The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures aims to equip students with knowledge and skills that are critical to understanding and operating in a complex global world. We teach and study the languages, literatures, and cultures of Russia and Eastern and Central Europe. Offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs, our department conducts its courses primarily in English with readings in English translation or in the original, depending on the course level and objectives. Our nationally and internationally renowned faculty members are active scholars who pursue innovative research agendas encompassing a variety of topics and methodologies. Our lively intellectual community welcomes you!


The Department features small size language classes with a focus on communicating in Russian and understanding the country through its literature and culture. The department offers a Russian major; a major in Central European Studies (administered jointly with the School of International Relations); and two minors (in Russian and Russian Studies).


The doctorate in Slavic Languages and Literatures is designed to prepare students for a career of teaching and scholarship at the university level. It provides a thorough grounding in Russian literary and cultural history as well as in the theoretical perspectives current in the field.


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.


Major in Central European Studies

As recent events have shown, Central Europe remains a focal point for political, economic, and cultural tensions on the European continent—with implications for the entire world. The major in Central European Studies prepares students for careers in government, finance, and academia that deal with this region. 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.

Your Major & Minor

Featured Faculty

Dr. Thomas Seifrid

Professor Seifrid’s new book Staging the Absolute: Ritual in Russia’s Modern Era is being published by University of Toronto Press. It argues that an array of practices and beliefs came together to define an essential aspect of Russian and Soviet culture in the twentieth century: the persistent desire to interrupt – or disrupt – history. Drawing on sources that define the nature of public rituals, the book reveals the pervasive presence of the impulse to impede history in Russia’s modern era and the realization of the idea in the form of the Stalinist show trials of the 1930s.

Seifrid Staging Absolute

Dr. Evgeny Dengub

Professor Dengub’s textbook Etazhi (Georgetown UP, 2021) has received the 2022 AATSEEL Best Book in Pedagogy award. The prize committee notes: “The authors deserve praise for their persistent focus on authentic and purposeful communication: all chapters include authentic and engaging texts authored by native Russian speakers from across the Russian Federation on a variety of topics pertinent to Russian society and culture, including daily life, travel, dating and marriage, clothing, cuisine, health and medicine, education, holiday traditions, and careers.”


Contact Us

Department Office

Deborah Russo

Department Director of Undergraduate Program

Prof. Evgeny Dengub

Department Director of Graduate Program

Prof. Kelsey Rubin-Detlev