In the fall of 2006 USC inaugurated a groundbreaking program that aims to introduce the next generation of college students to the fundamental principles of multimedia authorship - an integral component of twenty-first century literacy and a cornerstone of university education of the future. The program, called Multimedia in the USC Core, is the product of a unique collaboration between the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the Institute for Multimedia Literacy (at the USC School of Cinematic Arts); it features a different set of General Education and diversity courses every semester.
The Slavic Department regularly participates in the program at the undergraduate level through its gateway course, "Russian Thought and Civilization." This selection recognizes the Department's longstanding interest in developing innovative ways of engaging students in the study of modern (and not so modern) Russian culture; the first multimedia-driven course offered by the department goes back to 1999. Students in Slavic multimedia classes have the opportunity to engage with images, text, and sound from Russia's past and present, and learn how to construct illuminating multimedia arguments while encountering many different dimensions of Russia's cultural heritage. One of the features that makes the Slavic offerings in the Core Multimedia curriculum unique is the opportunity to develop materials for Russian Modernism Online, a unique collaboration among prominent scholars of Russian culture from across the country, complete with a virtual archive and - yes - a role-playing game. Several faculty members from the USC Slavic department have already contributed or are currently developing interactive modules for the project; the students in our multimedia course will be invited to join the faculty in researching and authoring this experimental interface.
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Alumnus Mikhail Gronas (Ph.D. 2002) has been promoted to the rank of associate professor with tenure at Dartmouth College.