The Year in Russian Studies!

RUSN olympics poster 20211024_1

Without a doubt, the last three semesters were extraordinarily difficult, and one of the most difficult aspects during the pandemic and strict distancing requirements was trying to create and maintain our sense of community, so dear to the Russian program. But we needn’t have worried: Our amazing students went above and beyond in organizing and… Read More

Congratulations to our RPSS Graduates!


Student-run newspaper Gazeta 2020


This Fall, our student-run newspaper Gazeta published two successful issues online. Follow the link and enjoy reading! Gazeta

Russian Music Ensemble: Fall 2020 Pop-up Performance

russ ensemble

On 31 October 2020, the Russian Music Ensemble, Gallery Players, and Middle-Eastern Music Ensemble held a Pop-up Performance. The event was well attended, and the audience enjoyed a wonderful musical performance.

RPSS 2020 Homecoming Talk: “Planes, Trains, and Time Machines”

Russian Homecoming Event

On October 29, 2020, Rachel Faith ’14, who works as a translator for the World Intellectual Property Organization (UN) in Geneva, talked about how her expertise in Russian language and culture opened up for her an exciting career in the field of translation and patents. We had a large turnout at the talk and students… Read More

2020 Tepper Lecture Series: “Queer Exile: Russian Emigres in Interwar Berlin and Paris.”

Utkin Talk

On October 15th, as a part of the Tepper Speaker Series: Global Russia, Prof. Roman Utkin (Wesleyan University) gave a talk on “Queer Exile: Russian Emigres in Interwar Berlin and Paris.” Prof. Utkin’s  talk focused on configurations of queer subjectivity in interwar Europe’s Russian exilic communities in Berlin and Paris. In his talk, Dr. Utkin… Read More

2020 Tepper Lecture Series: “How and Why to Make Oil into Food”

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The Russian and Post-Soviet Studies Program held its annual Tepper Speaker Series: Global Russia virtually this semester. On September 17th, Prof. Douglas Rogers (Yale) gave a talk titled “How and Why to Make Oil into Food: A Tale of Soviet biotechnology and Human – Microbe Relations.” In his talk, Prof. Rogers focused on an interesting… Read More

2020 Fall Semester Film Series: “Post-Soviet Portraits”

film series 2020

To stick with tradition, Fall the semester kicked off with a student-run film series in early September. This semester’s theme was “Post-Soviet Portraits” and students together with faculty enjoyed watching and discussing Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan, Battle for Sevastopol, Legend No. 17, and A Bitter Taste of Freedom.

Congratulations RPSS Studies Class of 2020!

2020 RPSS Graduates

Congratulations to our amazing Russian and Post-Soviet Studies Class of 2020! We are so proud of you! Молодцы!

Award Reception for RPSS Graduating Seniors

RPSS Award Reception

On April 17th, 2020 RPSS program held a Zoom reception to recognize graduating seniors and their accomplishments. Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 Russian and Post-Soviet Studies awards, Modern Language Excellence Award, ACTR Post-Secondary Russian Scholar Laureate Award—PSRSLA, and Fulbright Scholarships! Robin Bradley — RPSS Excellence Award Catherine Green — RPSS Excellence Award Reid… Read More

Congratulations to four Honorable Mentions of the ACTR National Russian Essay Contest!

Rusn Essay Contest

We are very proud to announce that the following students have been awarded with four Honorable Mentions of the of the Annual ACTR National Post-Secondary Russian Essay Contest! The 2020 ACTR contest received 1261 essays submitted from 56 universities, colleges, and institutions across the nation. Congratulations to our amazing four: Chela Aufderheide Celia Metzger Catherine… Read More

Congratulations to RPSS Major Grace Kier

Grace Kier

Grace Kier ’20 is among a select group of 12 students nationwide to receive a prestigious 2020-21 fellowship to the James C. Gaither Junior Fellows Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP). Congratulations, Grace! So well deserved! Full story…

Maslenitsa Celebration in the Russian House

Maslenitsa 2020

On February 29, Russian program gathered to celebrate Maslenitsa. In Russia, Maslenitsa, or the sun-festival, marks the end of winter and advent of spring. Maslenitsa is celebrated during the last week before the Lent, seven weeks prior to the Easter. In the Russian House, it’s a celebration of friendship and the spring semester. This year,… Read More

Bella Ginzbursky-Blum Receives National AATSEEL Award for Excellence in Teaching

Bella Ginzbursky Blum

Congratulations to Bella Ginzbursky-Blum, the recipient of 2020 National AATSEEL (American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages) Excellence in Teaching Award! Professor Ginzbursky-Blum is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. She teaches Russian language classes at all levels, and also enjoys teaching classes on Russian literature and,… Read More

Grace Kier wins 2019 Foreign Policy Essay Contest!

