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Slavic Literary/Cultural Studies

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Graduate students at Harvard Griffin GSAS have the opportunity to pursue a secondary field in Slavic Literary/Cultural Studies. Students are invited to focus on a single national literature and culture, such as Russian, Ukrainian, Czech, or Polish, or to design a comparative secondary field in consultation with the appropriate faculty members. Within the secondary field, students may also focus on a single form of cultural expression, such as poetry or film, but students are warmly encouraged to make their field interdisciplinary, drawing on courses that study literature, history, film, philosophy, the visual arts, anthropology, and political science. The secondary field is meant to prepare students in terms of teaching and scholarship. For example, those who might find employment in a Modern Languages Department would be ready to offer comparative courses that include Slavic material, and those whose scholarship will draw on Russian or East European works will find the secondary field a source of broadening and deepening knowledge.


Students will complete four half-courses for the secondary field, chosen in consultation with the Slavic Department DGS; all will be taken for a letter grade. All will use materials in the original language, and at least one must lead to a long seminar paper. Ordinarily, language courses are not counted, although one term of advanced language work, normally Russian 115: Advanced Russian for Academic and Professional Communication, may be included, or, where appropriate, a comparable tutorial may be designed for another Slavic language at the advanced level. As an alternative, students may wish to take the Slavic Department’s Proseminar as one of the four half-courses and are invited to do so. Of the required four half-courses, three should be graduate seminars in the Slavic Department or their equivalent.

The Slavic Department’s GSAS Workshop, Current Research in Russian and East European Literature and Culture, welcomes graduate students pursuing this secondary field for participation throughout their time of study at the University. Presentation of a paper in the workshop is encouraged for students completing the secondary field.

Students completing a secondary field in Slavic Literary/Cultural Studies will be considered for TF positions in courses taught by Slavic Department faculty and, wherever possible, offered placement in at least one such course.

Contact Information

For more information, contact the Director of Graduate Studies in the Slavic Department.

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