Russian Studies Off Campus

David Powelstock, Associate Professor of Russian Language and Literature, gave a paper by invitation at the opening plenary session of the Lermontov Bicentennial Conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Tuesday, October 9, 2014, at the Institute for Russian Literature (Pushkin House). The title of the paper was, "Disharmony between Inner and Outer Realities as the Basis of Lermontov's Romanticism." The conference was sponsored by the Institute of Russian Literature, the Russian Academy of Sciences, and St. Petersburg State University.

Cheburashka Crafting

For pictures of Cheburashka crafting at RCW 2014, please view our slideshow.

Russian Club on Facebook

Join the Brandeis Russian Club on Facebook to stay informed about upcoming Russian culture events on campus!

Past Events

Russian Culture Week

March 6-10, 2017Russian Culture Week
Various locations

Celebrate Russian culture at Brandeis! Events include a reading and conversation with poet Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach, arts and crafts, student performances, a film Russian screening, and a Russian dance party.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the author reading and discussion with Olga Grjasnowa (originally scheduled for March 6) has been cancelled.

View the Russian Culture Week website for a complete schedule of events.

Russian Culture Week is organized by the Russian Studies Program and the Brandeis Russian Club. For more information, contact Professor Irina Dubinina, director of the Russian Language Program, or Sophie Lis, president of Brandeis Russian Club.

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2015-2016 Events

2016 International Video Competition

International Video CompetitionThursday, April 14, 2016
5 - 7 p.m.
Shiffman 002

Watch the finalists in the International Video Competition! Videos are multilingual with English subtitles. Created by second-semester language course students.

International desserts will be served!

Presented by the Foreign Language Oversight Committee (FLOC) and the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences.

Chekhov, Stanislavsky and the Moscow Art Theatre: Against the Backdrop of the Century

Featuring Anatoly Smeliansky, Russian theatre writer, scholar, and critic and head of the Moscow Art Theatre (MXAT) School for Academic Studies

Tuesday, April 12, 2016Lecture by Anatoly Smeliansky
4:00 p.m.
Mandel Reading Room
(Mandel Center for the Humanities, Rm. 303)

During the talk, Dr. Smeliansky will discuss the intricate relationship between the Moscow Art Theatre, its founders, Anton Chekhov plays, and the Russian society in the past and the present.

Anatoly Smeliansky is a renowned theatre scholar, writer and critic, expert on Russian drama, Stanislavsky studies, history of the Moscow Art Theatre and literary legacy of Mikhail Bulgakov.

This event is sponsored by the Russian Studies Program, the Department of Theater Arts, and the Brandeis Russian Club.

All are welcome. Russian cake will be served.

Teleconference with Russian Students

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Farber 2 Classroom

The Russian Studies Program is proud to offer you a unique opportunity to engage with native speakers of Russian who are learning English at Khabarovsk State Academy of Economics and Law via teleconferencing technology on the topic of current world events and Russian and American politics.

There has been a palpable interest in learning more about how young Russians think about world events and American policies among our student population. To help you engage directly with Russian students, the Russian Language Program has organized a Telebridge on Tuesday, March 29, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. (Farber 2 classroom in the main library, one floor down from the Information Desk) with Khabarovsk students who are studying law and who participate in their university's debate team. This exchange will be in English; no Russian language skills are necessary to participate! You will have an opportunity to ask Russian peers what they think about America; Russian students will ask you what you think about Russia and Russian politics; and both sides will have an opportunity to comment on world events.

Read about Khabarovsk (note they are 14 hours ahead of us!). Read about Khabarovsk State Academy of Economics and Law.

Russian Culture Week 2016: March 7-11

Russian Culture Week 2016Traditional Russian Dolls Workshop

Monday, March 7, 2016
7:00 p.m.
Village Seminar Room, B131

Bring out your creative side and come to Russian Club's doll making workshop! Make an adorable Russian souvenir to display in your dorm or give as a gift to a loved one. This activity will be led by Brandeis’ Fulbright TA for the Russian Language Program, Rossina Soyan. No prior experience necessary. All materials will be provided free of charge.

