literature and criticism of the nineteenth century and will cover the rise of the short form in the 1880s and then, of Russian Decadence/Symbolism in the 1890s. Key developments in Russian drama will also be covered: Ostrovskii, Sukhovo-Kobylin, Chekhov and the Moscow Art Theater. Course Information: Prerequisite: Ability to read in Russian.


SCAN 225/ HIST 254: Vikings to Volvos: Scandinavian History
Instructor: TBD
12:00PM – 12:50PM, MWF, 219 Gregory Hall
02:00PM – 02:50PM, MWF, 1051 Lincoln Hall
10:00AM – 10:50AM, MWF, 219 Gregory Hall

An introduction to the history, literature, and culture of Scandinavia and the Nordic region, from the Viking age until the modern era (700s-present). Includes discussion of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Svalbard, and Greenland. All readings in English.


TRST 501/CWL 511/EALC 511/GER 511/SLAV 501: Applied Literary Translation*
Roman Ivashkiv
03:30PM - 05:50PM, M, 3072E Foreign Languages Building or Online

Focuses on the practice and strategies of literary translation through the study of what prominent and successful translators have written about their own experience and through comparative analysis of prize-winning translations. Students will be exposed to reader response theory and the role of the translator as cultural agent while learning how to produce paratext for their translations (prefaces, notes, etc.) and developing skills in translation, editing, grant-writing, and participation in professional associations


TURK 270/ANTH 272/GLBL 272/SAME 272: Languages and Culture in Turkey
Ayse Ozcan
11:00AM – 12:20PM, TTR, 209 David Kinley Hall

As a country located at the crossroads of Asia, Europe and Africa, Turkey has always been under the spotlight. In this course, we will study the dynamic relationship between language and culture in Ottoman and modern Turkey through a timely analysis of its transition from a long-lasting empire to a young "secular" nation-state. We will examine the complexities of Turkish modernity from a holistic perspective to better comprehend how central Asian and Middle Eastern cultural influences, continuities, and transformations gave birth to modern Turkish language. The course should help you not only in developing an understanding of the Turkish language within a cultural framework, but also in gaining insight into Turkey's history, politics, literature, and media. No former knowledge of Turkey or the Turkish language is required.


UKRA 113: Ukrainian Culture
Roman Ivashkiv
03:30PM – 04:50PM, TTR, G24 Foreign Languages Building

Course situates Ukrainian culture in the broad context of Slavic nations. Acquaints students with Ukrainian culture from the origins of Kievan Rus' in the Middle Ages to the present. Includes highlights of historical-cultural events, an overview of literature and of the arts, as well as an outline of Ukrainian folklore. No knowledge of Ukrainian required.
Section information text:
“The goal of this course is to acquaint students with Ukrainian culture from the origins of Kyivan Rus in the Middle Ages to the present. The course will examine the many facets that make up culture: history, politics, language, literature, folklore, religion, music, art, cinema, education, etc. It will also place Ukrainian culture in the broader context of the Slavic nations and peoples. Topics in contemporary Ukrainian culture will be given special emphasis. Lectures and readings will all be in English.”



For other languages and courses available through the BTAA contact


BCS 101: First Year Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian II

MTWR 10:00AM - 10:50AM, Location TBD


BCS 201: Second Year Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian II

MTWR 10:00AM - 10:50AM, 1030 Foreign Languages Building



CZCH 101: Elementary Czech I

MTWTRF: 12:30PM - 01:50PM, Online



POL 101: Elementary Polish I

MWTR 10:00AM -10:50AM, 1126 Foreign Languages Building


POL 201: Second Yr Polish I

MWTR 11:00AM - 11:50AM, 1038 Foreign Languages Building



RUSS 101: First-Year Russian I

MTWR 10:00-10:50, 316S Mumford Hall

MTWR 11:00-11:50, 241 Armory

MTWR 04:00-04:50, 243 Armory


RUSS 201: Second-Year Russian I

MTWR 11:00-11:50, TBD


RUSS 301: Third Year Russian I

MWF 11:00-11:50, 307 English Building


RUSS 401: Fourth Year Russian I

MWF 12:00-12:50, 307 English Building


RUSS 501: Russian for Grad Students I

TTR 12:30-1:50, 1018 Foreign Languages Building



TURK 201: Elementary Turkish I

MTWRF 10:00-10:50, 1024 Foreign Languages Building


TURK 403: Intermediate Turkish I

MTWR 11:00-12:20, 1140 Foreign Languages Building


TURK 405: Advanced Turkish II

MW 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM, 1046 Foreign Languages Building



UKRA 101: Basic Ukrainian I

MTWR 01:00-01:50, 1032 Foreign Languages Building


UKRA 201: Second-Year Ukrainian I

MTWR 12:00-12:50, 316S Mumford Hall