Kier learned about the essay contest in Foreign Policy from Professor Prokhorov in the Russian/Post-Soviet Studies Department, who emailed Russian students and encouraged them to apply. She decided to submit an essay, “The United States and Russia Must Work Together on Nuclear,” because she wanted to share her thoughts on nuclear cooperation and nuclear issues… Read More

Samantha Smith: An Amazing Summer Study Abroad Trip to Russia

This summer I traveled to Russia for six weeks on one of the W&M Summer Study Abroad programs. There were ten students and Professor Corney in our group, and we stayed in St. Petersburg for five weeks and Moscow for one week. While in St. Petersburg, we took Russian language courses at Herzen State Pedagogical… Read More

Georgiana Reece: My Unforgettable Visit to Peterhof

Georgiana Reece St Petersburg 2

This past summer I studied abroad at Herzen State University in St. Petersburg with William and Mary. Our group studied in St. Petersburg for five weeks and traveled to Moscow for a week. At Herzen State we studied Russian language and history. Our history class, taught by Prof. Frederick Corney, focused on historical sites of… Read More

RPSS Homecoming Reception 2019

Homecoming 2019 2

The Russian House (Pleasants Hall) hosted the RPSS Homecoming reception for alumni of the program. Former and current students, friends, majors and minors gathered to catch up and enjoy delicious Russian food. It was great to learn about all the exciting things you are doing and about your future plans. Stay in touch and visit… Read More

Careers for Russian Studies Majors and Emerging Threats in Cybercrime Arena

Careers for Russian Studies Major

On October 18, 2019, Danny Wysong, Russian Studies alumnus (2007) talked about how his expertise in Russian language and culture opened up for him an exciting career in the field of cybersecurity. His past jobs in both the public and private sector have ranged from the detection and prevention of international human trafficking to the… Read More

Tepper Lecture Series: Stalin’s Master Narrative

Prof. David Brandenberger

On September 19, 2019, Professor David Brandenberger from University of Richmond gave a talk entitled “Stalin’s Master Narrative” in which he discussed his book Stalin’s Master Narrative: A Critical Edition of the Short Course on the History of the Communist Party (Bolsheviks), co-edited with Mikhail Zelenov (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019). Dr. Brandenberger talked… Read More

Senior Profile: Rebecca McHale (Russian Studies, ’19)

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I have really valued my time in the Russian Department at William & Mary. After a great experience studying abroad in Russia in high school, I was so excited for the opportunity to continue studying the language in college. As an International Relations major with a minor in Russian, W&M has afforded me such great… Read More

Bringing Down the Busts: Moscow’s Park of Fallen Soviet Monuments


By Reid Nagurka This summer I participated in William and Mary’s study abroad program in Russia. The College organized language class with Russian faculty, a history course taught by a William and Mary professor and multiple cultural and historical excursions per week. We spent five weeks in St. Petersburg and one week in Moscow and… Read More

Elizabeth Sutterlin Spends Six Weeks in St. Petersburg


This summer, I spent six weeks studying in St. Petersburg, Russia. I stayed with a host family, took daily classes in language and literature at St. Petersburg State University, and spent afternoons exploring the city’s many museums, parks, and cafes. The trip was an enriching cultural experience that both challenged and delighted me as I… Read More

The Adventures of Kathrynn and Katherine in the Land of Catherine the Great


By Kathrynn Weilacher and Katherine Olivette (the Кати) Last summer we had the incredible opportunity to participate in the College of William & Mary’s St. Petersburg Study Abroad Program in St. Petersburg, Russia. We attended classes at St. Petersburg State University and Moscow State University that covered Russian language, literature, and history. We went on… Read More