Hors d’oeuvre Russian-style will be served.

In Memory of Our Murdered (Jewish) Children: Hearing the Holocaust in Soviet Jewish Culture

Presented by Professor James Loeffler, Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia

Tuesday, March 8, 2016
6:30 p.m.
Rapaporte Treasure Hall
Goldfarb Library

In the winter of 1942-43, composer Mikhail Fabianovich Gnesin fled the Nazi advance into Soviet territory. He ended up in Tashkent with his wife, where he learned that his son had died a few weeks before. In his grief, he wrote a piano trio and dedicated it “In Memory of Our Perished Children.” This remarkable work of art is probably the first piece of music ever written explicitly about the Holocaust. Except that it nowhere mentions the Shoah or Jews, and instead hides its Jewishness in a secret musical code. Retelling the history of this lost piece of music, James Loeffler shows how the Holocaust sounded very different to Soviet (Jewish) ears. This holds important ethical lessons for how we remember the Holocaust and recover its musical legacy in our own world today.

Sponsored by the Brandeis-Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry (BGI).

Student Talent Show

Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Doors open 6:30 p.m.
Concert begins 7:00 p.m.
Rapaporte Treasure Hall
Goldfarb Library

Dedicated to International Women’s Day, the Talent Show is one of the highlights of Russian Culture Week, showcasing performances ranging from classical music to juggling. Organized by the Russian Club and Russian Studies Program. Come enjoy an evening of talent and free food while celebrating International Women’s Day!

Cold salads and meats will be provided as well as dessert.

Russian Movie Night

Friday, March 11, 2016
5:30 p.m.
Ridgewood A Commons

Come join Brandeis Russian Club for a fun evening of Russian culture, language and cinema. Whether you are a Russian speaker, lover of all things Russian, or curious about Russian culture, this is a not-to-be-missed event! Russian language film with English subtitles.

Hot Russian food and desserts will be served.

Author Event: Ludmila Ulitskaya

Ludmila UlitskayaThursday, January 21, 2016
6:30 p.m.
Rapaporte Treasure Hall
Goldfarb Library

Ludmila Ulitskaya is considered to be one of the most notable writers in contemporary Russia. Her works often explore themes of Russian Jewish identity, the Soviet dissident movement, and women's issues.

Please note that this event will be conducted entirely in Russian (no English translation will be provided).

Please click the poster to the right to view additional details.

This event is presented by the Brandeis-Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry, the Russian Studies Program, and the Brandeis Russian Club. It has been been possible with the generous support of Genesis Philanthropy Group.

I Am Global Week Presents: "Tuva: A Turkic-speaking, throat-singing, Buddhism/Shamanism-practicing culture of the Russian Federation"

TuvaFeaturing Rossina Soyan, Fulbright grantee and teaching assistant for the Russian Language Program

Wednesday, November 18, 2015
4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Mandel Reading Room
(Mandel Center for the Humanities, Rm. 303)

Tuva is a little-known republic in the middle of Asia, proud of its pristine nature, throat-singing people, and shamanism. It's the only place in the world where you can drive from tundra to desert in a day, encountering reindeer, camels, and yaks along the way. To find out more about this remote republic of Russia, join us for a talk by Rossina Soyan, this year's Fulbright grantee and teaching assistant in the Russian Language Program at Brandeis. She will share stories about her family, her village, tourist attractions and contemporary life in Tuva, the way she sees it.

I Am Global Week Presents: "Ukraine 2015: National Identity and Civilian Volunteers During War"

Ukraine 2015Featuring Matthew Kupfer '12

Tuesday, November 17, 2015
6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Mandel Reading Room
(Mandel Center for the Humanities, Rm. 303)

The Ukrainian revolution, the Russian annexation of Crimea, and the separatist war in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region have shaken the foundations of the post-World War II international order and brought world attention to Ukraine and its people. They have also painted a contradictory picture of Ukraine, highlighting both its supposedly entrenched cultural and political divides and the unity of wide swaths of the Ukrainian population in support of their country. So what is the truth? Is Ukraine divided or is it united? And what is "Ukrainian national identity" today? This talk will present field research on understandings of Ukrainian national identity among patriotic civilian volunteers and the wider public in Kharkiv and Odessa, two Russian-speaking cities in southeastern Ukrainian traditionally thought of as "pro-Russian."

