Anonymous, Russian Orthodox Christian and Appalachian: The Complexities of Russian Orthodox Christian and Appalachian Identities.
A course exploring intersectional identities in the Appalachian region of the US in terms of Appalachian and Russian Orthodox Christian identities. The course offers students a look into what it is like to embody these identities through different materials, including academic journal articles, website articles, and book chapters.

Jillian Costello, Life as Art: Slavic Modernism and Life Experiments in the Russophone 20th century (An Experiment in Canon Critique and Expansion).
A course on modernism designed to promote a broader understanding of the movement’s intersection with language politics, geopolitical realities, ethnic and national concerns, gender identities, and the lived experience of artists and writers in a variety of Russian-speaking locations.

Julia Kriventsova Denne, New Soviet Women: History, Art, Fiction, and Film (1917-1940).
An interdisciplinary online course examining Soviet media and propaganda alongside media artifacts from real women of various social, geographical, ethnic, occupations and political or religious convictions. The course aims to help participants learn to debunk stereotypes, reassess new evidence, and enhance their sense of compassion for a diverse and multicultural world.

Alex Droznin, Russian Literature through Diaspora, Exile, and Translation.
A course exploring Russian-language diaspora with the concept of empathy and inclusion at the center, designed to support first-generation students and students of multiple cultural and linguistic identities.

Tetyana Dzyadevych, Capitals at the Crossroads of Cultures: Honoring Complexity and Diversity Despite Imperial Situation.
A course that examines myths and representations of diversity in capital cities and city life in Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, and Yiddish literature and film of the 19th and 20th centuries. The course integrates gamification in several aspects of instruction and evaluation, and asks students to produce a variety of materials, including a book review and a website.

Molly Godwin-Jones, An Introduction to the Culture of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia:Everything you wanted to know, but were afraid to ask.
An introductory course on “Russian culture” introducing critical theories and artifacts from a much wider Russophone world, including Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Students learn about the historical and cultural developments that shaped the regions of Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia, and write a final paper grappling with the question “Why is it so complicated to understand Russian and Russophone culture today.”

Liubov Kartashova and Daria Smirnova, Contemporary Russian Fiction.
A course examining Russian-language texts (in translation) from 1990 to the present. The course engages with topics such as nationalism, imperialism, minority experiences in the post-Soviet world, the relationship between Orthodoxy and the State, post-Soviet writers’ relation to the Russian literary canon, and more, while simultaneously depicting the diversity of the Russian-speaking post-Soviet world.

Tony H. Lin, Designing a New Course: Gender and Sexuality in Russia and Eastern Europe.
This course brings together multimedia content from Russia and Poland and invites students to understand LGBTQ issues in the US and comparatively in Eastern Europe. Includes an introduction to key terms and notions in US Queer theory, as well as Russian musical, literary, and political materials.

Sophie Lockey, Burnt by the Sun: Land Stewardship and Ecocide in Russophone Culture.
A writing course around the topic of ecological stewardship, exploitation, and climate concerns in the Russian and Russian-speaking context. The course is scaffolded by anti-racist and anti-hegemonic considerations, and is founded on sensitivity to students’ identities, background, and academic situations.

Irina Meier, Rethinking Project-based Learning and Assessment Through the Lens of Equity, Diversity, Compassion, and Self-Awareness: Writing An Immigrant’s Story.
This project puts social and emotional learning front and center, designing an assignment that asks students to develop listening skills, compassion, tact, and empathy in hearing and respectfully retelling an immigrant’s story.

Yekaterina Pak, A Unit on Teaching the Soviet History of Kazakhstan through a film “The Gift to Stalin”.
A unit for a course preparing Russian language students for study abroad in Kazakhstan. Course centers on “The Gift to Stalin,” and gives students an opportunity to observe the diversity of experiences of different groups of people, analyze their interactions in the context of a totalitarian regime, and situate the depicted events in the broader context of colonial and Soviet history into modern Kazakhstan.

Polina Popova, Russian and Soviet History.
Designs a 3-week unit on the history of Russia from 1880s to the fall of the USSR, with special emphasis on cultural and social history, as well as gender and race history. Students are invited to examine depictions of racial diversity in various media (written, visual, and audio), to become more familiar with the political and cultural development of the Russian empire and Soviet Union.

Suzanne Thompson, “I Am Your Brother”: Exploring Compassion through Russian-language Cultural Artifacts.
An undergraduate literature course exploring how compassion (or lack thereof) is depicted in cultural artifacts of Russian imperial and Soviet periods and invites students to engage in meaningful reflection on the role of compassion in their own lives. The final project invites students to interview a practitioner of compassion and to consider how they themselves might participate in these activities.

Alexandra Tkacheva, Reading Russophone Women’s Poetry through Feminist Lenses.
A course examining Russophone women’s poetry through a feminist lens. The course allows students to take charge of the learning process through collaborative and reflective practices. The course also features various community-involvement activities, such as a conversation with a poet, a poetry night, and a park cleaning day, to encourage students to make meaningful connections and contributions to their local communities.

Maria Whittle, Reimagining Russia: Place, Identity, and Environment in Contemporary Russian/Russophone Literature.
»  Executive Writeup
»  Syllabus
A course which utilizes contemporary Russophone literature to expand and interrogate the notion of Russia as a place. The course seeks to broaden and nuance students’ understanding of Russia and its relation to space/place as well as equip them with an equity-informed mindset that learns to see how dominant narratives have been formed and perpetuated, and can be dismantled.

With questions or for more information, please see our webpage or contact Jillian Costello at