Russian & Eurasian Studies First Year Courses

Russian and Eurasian studies (REST) is a multifaceted discipline that aims to give students an understanding of this vital region’s history, politics, environment, and culture, along with proficiency in the Russian language. Students can choose among courses in literary and cultural studies, anthropology, history, geography, Jewish studies, environmental studies, and political science, taking advantage of Colgate's unusual array of Russian specialists in these diverse areas. Prospective majors, and those with an interest in Russian language, should begin REST 121 as soon as possible. The major requires a minimum of two years of language. Students who continue into advanced Russian are encouraged to spend a semester in Russia on one of Colgate's approved programs. Courses throughout the curriculum are interdisciplinary and culminate in a senior seminar in which majors pursue a thesis or advanced research topics in a collaborative environment. Many of our students choose to combine Russian and Eurasian studies with a second major or minor in history, political science, international relations and other fields. Recent graduates have found work in government, journalism, law, NGOs, education, finance, and many other fields; some have gone to the Peace Corps, and a significant number have pursued graduate study.


Examines Russian society, culture, and identity through eras of Tsarism, revolution, social engineering, war, and societal transformations. Explores Russia's distinctiveness - its place in the world, struggles, and successes - looking at how Russians themselves understand and contest this heritage. Examining the roots of Russian identity, students consider the images of leaders from Peter the Great to Stalin and Vladimir Putin, as well as the work and legacies of artists, writers, and composers. Another major focus is peoples' everyday lives during political and social upheavals. Students examine what life was like during the Stalinist 1930s, through the traumas of World War II ("The Great Patriotic War"), Perestroika in the 1980s, and the post-Soviet present. Students learn about the dynamic ways that culture, history, politics, and identity intertwine in any society.

Faculty Profile for Professor De Lucia 

Cultures across the globe and through time have had very different understandings of death that may appear strange or even shocking to many people today. For archaeologists, burials (both human and non-human) provide a key line of evidence for understanding conceptions of death, grief, mortuary rituals, and belief systems in the past. We can also learn about the world of the living through the study of human remains and burial practices. Bioarchaeologists study how social identity, political change, colonialism, social inequality, warfare, and other large-scale social processes manifest physically in the human body. Students take a closer look at cross-cultural variation in understandings of death and mortuary practices through archaeological evidence. Students also consider what we can learn from the study of human remains in the archaeological record. Students have the opportunity to examine archaeological datasets and conduct hands-on analyses with material objects. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for a 100-level ANTH course and satisfy one half of their Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents area of inquiry requirement. 

Kristin De Lucia is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology. She is an archaeologist specializing in the rise and decline of the Aztec Empire in Mexico and has previous experience in bioarchaeology. She is particularly interested in studying the daily lives of commoners, the development of inequality, and gender in prehistory.

Combines an overview of Russian grammar with an intensive emphasis upon classroom communication and the development of oral skills. In addition to the textbook, students make use of an array of web-based materials ranging from interviews with contemporary Russians, to YouTube videos, to cartoons in order to provide students with a sense for life in Russia today, as well to facilitate rapid acquisition of the language. Students cover the fundamentals of Russian grammar, learn a great deal of vocabulary, and should be able to converse effectively in a variety of everyday situations in Russian.

Complete the presentation of the fundamentals of the language and focus upon further vocabulary acquisition and developing more advanced conversation and writing skills, as well as real-life Russian in context. Students work through digitized segments of a beloved romantic comedy, The Irony of Fate to greater understand cultural commentary and develop transcription skills.