Russian Studies: The Search for Soviet Jazz

Soviet Jazz 1

The Search for Soviet Jazz  Kary Stevick (International Relations, ’20) link to film This past summer I had the amazing opportunity to not only visit and study in St. Petersburg, Russia for six weeks as part of the Reves Center’s study abroad summer program, but also conduct research regarding one of my favorite things—jazz. Initially,… Read More

Russian Studies: Environmentalism in St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg 1

Environmentalism in St. Petersburg Melanie Carter (Interdisciplinary Studies, ’19) link to film This past summer I spent six weeks in St. Petersburg, Russia as part of the Reves Center’s study abroad program.  Beyond the typical language immersion, classroom experience, homestay accommodation, and cultural excursions, we conducted a research project in collaboration with Russian students from… Read More

Russian Studies: The Politics of Soviet Cuisine

Soviet Cuisine 1

The Politics of Soviet Cuisine Arianna Afsari (Russian and Hispanic Studies, ’19) link to film Gastronomy is one of the most significant qualities that defines culture, for it possesses the power to narrate the history, and even the politics, of those who eat it. Given that nutrition is such an ordinary part of quotidian life,… Read More

Gabrielle Hibbert (German Studies, RPSS, Honors, ’17) at The Library of Congress

Gabi Hibbert

Gabrielle Hibbert (German Studies, Honors, ’17) has just accepted a position as a researcher/intern at the Library of Congress’ European Division (mainly working within the Russian, German, and Rare Books Sections). She will be working at LoC for the duration of my gap year. The director liked her honors thesis so much so that she… Read More

Russian Music Ensemble Takes Williamsburg By Storm!


Founded in 2014, the William & Mary Russian Music Ensemble (RME) is the latest formation to emerge out of W&M’s diverse array of musical groups. What began as a labor of love for ethnomusicologist Jonathan Johnston has evolved into a one-credit course that students across all disciplines can take in order to learn about the… Read More

The Adventures of Lena Klavin in the Russian Imperial Capital


 Let us start at the beginning. I remember arriving in St. Petersburg so clearly, sitting on the airplane as it landed at Pulkovo Airport and thinking, “Blin, what have I gotten myself into!” After that, I successfully went through customs and accomplished my first language snafu as I told the officer that I spoke “American.”… Read More

Gabrielle Hibbert Successfully Defends Honors Thesis


Gabriella Hibbert successfully defended her Honors Thesis Alternative Notions of Dissent: Punk Rock’s Significance in the Soviet Union and East Germany in April 2017. Her thesis asserts that the initial punk rock movements of the United States and Great Britain served as a foundation for the Soviet Punk and Ostrock movements of the Soviet Union… Read More

Sophia Yates Reflects on her Study Abroad Trip to St. Petersburg


When I tell people that I studied abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia in the summer of 2016, I am always asked: “What was it like? Was it scary?”  Well at first, yes.  On the two-hour trip from the airport to my homestay, all of us wondered what the next six weeks had in store for… Read More

Plumeri Award for 2017: Elena Prokhorova

Department:	Modern Languages and Literatures
Title:	Associate Professor - Russian Studies/RPSS Director

Elena Prokhorova displays a dedication to her students and the university that has earned her the respect and recognition of both her colleagues and the student body. Since becoming a member of the William & Mary faculty in 2003, she has taken on a multitude of leadership positions, including director of the Russian and Post-Soviet… Read More

Alexander and Elena Prokhorov Publish New Book on Soviet Cinema and TV


Professors Alexander Prokhorov and Elena Prokhorova have published a pioneering book that examines Soviet film and television of the 1970s as mature industries articulating diverse cultural values via new genre models. During the 1970s, Soviet cinema and television developed a parallel system of genres where television texts celebrated conservative consensus while films manifested symptoms of… Read More

Russian Studies’ Elena Prokhorova Wins 2016 Raft Debate


Russian Studies and Film/Media Studies Professor Elena Prokhorova won the annual Raft Debate in 2016. The Raft Debate features four W&M faculty members from various disciplines who, stranded on a deserted island with only a one-person life raft to get off the island, have to argue which of them should get the raft and escape… Read More

Russian Music Ensemble Concert, April 1, 2016

Come join the Russian Music Ensemble for an evening of folk music from Russia and other eastern European countries! Performances will include traditional tunes from a variety of countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Greece, and Macedonia.The ensemble will be joined by special guest musicians from the Washington Balalaika Society. Admission is free, but a $1 donation… Read More

Fourth Annual Russian Language Olympics (2016)

  Aftermovie (dir. Vitalyi Humenyuk)

New Russian Prof. Robert Mulcahy Discusses Research and Courses

Russian Senior Lecturer Bella Ginzbursky-Blum interviews new colleague Robert Mulcahy about his research and teaching. Prof. Mulcahy just started teaching at William and Mary in the Fall of 2014.

