Brandeis Inside Out: David Benger '14

Read the BrandeisNOW feature on David Benger '14, a Russian Studies/Politics alumnus who was recently accepted to the inaugural class of Schwarzman Scholars. In August 2016, David will undertake an intensive, yearlong master’s program at Beijing’s Tsinghua University.

Designed to prepare the next generation of global leaders, Schwarzman Scholars is the first scholarship created to respond to the geopolitical landscape of the 21st century. Learn more on the Schwarzman Scholars website.

Learning Outcomes

The undergraduate degree in Russian Studies emphasizes knowledge and understanding of:

  • Modern Russian and Soviet history and culture;
  • The major Russian creative writers of the 19th and 20th centuries;
  • The dynamic relations between various kinds of cultural texts and their historical contexts;
  • The structure and usage of contemporary Russian language; and
  • The diversity and complexity of human thought and experience, as expressed in the similarities and differences between Russian- and English-speaking cultures.

Students completing a degree in Russian Studies are expected to acquire the ability and skills to:

  • Write and converse in Russian at the Intermediate-Mid to High level, as defined by the ACTFL guidelines, and at the Advanced-Low to Mid level after at least one semester of study abroad;
  • Comprehend contemporary Russian—written and spoken—to a degree permitting the understanding of texts and ideas relevant to disciplines beyond language study;
  • Analyze complex texts through critical close reading and respond to them in literate English;
  • Apply basic, critical methodologies to the study of Russian literature, history and culture;
  • Engage in research in the field using primary and secondary sources; and
  • Generate original ideas and insights using knowledge of the Russian language and critical skills acquired through the study of Russian history and culture.