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Welcome to Slavic Studies at Brown

The Department of Slavic Studies at Brown University focuses on the study of Russian, Czech, and Polish cultures, literatures, and languages. Founded in 1947 by Edward J. Brown, one of the pioneers of Russian literary history in the United States, ours is one of the oldest Slavic departments in the country. Building on a strong tradition of academic excellence and teaching, in recent years the department has become fundamentally interdisciplinary. Our faculty members are leading scholars in the field, who produce innovative scholarship and teaching. Their expertise covers a wide range of topics in Russian and Polish culture and intellectual history from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century, including literature, theater, and film, as well as Czech linguistics and contemporary Russian protest culture and political movements.

One of our main goals is to retrace the complex links between rich intellectual and literary traditions and larger historical and sociopolitical processes. This approach is particularly valuable as Russian and East European societies reshape themselves in new geopolitical contexts. The former Soviet bloc offers an exciting laboratory for studying issues of national, ethnic, gender, and social identity in a quickly and radically changing world, and to provide a truly global perspective on these issues.

Our course offerings reflect wide-ranging interests of our faculty, who are recognized and influential teachers on the Brown campus. The department prepares  future experts in Slavic studies and related fields, and its pedagogy is based on the collaborative exchange of ideas that is the hallmark of Brown’s Open Curriculum. Our undergraduate and graduate programs encourage individually-tailored research opportunities, both on campus and in Russia, the Czech Republic, and Poland. Students in Slavic may choose from various summer and semester/year study abroad programs. Concentrators in Slavic Studies receive a solid grounding in one or more Slavic languages, literatures, and cultures. Our graduates go on to careers in a number of fields, including literature and linguistics, law, diplomacy, journalism, publishing, performing arts, and international business, as well as more traditional graduate study in Slavic languages and literatures. The department is the center for campus study of Eastern Europe and Russia at Brown and is strategically linked to a number of fields across the humanities and social sciences, including literature, performing arts, history, economics, and international relations.