Russian Studies: An interview with graduating senior Sophie Kosar ’14

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Sophie Kosar is a graduating senior with a Russian and Post-Soviet Studies major, who had very rich and fulfilling experiences both at William & Mary and in her studies abroad. Over the course of her studies she published two articles about history and modern day urban development of St. Petersburg.  One of her articles appeared… Read More

Sophie Kosar ’14 Wins MLL Outstanding Achievement Award in Russian Studies

Sophie hannah jess

Russian Studies Program of the MLL Department is happy to announce that The 2014 MLL Outstanding Achievement Award in Russian Studies (formerly MLL Russian Book Award) goes to Sophia Kosar. The award seeks to recognize a graduating Russian Studies major for her contributions in research and language studies. Congratulations Sophie!

Jessica Parks and Hannah Kitchen Win RPSS Excellence Awards


The RPSS Executive Committee is happy to announce that the RPSS Excellence Awards for the year 2014 went to Jessica Parks and Hannah Kitchen. The RPSS Excellence Award seeks to provide recognition for the best Russian Studies senior majors and minors who made a major contribution to the Russian Studies program in the areas of… Read More

Second Annual Russian Language Olympics


The event will be held on  Saturday, March 22nd, 12:00 -4:00 pm, McGlothlin Street 20. The Russian Language Olympics are a newly born tradition at the College of William and Mary. It gives an opportunity to students taking Russian to demonstrate their language skills in both an engaging and creative atmosphere.  Level 1 students will… Read More

Guest Lecture “Taxes and the Modern Citizen. How Taxes in Russia, the USSR, and the World Shaped Governments, Peoples, and Persons in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries”


 Professor Yanni Kotsonis (Department of History, New York University) will give his presentation on Thursday, March 20, 4:00-5:30 pm, Washington Hall 201. Taxes secure revenue but taxes are equally tools that reshape societies. In Russia this was a movement away from regimes of privilege where only the lower orders paid, to systems of income and… Read More

Pr. Russel Zanca talk on “Nationalism and the Myth of Turkic-Muslim Unity in Central Asia”


Professor Russel Zanca (Northeastern Illinois University) will give a talk on Thursday, March 13th, 5:00pm, Tucker 127A.

Russian House Film Screening «Гагарин. Первый в космосе»


Welcome to the Russian House Film Screening about Yuri Gagarin. March, 12th, 7pm, Russian House.

Rachel Faith ’14 wins 2014 National ACTR Post-Secondary Russian Scholar Laureate Award


Our congratulations to Rachel Faith who has been awarded the 2014 National ACTR Post-Secondary Russian Scholar Laureate Award. Way to go, Rachel! 🙂

Maslenitsa Celebration in the Russian House


Our traditional Maslenitsa celebration will be on Saturday, February 22nd at 5 pm. The event will be held in the Russian House. We can promise lots of bliny, interesting games and a great company!

Rachel Faith ’14 accepted in PBK


Rachel Faith’14 was recently elected to become a member of Phi Beta Kappa. The Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest honor society, founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary. The induction ceremony will be held on December 5th, 2013 in the Wren Chapel. Faith is double-majoring in Russian and Post-Soviet Studies… Read More

Russian Language Lesson at WM in 53 Years Ago.

Our colleague from Swem Library, Amy Schindler, just digitized and posted on Swem Library Youtube Channel this recording of a Russian language class at William and Mary held in 1960 by the founder of our program Professor Pierre Oustinoff. Russian Language Lesson at WM in 1960 Thank you, Amy!