Matthew Kupfer is an M.A. candidate in Harvard University's Department of Russian, Eastern European, and Central Asian Regional Studies. He recently returned from carrying out intensive field research on Ukrainian national identity in Kharkiv and Odessa for his master's thesis. Prior to entering Harvard, he completed his B.A. in international and global studies and anthropology at Brandeis University ('12), carried out research in Kyrgyzstan during the country's tumultuous 2010 political transition, studied Russian in St. Petersburg, and worked as a Junior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C. He has also worked as a freelance journalist and blogger focused on Russian, Ukrainian, and Central Asian politics and as a Russian-English translator.

I Am Global Week Language Lunch

Language LunchTuesday, November 17, 2015
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
Sherman Function Hall
Hassenfeld Conference Center

The Division of Humanities and the Foreign Language Oversight Committee, with support from the Provost’s Office and the Dean of Arts and Sciences, invite all members of the Brandeis Community (students, faculty and staff) to experience and celebrate the linguistic diversity of Brandeis. Individual language tables will host speakers of Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Latin, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish and Yiddish. Stay for a few minutes or for the entire hour; just speak only the language of a specific table during your visit. Do you speak several languages? Visit multiple tables during lunch. No matter that your level of proficiency, you are welcome!

Participants are asked to sign in at their chosen language table to receive a voucher for the buffet lunch. While the amount of food is limited, we encourage late arrivals to bring their own lunch fare to the table of their choice.

"A Replacement Life": A Reading and Conversation with Boris Fishman

Moderated by Professor ChaeRan Freeze

Thursday, November 12, 2015
6:30 p.m.
Mandel Center for the Humanities, Atrium

Presented by the Brandeis-Genesis Institute for Russian Jewry (BGI), and co-sponsored by the Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry, the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, the Department of German, Russian and Asian Languages and Literature, and the Brandeis Russian Club.

Russian Contemporary Film Festival (Exclusively at Brandeis!)

Join us for five acclaimed Russian contemporary films! Films are in Russian with English subtitles. Presented by the Brandeis Russian Studies Program and Eurochannel.

All screenings begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Mandel Center for the Humanities, Room G12 (unless otherwise indicated).   

September 24: My Dad is Baryshnikov
October 1: Another Year
October 8: The Admirer
October 15: Thirst
October 22: Jolly Fellows
October 29: The Admirer - in Pearlman Lounge 113

A second screening of The Admirer will be held on Thursday, October 29, at 7:00 p.m. in Pearlman Lounge 113 due to technical difficulties during the original screening.

For details, visit our Film Festival page. Also, check out the feature in The Brandeis Hoot!

Eurochannel LogoEurochannel is the award-winning television channel featuring premium European entertainment with the biggest stars. Eurochannel presents only top-of-the-line European programming, from recent blockbusters to critically acclaimed TV series. Experience Europe on Eurochannel through cinematic adventure, humor, history and entertainment. Eurochannel is available on Sling International. To stay up to date on the latest programming, like Eurochannel on Facebook and Twitter.

"The Limits of the Allowable: How to Feel the Borders of Freedom Under Totalitarianism"

Featuring Dmitry Bykov

Tuesday, October 6, 2015, 5:30 p.m.
Rapaporte Treasure Hall
Goldfarb Library

Dmitry BykovDmitry Bykov is one of Russia’s most colorful, versatile, and recognizable public intellectuals. He writes poetry (and is famous for the sharp political satire in his Citizen Poet project), fiction, biographies, journalistic essays, and criticism. Bykov also teaches literature in two Moscow schools and is a regular commentator and guest on television and the liberal radio station Echo of Moscow.

