Dedicated primarily to the study of the language, literature, and culture of modern Russia, the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures offers students the opportunity to witness the dramatic renaissance of one of the world's major cultures as it redefines itself and its place in the world.

Slavic Department faculty are active nationally and internationally in a variety of fields ranging from literary theory to Romantic poetry and the avant garde. They are united by a central focus on language and literature in their broader cultural context, which includes study of the fine arts, theater, history, and cinema.

The Department features small size language classes with a focus on communicating in Russian, shared faculty with Comparative Literature, Linguistics, the School of Theatre, and History, and opportunites for Exchange and Study Abroad programs

ARLT 100g, Masterpieces of the Short Story: USC Top Ten Course!

Professor Zholkovsky's course "Masterpieces of the Russian Short Story" has been selected as one of USC's top 10 classes. Hear a student from the class talk about what made it such a great experience (starting at 2:40) in the video above!

The Institute of Modern Russian Culture

Incorporated in 1979, the Institute of Modern Russian Culture (IMRC), Los Angeles, is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Russian culture. To this end, it maintains a library and archive, conducts a membership program, and publishes an annual journal, Experiment, and a bi-annual newsletter.

Living in LA

Living and studying in the second largest metropolis in the U.S.

"Scumbag" Language on the Russian Internet

On February 26 at 2 pm in THH 271, Professor Michael Gorham, Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at the University of Florida, will speak on: “Scumbags, Trolls, and the Battle for Civil(ized) Discourse on the Russian-language Internet.”

Anyone who has been paying close attention to Russian politics over the past four years can attest to the heightened attention devoted to public language and the internet as sources of verbal, cultural, and political contamination. According to one policy watch group, in just the past year, some 20 different pieces of draft legislation have been introduced to restrict, control, monitor, or otherwise regulate the Russian-language internet (Runet). This talk examines how and why commonly held attitudes toward language help shape the perceptionof degradation, pollution, anarchy and all-permissiveness, beginning with the phenomenon of “scumbag language” (iazyk podonkov) and extending to Putin’s recently embraced civilizational discourse. This perception, in turn,has made Russian internet culture vulnerable to symbolic associations with all sorts of taboo or otherwise socially unacceptable behavior, and has thus provided rhetorical justification for regulating, reigning in, repatriating, and ultimately censoring Runet-based civil discourse— even as pro-Kremlin trolling and social networking initiatives seek to muddy the civilized waters still further.


USC Book Prize in Literary and Cultural Studies Award Winners

The University of Southern California Book Prize in Literary and Cultural Studies, established in 2009 and sponsored by the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, is awarded annually for an outstanding monograph published on Russia, Eastern Europe or Eurasia in the fields of literary and cultural studies in the previous calendar year.

This year’s Prize Winners are:

Rachel Feldhay Brenner, The Ethics of Witnessing: The Holocaust in Polish Writers' Diaries from Warsaw, 1939-1945 (Northwestern U Press)

Friederike Kind-Kovács, Written Here, Published There: How Underground Literature Crossed the Iron Curtain (Central European U Press)

A New Major Program

We are proud to announce a new major program: the major in Central European Studies.  It combines background in relevant languages (Russian plus either German or Polish, or more intensive study of Russian) with course work in international relations and the history, culture and politics of the region.  For more information, click here.

Congratulations Professor Bowlt!

During the fall semester of 2015 Professor John E. Bowlt Bowlt is serving as Slade Professor of Fine Art at the University of Cambridge, England.

The Slade Professorship of Fine Art has been held by many of the most distinguished historians of art and architecture from around the world. Dr. Bowlt's Slade Professorship will follow in the wake of his scholarly contribution to three major exhibitions of Russian art in London in 2014-15 at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Science Museum, and the new Gallery of Russian Art and Design.

Congratulations Laurel!

Graduate student Laurel Schmuck  has been appointed as a Teaching Assistant Fellow by the Center for Excellence in Teaching. Congratulations Laurel!

Follow us on @USC_Slavic


Spring Break in Siberia!

A favorite returns: Spring Break in Siberia!!         


In March, Professor Tatiana Akishina is traveling to Siberia with a group of students for a 2-credit Study trip.

USC Slavic Instagram

Please follow the USC Slavic department's updates on instagram!

We are @USC_Slavic and will post information about upcoming events so you don't have to miss out on any great talks or scrumptious pierogi!

  • Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
  • University of Southern California
  • College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
  • Taper Hall 255
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-4353