Russian Olympics

On Saturday, March 23rd, students and faculty of the Russian Language department congregated for the first ever Russian Language Olympics at the College of William and Mary. The games, held in honor of Russia’s hosting of the 2014 winter Olympics in the city of Sochi, were the site of fierce, but fair, competition by Russian… Read More

Lirsen Myrtaj Wins National Russian Essay Award


Congratulations to Lirsen Myrtaj 
who won an Honorable Mention at 
the Fourteenth Annual ACTR NATIONAL Post-Secondary Russian Essay Contest.  This year they had 946 contestants from 47 universities.

Taylor Lain Wins Dobro Slovo Scholarship

Taylor 2

 The selection committee has awarded the 2013 Dobro Slovo Scholarship to Taylor Lain.   The Dobro Slovo Scholarship was established in 2005. The Scholarship is funded by the donations of Russian alumni and faculty and is intended for students studying on the W & M Summer Study Abroad Program in St. Petersburg.

Students Inducted into National Slavic Honor Society

Dobro Slovo 1

On April 22nd, 5 students and the Russian House Tutor, Victoria, were inducted into Dobro Slovo, the National Slavic Honor Society.  Congratulations to them on this honor!

Rianna Jansen wins Boren Scholarship

Rianna smaller

Congratulations to Rianna Jansen who just learned that she has been awarded the prestigious Boren Scholarship to study in Vladimir, Russia next year!

Concert by the Russian folk group, ‘Золотой плёс’


Concert by the Russian folk group, ‘Золотой плёс’! Thursday, March 28, 7:00 pm, Andrews 101  

Andrew Andell and Matthew Levey win RPSS Excellence Awards.

Matt and Andrew

The RPSS Executive Committee is happy to announce that the RPSS Excellence Awards for the year 2013 will go to Andrew Andell and Matthew Levey. The RPSS Excellence Award seeks to provide recognition for the best Russian Studies senior majors and minors who made a major contribution to the Russian Studies program in the areas of research,… Read More

Alex McGrath Wins National Award


Alex McGrath has been selected to receive the Post Secondary Russian Scholar Laureate Award! Organized under the auspices of ACTR (the American Council of Teachers of Russian), this national award seeks to provide  recognition for the best Russian Studies senior students nationwide–those students who best embody an enthusiasm for and love of things Russian.  Congratulations to Alex!

First-Annual Russian Olympics


Saturday, March 23, 12:00 – 4:00 pm, McGlothlin 20 Students of different levels will compete in a variety of events connected with Russian language and culture.  It should be awesome!  Follow the link below to watch our promotional video (the running of the Olympic torch!).

Professor Irina Paperno Lecture: “How We Used to Live: Survivors of the Soviet regime”


On Thursday, March 21st, Professor Irina Paperno (U. of California) will be giving a talk entitled, “How We Used to Live: Survivors of the Soviet regime.”  The talk will be held in Wash 201, from 5 – 6 pm.  Here is a brief description: Since the collapse of communism, there has been an outpouring of personal documents… Read More

Russia’s Digital Revolution: Language, New Media, and the (Un)making of Civil Society


In “Russia’s Digital Revolution,” Michael S. Gorham, University of Florida, examines political communication in the age of the internet and new media technologies, considering a wide range of strategies—rhetorical, political, and technological—that have helped shape, for better or for worse, civic culture in Russia today. Recent world events have shown that new media technologies are neither… Read More

Russian Animation Festival: Celebrating the Centennial of Russian Animation

The first of three film screenings in this exciting series is Wednesday, Jan. 30th, 7 pm in Wash 201.  The focus of this week’s screening is Russian Animation pre-1960: Fairy Tales.

Russian Students Take Field Trip to See Anna Karenina


What better way to end a semester studying the works of Leo Tolstoy than to go see the most recent Hollywood adaptation of his Anna Karenina?  On December 10th, Professor John Lyles took 8 students to Richmond for a screening of the Oscar-nominated film starring, among others, Keira Knightely and Jude Law.  And while many… Read More

Rare interviews captured in Russia


by Sagra Alvarado ’15 |  November 7, 2012 Privet. That is the Russian word for “hello.” Speaking a different language, meeting new people from another culture and visiting new sites are all part of the adventure one undergoes when exploring a foreign country. It can be an exciting – and intimidating – experience. Now take all of… Read More

Russian: A Graduate Student Gives Back (video)