2014-2015 Events

Spring 2015 European Cultural Studies Lemon Cake Lecture: "Bakhtin and the Actor"

Featuring Caryl Emerson
A. Watson Armour III University Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures
Princeton University

Bakhtin and the ActorWednesday, March 18 at 4:00 p.m.
DuBois Lounge (Rabb 119)

It might come as a surprise that Mikhail Bakhtin, known as both a lyricophobe and a theatrophobe, had anything positive to say about the art of the stage. Caryl Emerson, the renowned expert on Mikhail Bakhtin, will argue that, nevertheless, Bakhtin had a powerful theatrical imagination.

All are welcome. Light refreshments will be served.

This event is presented by the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences and co-sponsored by the Mandel Center for the Humanities.

Russian Culture Week 2015: March 2-7

Russian Culture Week 2015

View the slideshow from the RCW 2015 Talent Show, held on Wednesday, March 4, 2015, in the Rapaporte Treasure Hall.

For a complete listing of Russian Culture Week 2015 activities, please view the event poster.

For more information about Russian Culture Week at Brandeis, join the Brandeis Russian Club Facebook group or contact Bess Alshvang, president of the Brandeis Russian Club, at

Russian Tea (Русский чай) Spring 2015

Select Wednesday evenings, all 6:30 - 8 p.m.
Shiffman 124

Stop by for tea and conversation! Hosted by Ekaterina (Katya) Mironova, teaching assistant for the Russian Language Program.

The spring 2015 semester dates are:

January 21
February 4
February 25
March 18
April 1
April 15
April 22

"Fame and Fortune: On Writing a New Life of Tchaikovsky," featuring Philip Ross Bullock

Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 4 p.m.
Mandel Reading Room
Mandel Center for the Humanities, Room 303

Fame and FortunePhilip Ross Bullock is Professor of Russian Literature and Music at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Wadham College. He is the author of a number of books and articles on various aspects of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian literature and music, and is currently completing a short critical life of Tchaikovsky to be published by Reaktion in 2015.

Russian Club at the Global Bazaar

Wednesday, November 12, 2014, 4 - 8 p.m.
Sherman Function Hall

See photos of the Brandeis Russian Club at the 2014 Global Bazaar!

"The Other Stories in Anna Karenina: A Translator's Perspective," featuring Rosamund Bartlett

Monday, November 3, 2014, 2 p.m.
Mandel Reading Room
Mandel Center for the Humanities, Room 303

The Other Stories in Anna KareninaThis talk explored the translation history of Anna Karenina, and the particular role played by Constance Garnett and Louise and Aylmer Maude in establishing Tolstoy's reputation in the English-speaking world.

Rosamund Bartlett is a writer, scholar, translator and lecturer. She is the author of Tolstoy: A Russian Life and translator of Anna Karenina She has also written a biography of Chekhov and published two volumes of his short stories. She has lectured on Russian literature, music and cultural history at universities and public institutions around the world, and has a particular interest in the comparative history of European Modernism, opera, and the intersection between politics, history and the arts.

This event was sponsored by GRALL and the European Cultural Studies program.

Poetry Reading with Vera Pavlova

Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 4 - 5:30 p.m.
Mandel Reading Room (Mandel Humanities Center, Room 303)

Vera PavlovaVera Pavlova is a well-known Russian poet, actively writing today. She was born in Moscow and graduated from the famous Gnessin Academy of Music, specializing in the history of music. She began writing poetry at the age of 20 and since then has published fourteen collections of poetry, four opera librettos, and lyrics to two cantatas. Her works have been translated into eighteen languages, including English.

During this interactive reading, each member of the audience received cards with Vera's poems written in Russian and English. The owner of the card read the English translation out loud while Vera read the Russian original.

For more information about Vera Pavlova, visit

Vera Pavlova (left) and Professor Irina Dubinina (right) listen as a student reads one of Ms. Pavlova's poems in translation.

Image: Vera Pavlova (left) and Professor Irina Dubinina (right) listen as a student reads one of Ms. Pavlova's poems in translation.

Russian Tea (Русский чай) Fall 2014

Select Wednesday evenings, all 6:30 - 8 p.m.
Shiffman 124

Stop by for tea and conversation! Hosted by Ekaterina (Katya) Mironova, teaching assistant for the Russian Language Program.

