Fall 2024
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


BCS 115: South Slavic Cultures
Peter Wright
12:30PM – 01:50PM, TR, Location TBD
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 490: Special Topics in EU Studies*
Markian Dobczansky
1:00PM-3:00PM, W

The EU expanded from 6 to 27 member-states in a relatively short time in historical terms. Each round of expansion took place in specific circumstances: the post-war moment, decolonization, the Cold War, the end of communism. Who joined and who did not and why? How has the accession of new member-states affected the nature and functions of the EU? Does EU accession drive social and political change in candidate countries? This course examines these questions from the perspectives of history, culture, and political science.

HIST 168: A History of Judaism*
Instructor TBD
12:30PM-1:50PM, TR, Location TBD
Examines the social, political, economic, and intellectual history of the Jews from Abraham to the present-day, with particular attention to Jewish thought and society.


HIST 274: US Foreign Relations, 1917-*
Prof. Kristin Hoganson
12:00PM - 12:50PM, MWF, 223 Gregory Hall
Over the course of the twentieth century the United States rose to superpower status, in the process profoundly shaping world affairs. Students will study the connections between U.S. and global history in this pivotal period. Explores the impact of the United States on world affairs from roughly 1917 through the end of the Cold War. Attention given to the perspectives of people affected by U.S. policies and the limits of U.S. power in the face of developments such as anticolonial nationalism and great power rivalries.


HIST 353: European History 1918 to 1939*
Peter Fritzsche
11:00AM-12:20PM, TR, 393 Bevier Hall
Survey of European society from 1918 to 1939, with emphasis on the impact of World War I, the Russian Revolution, fascism, and the intellectual trends of the twenties and thirties. This course examines the political and cultural environment of Europe from the demise of the continental empires after World War I to the dawn of the thousand-year Reich at the start of World War II. This Age of Extremes saw the rise of liberal democracies, the flourishing of new artistic movements, and the birth of new technologies such as film. At the same time, this period was also marked by the ascension of dictators, crises in colonial empires, and one of the largest economic crisis in history. Perhaps more famous (or infamous) than these events are the individuals we will cover, which includes the likes of Neville Chamberlain, Francisco Franco, Adolf Hitler, and Joseph Stalin. We will explore the period through a variety of sources, including speeches, contemporary films, and a novel concerned with an even greater threat: newts.


LAW 657: International Human Rights Law*
Francis Boyle
03:00PM - 04:30PM, MT, Online
Based primarily on a series of contemporary “real world” problems, the course introduces the student to the established and developing legal rules and procedures governing the protection of international human rights. Its thesis is that there exists a substantial body of substantive and procedural International Human Rights Law, and that lawyers, government officials, and concerned citizens should be familiar with the policies underlying this law and its enforcement, as well as with the potential it offers for improving the basic lot of human beings everywhere. Additionally, the course presupposes that the meaning of “human rights” is undergoing fundamental expansion, and therefore explores Marxist and Third World conceptions of human rights as well as those derived from the liberal West.

Sequence and Prerequisites: None

Evaluation: Paper

Categories: International and Comparative / Upper-Level


MUSC 449: Balkanalia
Donna Buchanan
6:00PM - 8:50PM, 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.


REES 200: Intro to Russia and Eurasia
9:30AM - 10:50AM, TR, G24 Literatures, Cultures, & Linguistics
urasia, geographically between the “East” and the “West,” encompasses 11 time zones and over 100 different ethnic groups. Its multicultural complexity and political diversity over recent centuries have made it a rich source for the study of political, economic, and social change. This interdisciplinary course introduces students to key issues and themes that cross disciplines and are important for understanding the contemporary socio-politics of the region. As a class we will draw out these themes by examining major texts, novels, poems, film, and music that were not only impactful within their own genre, but whose influence has rippled throughout disciplines to become interdisciplinary. Major themes to be investigated include: regional interactions/geopolitics, socioeconomics, political action, subjectivity and alterity, identity, gender, and ethnicity & race.


REES 495/550: Seminar in REEE Studies  
Maureen Marshall
3:00PM - 4:50PM, TR, Room 1110 Literatures, Cultures, & Linguistics
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 115: Intro to Russian Culture
David Cooper
2:00PM - 2:50PM, MWF, TBD
Introduction to the culture of Russia and the USSR. Course addresses two central themes. First, the very distinctiveness of Russian culture, and the functions of that notion within Russia and for outsiders; Second, Russia as a cultural space between East and West. We will explore Russian culture through the following, the language(s); foundational narratives of collective memory going back to the medieval times; the cultural impact of colonial subjugation both by and of peoples to the East, South, and West; Russian Orthodoxy's connection with the political and cultural spheres; peak achievements in literature, music, architecture and visual arts. Course Information: Same as REES 116.


RUSS 220: Golden Age of Russian Lit
David Cooper
12:30PM-1:50PM, TR, 1136 Literatures, Cultures, & Linguistics
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 261: Intro Russian-Jewish Culture
Anastasiia Strakhova
9:30AM-10:50AM, TR, 1068 Lincoln Hall

Introduction to the interaction of the intellectual, artistic, political, social, and religious life of the Jewish community in Russia through film, literature, art and historical record.