Erin Alpert with Profs. Prokhorov, Ginzbursky-Blum and Corney at her recent talk at W&M

Erin Alpert graduated from the College in 2007 with a degree in Russian and Post Soviet Studies.  During her time at W&M, she studied abroad in Russia thanks, in part, to a scholarship she received from the Reves Center. “One of the highlights of my college career was definitely my summer study abroad in St…. Read More

RPSS Faculty and Students Attend Play in DC

DC photo

RPSS Faculty and Students Attend Play in Washington On October 20, 2012, the students and faculty in the Russian and Post-Soviet Studies Program went to Washington, DC, to see a Russian classic performed in English – Nikolai Gogol’s The Inspector General.  This new adaptation of the play is being performed by the Shakespeare Theatre Company… Read More

Homecoming Reception: Sat. Oct. 27th, 4:30 – 7:30, Russian House


Homecoming Reception: Saturday, October 27, 4:30 – 7:30 pm — RPSS Annual Homecoming Reception at the Russian House (Pleasants Hall, 3rd floor). Come meet some alums, hang out with your professors and classmates, and eat some good food!

“The Truth”: Soviet and Post-Soviet Documentary Cinema, Erin Alpert (’07).


Erin Alpert (’07) Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pittsburgh, will give a talk titled, “The Truth”: Soviet and Post-Soviet Documentary Cinema.  Here is a brief description: “Documentary cinema played a key role in Soviet intellectuals’ fight against political censorship during Gorbachev’s perestroika. The lecture examines the evolution of Russo-Soviet documentary cinema as an art form and… Read More

Film Series: Jolly Fellows


Monday, Oct  1st, 3:30 pm. Jolly Fellows 2 (dir. Feliks Mikhailov 2009) Blair 205.

Russian: Profile: Erin Alpert ’07, Russian and Post-Soviet Studies

Erin Alpert

The time I spent at the College greatly influenced both my career path and who I am as a person. The people I met there, both friends and professors, continue to be a significant part of my life. I think it’s important for alumni to remain connected to the College and to help foster those… Read More

Montage and Identity in Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera (1929)


Professor John MacKay, of Yale University, will be giving a talk on Vertov’s groundbreaking film, Man with a Movie Camera (1929), on Thursday, September 27th, at 5 pm in Washington 201.  Here is a brief description of what his talk will be about: This talk will closely examine both the montage construction of Man with a… Read More

From Cheerios v. Cheetos to Apartheid, the Law Library Junior Fellows Shine – Pic of the Week July 27th, 2012 by Jeanine Cali


Reprinted from The Library of Congress Law Library Blog The following is a guest post is by Betty Lupinacci, Lead Technician for Legal Processing Workflow Resolution in our Collection Services Division. The Law Library Collection Services Division’s Junior Fellow Wesley Verge and Associate Junior Fellow Mari Gavin exhibited items from the Law Library’s gift collections as part… Read More

From student to scholar in just one tweet: A Russian Studies Student in William & Mary News


by Megan Shearin | August 3, 2012 Reprinted from  William and Mary News and Events  Soon-to-be-graduate Jacob Lassin is getting international attention for his honors thesis. Recent tweets from VIPs Edward Lucas, international editor of the “Economist,” and Evgeny Morozov, visiting scholar at Stanford University and author of “The Net Delusion,” give big hurrahs to Lassin’s… Read More

“MAPMAKERS TO THE TSARS” Russian Studies Alums Present a Talk and Film at the Library of Congress (Aug 2, 2012)

Caitlin Oakley (left), Maggie Burke (center)

  “The Legacy of the First Russian Cartographic Firm.” Presentation and Film Screening Presenters Maggie Burke and Caitlin Oakley August 2nd talk at 3pm Rosenwald Room in the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress.   Link to Event Poster    

Russian Studies Students Present at the Library of Congress (July 26, 2012)


Maggie Burke, MK Gavin, and Caitlin Oakley showcased their research findings at the Library of Congress. Cailtin and Maggie work for Rare Book and Special Collections Division this summer. MK Gavin works for the Law Library. If you are in DC area, this is a great opportunity to see students’ summer research results and to get ideas about future… Read More

William and Mary Students Present at UVA Slavic Forum (March 2012)


