Back to: Russian major Russian major

Russia is and will continue to be one of the world’s largest political powers. Speakers of Russian can better understand this rich and diverse country and where it is placed in history, politics, economics and culture. 

Russian language subjects are organised in a progressive sequence of units, from Russian 1 through to Russian 6. While students taking the major will normally enter at Russian 1, entry and exit points are determined by your background in the language, placement testing and prerequisites.

Russian language study at the University of Melbourne is also available in the Diploma in Languages

Careers

  • Communications
  • Community development
  • Diplomacy
  • Government
  • International relations
  • Multinational business
  • Teaching
  • Translation and interpretation

Subjects you could take in this major

  • The overall goal of this subject is to help students with no knowledge of Russian develop cultural and linguistic knowledge that allows them to feel comfortable thinking of themselves as users of Russian, in listening, reading, writing and speaking. It introduces students to cultural notions of time and space as they play themselves out in such topics and notions as talking about one’s self and others (family and friends), living and working spaces, and referring to activities and events (in present-tense story-telling/dialogue). Comparisons to current Russian life and society build the foundation for cultural literacy and familiarity with the Russian-speaking world.

  • The overall goal of this subject is to help students develop cultural and linguistic knowledge that allows them to feel comfortable thinking of themselves as users of Russian, in listening, reading, writing and speaking. It introduces students to cultural notions of time and space as they play themselves out in such topics and notions as referring to activities and events (in present and past story-telling), occupations and pastimes (school, work, and free time), and the world around us (environment, residence, etc.). Comparisons to current Russian life and society build the foundation for cultural literacy and familiarity with the Russian-speaking world.

  • In this course students learn about some of Europe’s most important cuisines and how they have been plated up for consumption in Melbourne. As an expression of identity, food is often used to support national and regional identity. In the first part of this course, students will consider the relationship between gastronomy and identity. Students will be introduced to a range of key culinary concepts and practices and the way we talk about them. Through analysis of some of the key features of French, German, Italian and Spanish cuisines, students will consider how these countries’ culinary profiles speak to wider socio-political issues such as authenticity, food and space, cultural practices and the history of food.

    In the second part of this course, students will consider issues of “authenticity” in the way cuisines are plated up for consumption in Melbourne. This will require students to interrogate their assumptions and expectations about European foods and to reflect on their personal experience of the “taste” of Europe.

  • This subject explores national identity in Europe in the modern era through studying the ‘making’ and ‘breaking’ of nations at key moments in Europe’s history such as the 19 th century, post-World War I and II, the break up of the Soviet Union and the expansion of the European Union. It introduces students to the national myths and legends of Western European countries such as France, Germany, Italy, and Spain as well as select countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Students will read stories of national beginnings and endings, tales of heroism and rebirth, nostalgia and hope, liberation and unity, taken from popular culture, songs, poems, drama and art. An enduring theme will be the ways in which a sense of national self emerges from direct comparison to perceptions of “others”, including Jews, women, the poor and peoples of other nations. Students will gain an appreciation of nation and national identity in Europe as a discursive process, and an understanding of the distinct national stories of a number of European countries.

  • European modernism refers to a wide range of experimental and avant-garde trends in literature and arts at the end of the 19th and early 20th century and has proven a major influence on current (Western) literature, film and the arts. This course introduces students to key themes of modernist literature, theatre, and film in Europe. The course familiarizes students with key writers and thinkers of this period and will address the ways in which they provoked their readers/viewers through new and complex forms and styles. Major themes comprise the crisis of representation, the representation of cosmopolitanism and urban cultural dislocation, consciousness and memory, and sexuality. (Students undertaking this subject will be expected to regularly access an internet-enabled computer.)

  • This subject examines the relationship between language and society in Europe. It focuses on issues of relevance in an increasingly integrated Europe in which European and other languages are in contact through migration, travel, business, and mass media, and in which English is taking on an important role as a lingua franca. The topics to be covered include: the relationship between majority and minority languages, dialects and the standard language. bilingualism and multilingualism. semi-communication. language planning at state and European levels. politeness and forms of address. and the status and influence of English.