The fall 2014 semester dates and topics include:

September 17 – Let’s get to know each other
October 1 – Katya’s Russian cities
October 15 – Nature po-russki (collage-building session!)
October 29 – Horror Russian style
November 12 – Music in Russia
November 19 – Surprise!
December 3 – Winter holidays

GRALL Open House

Tuesday, September 2, 2014, 12 - 2 p.m.
Shiffman Humanities Center Lawn

New and returning students came to the department-wide Open House for food and conversation with representatives from the GRALL programs (German Studies, Russian Studies, Chinese Language, and Japanese Language). Each program shared international desserts, and faculty and students played interactive games and constructed origami in front of Shiffman.

To see pictures from the event, please visit our GRALL Open House 2014 page.

Orientation Academic Fair

Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 11:45 a.m. - 1:45 p.m.
Farber Library, First Floor

New students stopped by the Russian Studies Program table at the Academic Fair to connect with program representatives and learn about Russian Studies course offerings, the major/minor, cultural events on campus, and more.

2013-2014 Events

Russian Culture Week 2014

Cheburashka crafting at RCW 2014Russian Culture Week 2014 was held on March 10-15, and included a number of Russian cultural events, including Cheburashka doll crafting, tea and Russian pop music, a student talent show, a movie night, and an authentic Russian dance party.

For a complete list of RCW 2014 events, please see below or visit the RCW 2014 Facebook page.

The Russian Craft
Monday, March 10, 2014, 6:30 p.m.
ICC Lounge

Spend an evening fashioning traditional Russian crafts with the guidance of a professional Russian craftswoman. Experience a sample of Russian childhood by creating your own Cheburashka doll. Anything you make, you take home! Russian refreshments served.

Russian Tea
Wednesday, March 12, 2014, 6:30 p.m.
Shiffman 124

Have you ever wanted to jam to popular Russian music? Come listen and sing along while you enjoy tea and traditional Russian treats. 
Russian refreshments served.

Student Concert/Talent Show
Thursday, March 13, 2014, 6:45 p.m.
Rappaport Hall

Come watch and cheer on Brandeis Russian Club, students of Russian and Russophiles as they show off their many talents in honor of the Russian holiday, International Women's Day! Traditional Russian dishes served.

Movie Night with the Russian Club
Friday, March 14, 2014, 6:30 p.m.
Ridgewood Commons

Spend the evening with the Russian Club watching the critically acclaimed bittersweet film "The Cuckoo": Three unlikely roommates—a Finn, a Russian and a Lapp—overcome comic and tragic misunderstandings to find peace in a time of war. Traditional Russian dishes served.

Russian Ball
Saturday, March 15, 2014, 10 p.m.

Russian club invites everyone to an authentic Russian dance party featuring Northeastern's DJ Mel!  Come dance to the latest and greatest Russian hits as well as some top 40 favorites. Semi-formal attire, Russian desserts served.

Russian Tea and Conversation

March & April 2014 (Multiple nights, 6:30 - 8 p.m.)
Shiffman 124

March 12, 2014 - Topic: Russian songs
March 26, 2014 - Topic: How can the knowledge of the Russian language determine your future career?
April 9, 2014 - Topic: Welcome to Russia! Top tourist attractions.

International Video Competition 2014

Thursday, April 10, 2014, 5 p.m.
Shiffman 002

The International Video Competition started at Brandeis in 2013 at the initiative of the Foreign Language Oversight Committee. The competition's goal is to increase motivation to learn foreign languages at Brandeis, to energize the language programs, and to create a community of language learners among beginning students of all languages. Students of any level-20 language courses may participate in the competition by sending one video to represent their language program. The video must be entirely in the target language and address language and cultural topics covered during the first year of language study at Brandeis. In 2014, nine languages participated in the Competition. Stay tuned for information on the 2015 competition!

The Spring 2014 submission for RUSSIAN 20B is available below. To view the other GRALL video submissions, please visit the GRALL Past Events page.

RUSSIAN 20B Video Entry

Student contributors: Sam Gorelik, Alexandra Johnson and A.P.
Instructor: Irina Dubinina