On March 17, four Russian Studies students – along with professors John Lyles, Alexander Prokhorov, Elena Prokhorova, filmmaker-in-residence Jes Therkelsen, and Russian House Tutor Viktoria Kim – participated in the Third Annual Slavic Forum at the University of Virginia. For the past few years, the Slavic Graduate Program at UVa has held student-organized conferences designed… Read More

Student Profile: Jacob Lassin ’12 (Video Feature)


Jacob Lassin recently won the American Council of Teachers of Russian’s (ACTR) Post Secondary Russian Scholar Laureate Award. This award, according to the ACTR newsletter, “honors those students who embody a love for and dedication to things Russian that is unparalleled among their peers.” Each college or university where Russian is taught may nominate one… Read More

P.J. Prather Wins Book Award


The selection committee has awarded the Russian Section Book Award to P.J. Prather for her hard work and dedication over the course of her time here at William & Mary.

Jacob Lassin wins RPSS Excellence Award


The awards committee has selected Jacob Lassin as one of two recipients for the Russian- and Post-Soviet Studies Excellence Award, which is given annually to students who have excelled in their time at W&M and who have demonstrated a high level of commitment to their studies.

Maggie Burke wins RPSS Excellence Award


The awards committee has selected Maggie Burke as one of two recipients for the Russian- and Post-Soviet Studies Excellence Award, which is given annually to students who have excelled in their time at W&M and who have demonstrated a high level of commitment to their studies.

Rachel Faith receives the 2012 Dobro Slovo Scholarship

Yurika and I

The selection committee has awarded the 2012 Dobro Slovo Scholarship to Rachel Faith.   The Dobro Slovo Scholarship was established in 2005. The Scholarship is funded by the donations of Russian alumni and faculty and is intended for students studying on the W&M Summer Study Abroad Program in St. Petersburg.

“From TASS to Twitter: Russian and Soviet Journalism in Historical Perspective”


Please join us for a talk by W&M alum Mary Catherine French titled, “From TASS to Twitter: Russian and Soviet Journalism in Historical Perspective.”  The talk will be held on Tuesday, March 13th, at 4 pm in Washington 201.  



Congratulations to the following students who participated in last month’s 13th Annual ACTR National Post-Secondary Russian Essay Contest: Anna Kim, Kelly Okun, Alex McGrath, Megan Doneski, Raj Janis, Petar Yanev, Thomas Dziura, Sophie Kosar. Winners will be announced later this Spring!



Maslenitsa (Масленица) will be celebrated at the Russian House on Sunday, February 26th, beginning at 4 pm.

Film Screening: “Alexandra”


Please join the students of RUSN 308 this Sunday, February 26th, at 7 pm in Washington 201 for a screening of Alexander Sokurov’s Alexandra.  

Film Series: “Another Sky”

Another sky

Directed by Dmitry Mamulya (Russia 2010), “Another Sky” will be screened Thursday, Feb 23, at 5:30 in Washington 302.  It will be introduced by Sophie Kosar.

Guest Lecture: “Tolstoy in Eden”


Professor David Herman, Chair of the Slavic Department at the University of Virginia, will be giving a lecture about Tolstoy and his fiction on February 17th at 3 pm in Washington 315.  His lecture is titled: “Tolstoy in Eden.”  Here is a brief description of the content of the talk: “Virginia Woolf famously called Tolstoy the… Read More

Film Series: Eastern Promises

Eastern Promises

The next film in this semester’s film series, Russians: Cinema, City, Migration, will be screened Thursday,  Feb 16, at 5:30 pm in  Washington 201.  This week’s film is Eastern Promises (dir. David Cronenberg, Canada, USA, UK 2007), and it will be introduced by Rachel Faith.

Film Screening: Brother 2


The next film in this semester’s film series, Russians: Cinema, City, Migration, will be screened this WEDNESDAY, February 8th, in the Williamsburg Regional Library Auditorium.  The film is Brother 2 (dir. Aleksei Balabanov Russia, USA 2000) and it will be introduced by Sasha Prokhorov.

Film Screening: I Walk Around Moscow

I walk around Moscow

The first of four movies to be screened as part of the Russian Section’s Film Series: RUSSIANS: CINEMA, CITY, MIGRATION.  I Walk Around Moscow / Я шагаю по Москве will be shown on Thursday, February 2nd, at 5 pm in Washington 201. 