  • The eye-witness account and the personal memoir offer powerful ways of exploring the human legacy of overwhelming historical events on individual lives. But how do literary genres like the memoir and autobiography manage to speak about unspeakable topics, how do they represent the unrepresentable and write about trauma? What is the function, and what the effect, of writing memory for the victim, for the reader, and for the perpetrator? How do the offspring of the victims and perpetrators "remember" their parents" traumas and shape memories of events they have only experienced second-hand? What is the relationship between fiction and memory in memoir writing and how do we read a testimonial of a Holocaust survivor that has been faked? This subject will introduce students to a selection of testimonial writing and films that tell individual stories of a shameful national past. It explores the effect of generic convention on the relation of history and memory, and the need for generic invention to speak trauma and tell the un-tellable. Its focus will be on the Holocaust, the Algerian War, and life under Eastern bloc communist regimes. This subject will focus on writing from France, Germany, and Italy in the first instance, but may from time to time include writing from other parts of Europe.

  • The overall goal of this subject is to help students with a basic knowledge of Russian develop more sophisticated cultural and linguistic knowledge that allows them to feel comfortable thinking of themselves as users of Russian in listening, reading, writing and speaking. It develops students' notions of time and space as they play themselves out in talking and writing about such topics as Russian food, etiquette of addressing people, holidays and calendars, climate and Russian writers. Comparisons to current Russian life and society build the foundation for cultural literacy and familiarity with the Russian-speaking world.

  • The overall goal of this intermediate Russian subject is to enable students to move from the private to the public sphere of discourse so that they begin to engage with more sophisticated cultural and social topics in listening, reading, writing and speaking. Students will encounter visual and printed texts that allow them to view multiple perspectives and genres in both written and oral forms (literarture, film and information texts). Instead of the traditional approach to language instruction that is structured around a sequence of grammatical topics, this subject relies on the texts themselves to provide the textual, informational and lexico-grammatical features that serve as the basis for developing students' language abilities. The subject's emphasis on improving students' ability to narrate, compare and contrast, express opinions and establish causal relationships in speaking and writing lays the groundwork for the historical texts used in Russian 5 and 6.

  • A team-taught study of postwar European cinema during a period of intense political and social change. Students who complete this subject should be familiar with some of the major developments in cinematic representation in Europe from the early 20th century to the present. They should be able to relate the films studied to their national and European cultural and historical context.

    Note: This subject is taught in English.

  • This subject is designed to provide students with a thorough exposure to pre-20th-century historical and social issues in Russia. Drawing on the dual meaning of the Russian word istorija (i.e., history and story), the theme-oriented instructional units emphasise personal and public stories in Russian history, while connecting oral narratives with written narratives. Students improve their ability to narrate, compare and contrast and establish causal relationships in speaking and writing. Through the integration of all modalities, this course promotes accuracy, fluency and complexity in language use. The development of advanced reading and writing is considered the primary means for expanding students’ language abilities at this stage of language instruction. In this theme-based subject, students gain background knowledge about public events in pre-20th-century Russian history and then read and view personal narratives about these events for the purposes of examining the intersection of the public and private spheres of contemporary Russian society. The texts themselves provide the textual, informational, and lexico-grammatical features that serve as the basis for developing students’ abilities as advanced learners of Russian.

  • This subject is designed to provide students with a thorough exposure to 20th-century and contemporary historical and social issues in Russia. Drawing on the dual meaning of the Russian word istorija (i.e., history and story), the theme-oriented instructional units emphasise personal and public stories in Russian history, while connecting oral narratives with written narratives. Students improve their ability to narrate, compare and contrast and establish causal relationships in speaking and writing. Through the integration of all modalities, this course promotes accuracy, fluency and complexity in language use. The development of advanced reading and writing is considered the primary means for expanding students’ language abilities at this stage of language instruction. In this theme-based subject, students gain background knowledge about public events in 20th-century and contemporary Russian history and then read and view personal narratives about these events for the purposes of examining the intersection of the public and private spheres of contemporary Russian society. The texts themselves provide the textual, informational, and lexico-grammatical features that serve as the basis for developing students’ abilities as advanced learners of Russian.

  • This subject offers an introduction to Russian culture through film from the 1920s and the films of Eisenstein up to the present. The subject will cover representations of social change and the interpretation of cultural identities in Russian film through the main historical periods including: the Russian Revolution of 1917, the years of Stalin and the ‘thaw’ in the 1960s, the Second World War, the years of stagnation (1970s in the USSR), the era of glasnost, perestroika and the breakdown of the USSR, and the post-Soviet era.
    On completion of the subject students should be able to analyse the social and cultural processes represented in selected films from the periods studied, demonstrate an awareness of critical approaches to Russian film, and communicate the results of their research and analysis in both oral and written forms.

    The subject will be taught and assessed in Russian. Prior experience in Film Studies is neither assumed nor required.

Entry requirements & Prerequisites

This major is available through more than one course, both of which have their own separate entry requirements.

You can read more on the the Bachelor of Arts & Bachelor of Arts Extended pages.