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Slavic Languages and Literatures

Emeriti: (Professors) Joseph Frank, Richard D. Schupbach, Joseph A. Van Campen

Director: Gabriella Safran

Chair of Graduate Studies: Monika Greenleaf

Chair of Undergraduate Studies: Gregory Freidin

Professors: Lazar Fleishman (on leave, Autumn), Gregory Freidin, Gabriella Safran

Associate Professor: Monika Greenleaf

Assistant Professor: Nariman Skakov

Courtesy Professor: Nancy Ruttenberg

Senior Lecturer: Rima Greenhill

Lecturers: Julie S. Draskoczy (Humanities Fellow), Ilja Gruen, Eugenia Khassina

Department Offices: Building 240, Room 102

Mail Code: 94305- 2006

Phone: (650) 723-4438


Web Site:

Courses offered by the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures are listed on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site under the subject codes SLAVGEN (Slavic General), SLAVLANG (Slavic Language), and SLAVLIT (Slavic Literature).

The department supports coordinated study of Russian language, literature, literary and cultural history, theory, and criticism. The department's programs may also be combined with the programs in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, Jewish Studies, Film Studies, Drama, International Relations, Stanford's Overseas Studies, and the Special Languages Program.

A full undergraduate program provides a choice of several tracks leading to a B.A. (with a major or a minor) or to a B.A. with honors. The department offers a full graduate program leading to an M.A. in Russian and a Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures. Stanford undergraduates are eligible to apply to the department for a coterminal B.A./M.A. degree. Students in the department's Ph.D. program are required to choose among minor programs in other national literatures, linguistics, Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, Jewish Studies, art and music history, theater, or film studies; or they may design their own minor or choose the related field option.

The department runs a colloquium series, which brings distinguished speakers to Stanford; organizes international conferences and symposia; and since 1987 maintains a continuing publication series, Stanford Slavic Studies. Along with the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, the department offers qualified undergraduates summer grants (on a competitive basis) for intensive Russian language instruction in accredited programs in Russia and the U.S.

Improving cultural understanding is a critical part of the department's mission, and the department offers a full range of courses at all levels devoted to Russian literature, music and visual arts that do not require specialized knowledge, as well as advanced research seminars for graduate students. The Slavic theme house, Slavianskii Dom, serves as an undergraduate residence for many students in the program and hosts program-related activities. Undergraduates may also choose to study in Moscow through the Stanford Overseas Studies Program. The undergraduate program has attracted students seeking careers in journalism, business, international relations, law, medicine, and human rights, as well as academia. Russian is still the lingua franca over the vast territory of the former Soviet Union, and a good command of this language offers a gateway to Eurasia's diverse cultures, ethnicities, economies, and religions.

Stanford students are in a privileged position in relation to Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, because of Stanford's faculty resources that are without peer in the U.S. Green Library and the Hoover Institution libraries and archives hold the premier Russian and East European collections, which undergraduates and graduate students use in their research. Department students master a difficult language and a rich and challenging literature, and are rewarded by gaining entry into a unique, powerful, and diverse civilization that defined major trends in the past century and plays an increasingly significant role in the world today.


The mission of the undergraduate program in Slavic Language and Literatures is to expose students to a variety of perspectives on Russian language, history, culture, literature, and philosophical thought. The program offers three tracks. Courses in the Russian Language and Literature track focus on the linguistic and philological study of literature, as well as the history of Russian literature. The Russian Language, Culture, and History track guides students through a comprehensive interdisciplinary study of Russian literature and culture in historic context. The Russian and Philosophy track provides students with a background in the Russian language and literary tradition with emphasis on philosophical thought.


The department expects undergraduate majors in the program to be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes. These learning outcomes are used in evaluating students and the department's undergraduate program. Students are expected to demonstrate:

  1. the ability to develop effective and nuanced lines of interpretation.
  2. critical thinking skills using Russian literary materials.
  3. analytical writing skills and close reading skills in Russian and English.
  4. skills in active listening and productive communication.
  5. a minimum of Intermediate High Oral Proficiency level (established through an OPI test) in Russian or another Slavic language.

Slavic Theme House

Slavianskii Dom, at 650 Mayfield Avenue, is an undergraduate residence that offers opportunities for students to expand their knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia.

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