ACTR’s 2012 National Post-Secondary Russian Essay Contest

Students write their OWLS at Hogwarts

This is a national writing contest for Russian speakers of all levels, from 1st-year to heritage, and is judged by a panel of experts.  Participants have the opportunity to receive 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place, or honorable mention, among all US students of their same level.  The deadline for registration is January 30th.  The contest… Read More

Film Series


The Russian Section will begin its Spring film series, Russians: Cinema, City, Migration, will begin next week (Thursday, February 2nd at 5 pm in Washington 201).  Here is the list of all the movies to be screened, along with the dates and times: Film Series: RUSSIANS: CINEMA, CITY, MIGRATION ДОРОГАГОРОД Feb 2, Th 5:00 Washington 201… Read More

A Russian Animation Character Supports the Movement for Honest and Transparent Elections


(Moscow, 24 Dec., 2011) Today we went to Andrei Sakharov Avenue to participate in the rally for fair and just elections.  About 100000 people came to the rally.  It was the biggest political manifestation since the demonstrations of the early 1990s.  We saw people of all walks of life and political preferences: from those who… Read More

Russian Studies students wish you a Happy New Year! 2012!

New Year Party

Russian Studies students and faculty wish you a Happy New Year!  2012! Студенты и профессора программы русского страноведения желают вам счастья в Новом году! 2012!                                              

Visualizing St. Petersburg: Research Through Documentary Filmmaking Abroad


by Jes Therkelsen The documentary filmmaking process requires a tremendous amount of patience, discipline, creativity, and flexibility. You need to deal with people, but know how to troubleshoot technology; you must be organized, but open to spontaneity; you should be prepared for everything, but comfortable working in the unknown. For the eight students who studied… Read More

Visualizing St. Petersburg: Russian Student Documentary Film Festival (29 Nov 2011)

Caitlin Oakley ‘12 and Monika Bernotas ‘12 interview Sergei Kovalsky about his art and the contemporary art center «Pushkinskaya-10» in St. Petersburg, Russia (Photo by Jes Therkelsen)

The Russian and Post-Soviet Studies Program is delighted to present Russian Studies students’ documentary films. The films comprise a media component of students’ research projects, which they have conducted this summer in St. Petersburg, Russia. In spring 2011, students took a one-credit preparatory course to learn various methodological approaches to conducting research, choose their summer… Read More

Homecoming Reception in the Russian House (22 oct., 2011)


Dear alums, It was so great to see you all at our annual homecoming reception in the Russian House.  Food was great! And it was wonderful to touch base with all of you!  Please stay in touch and update us on your accomplishments.  Thank you for all your support!  Below is a couple of videos… Read More

Mari-Kathryn has been accepted into a prestigious internship program (October 2011).


The Russian Section of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures is pleased to announce that Mari-Kathryn Gavin (RPSS, ’12) has been accepted into a prestigious Translate Abroad Internship Program (School of Russian and Asian Studies, SRAS). Congratulations, MK!   SRAS: Translation Abroad is a practical academic program offering intensive Russian lessons and professional, hands-on translation experience. Despite advances in electronic translation technology, there is… Read More

Russian Studies Alumnus Lecture: “The Living Chernobyl: The Exclusion Zone 25 Years Later” (21 October, Wash 302, 3 pm.)

The Russian Studies Program is proud to present this year homecoming lecture speaker Ed Geist, ABD (UNC, Chapel Hill) “The Living Chernobyl: The Exclusion Zone 25 Years Later

Visualizing Saint Petersburg – One Month In (July 15)


After a month, students in the Saint Petersburg study abroad program find themselves in the thick of their documentary productions, taking advantage of every opportunity while in the field. Producing a documentary film is not an easy task. It takes a lot of research and planning to develop a story idea, to consider which concepts… Read More

The Beginning of Our Second Full Week in St. Petersburg (WM in Russia)


Officially as of today, we have been in St. Petersburg for two full weeks! It’s hard to believe that time is flying by so fast! This past Monday, Sasha surprised us with a tour of Pushkin’s Museum, instead of our afternoon class. It was a great surprise! Pushkin’s Museum is located in the last apartment… Read More

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