RUSS 514: Russian Literature After 1956
Richard Tempest
12:00PM-1:50PM, M, Location TBD
Graduate-level survey of Russian literature of the second half of the twentieth century. Course focuses on the questions of the Soviet "before" and "after," considering specifically the development of socialist realism after its High Stalinist period, its late-socialist manifestations, and theories of post-modernism as applied to late and post-Soviet Russian Literature and culture. Novels, films, and theoretical texts (focusing on the periods of the 1960s, stagnation, collapse, and "after") will provide a common base for thinking about late and post-Soviet culture. Course Information: 4 graduate hours. No professional credit. Prerequisite: Ability to read in Russian or consent of instructor.


SLAV 117: Russ & Euro Science Fiction
Richard Tempest
3:00PM-4:50PM, MWF, Location TBD
Survey of the science fiction writing of Russia and the countries of Eastern Europe since 1750, with particular emphasis on the post-World War II period. The role of the Science Fiction tradition in the respective national cultures. The influence on Russian and East European Science Fiction of Anglo-American Science Fiction. All readings are in English. Course Information: Same as CWL 117.


SLAV 399: War and Resistance in Contemporary Eastern Europe
Olha Khometa
2:00PM-3:20PM, MW, 1040 LCLB

This course examines works of a range of contemporary Eastern European writers with a focus on themes of war, resistance and identity. Course readings include works by Oksana Lutsyshyna, Volodymyr Rafeyenko, Viktoria Amelina (Ukraine), Natalka Babina (Belarus), Slavenka Drakulić, Dubravka Ugrešić (Croatia), Semezdin Mehmedinović, Faruk Šehić (Bosnia), Sofi Oksanen (Finland), Herta Müller (Romania – Germany), Ludmila Ulitskaya and Ludmila Petrushevskaya (Russia). The course explores how literature reflects on the aftermath of war and mass destruction in the region and focuses on the role that literature plays in shaping national identities in the complex tapestry of the post-Soviet landscape as well as gender identity, resisting not only political regimes but also gender-based oppression. Through close reading, writing and class discussion, students will gain a general understanding of culture, politics, and gender roles in post-communist Eastern Europe in the context of recent events in the region.


SLAV 452/CWL 453: Slavic Cultural Studies “Kyiv: A Biography of a City”
Instructor: Prof. Valeria Sobol
2:00PM - 3:20PM, TR, Location TBD

This course traces the historical, social, and artistic development of Kyiv as a city and as an idea from the medieval period to the present day. As we read a variety of literary works and watch several films in which Kyiv figures prominently, we will think about what makes up this city’s “text” and pay special attention to its frequently competing Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, and Jewish versions.  The course is conducted in English, and all the texts will be available in English translations.


SLAV 452: Polish Cinema
Instructor: Prof. George Gasyna

11:00AM - 12:20PM, TR, Location TBD
Selected topics in the literatures of Russia and Eastern Europe. Topics covered will range from in-depth studies of specific authors, time periods, and thematic discussions of specific genre and literary traditions. Readings in English unless specified. Course Information: Same as CWL 453. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 undergraduate hours or 8 graduate hours in same term; or 9 undergraduate hours or 12 graduate hours in separate terms. Prerequisite: Two years of literature, preferably Russian or East European; or consent of instructor


TURK 270/ANTH 272/GLBL 272/SAME 272: Languages and Culture in Turkey
Ayse Ozcan
11:00AM – 12:20PM, TR, 3038 Campus Instructional Facility
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
Olha Khometa
3:30PM-4:50PM, TR, G24 Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics
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.

On 24 February, 2022, the ruscist regime started a full-scale genocidal war against Ukraine, aiming to conquer, yet again, the biggest country situated entirely in Europe in less than a week. With the help of its allies, primarily the USA, and the courageous resistance of its people, Ukraine has survived and continues its fight for freedom, for democratic values, and for peace and security in Europe and throughout the world. 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 and to provide updates on and analyses of the war. 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 memarsh@illinois.edu



BCS 101: First Year Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian I

MTWR 09:00AM - 09:50AM, 1020 Lincoln Hall

BCS 201: Second Year Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian I

MTWR 10:00AM - 10:50AM, 1030 Literatures, Cultures, & Linguistics

BCS 301: Third Year Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian I

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



CZCH 102: Elementary Czech I

MTWTR: 09:00AM - 9:50AM



POL 101: Elementary Polish I

MWTR 10:00AM-10:50AM, 1126 Literatures, Cultures, & Linguistics

POL 201: Second Yr Polish I

MTWTR 11:00AM-11:50AM, 1038 Literatures, Cultures, & Linguistics



RUSS 101: First-Year Russian I

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

MTWR 11:00AM-11:50AM, 241 Armory

RUSS 201: Second-Year Russian I

MTWR 11:00-11:50, 134 Armory

RUSS 301: Third Year Russian I

MWF 11:00-11:50, 1040 Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics

RUSS 401: Fourth Year Russian I

MWF 12:00-12:50, 1020 Lincoln Hall

RUSS 501: Russian for Grad Students I

TTR 01:00-2:20, 1018 Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics



TURK 201: Elementary Turkish I

MTWRF 09:00-09:50, 1126 Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics

TURK 403: Advanced Turkish I

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



UKRA 101: Basic Ukrainian I

MTWR 10:00-10:50, 241 Armory

UKRA 201: Second-Year Ukrainian I

MTWR 10:00-10:50, 241 Armory