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Slavic Languages and Literatures

Undergraduate Highlight


Undergrads Study Russian in Central Asia

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Sophie Chen (History major/Slavic minor) has completed a 7-week intensive Russian course at the London School of Languages and Cultures in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan!  Slavic major Jacob Summers is participating in the ACTR Advanced Russian Language and Area Studies program in Almaty, Kazakhstan (summer and fall)!  Sophie won an Undergraduate Language Grant and Jacob received Boren and Gilman Scholarships. Both received grants from the Irwin and Vivian M. Weil Fund. 

Congratulations, Sophie and Jacob!

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Graduate Highlight

Anthony Topoleski (4th year, on the left) was one of 24 PhD students from Northwestern, U of C and UIC to receive the 2018 Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Dissertation Proposal Development Program award.  His topic is Developing Reality: Nature, Technology, and the Soviet State in Russian Metarealist Poetry.  Tony spent time doing research this summer in Berlin and St. Petersburg. Thomas Feerick (2nd year, on the right) attended Moscow University in the American Councils for International Education Summer 2018 Advanced Russian Language and Area Studies Program (RLASP). He received a Fulbright-Hays Scholarship and a Travel and Language Study Grant from the Irwin and Vivian M. Weil Fund.

Our Programs



Welcome to Slavic Languages and Literatures!  We offer beginning, intermediate and advanced Russian and Polish (and, less often, beginning and intermediate Czech), in addition to Russian and East European literature and film courses.  Many of our students are double majors, or are pursuing a minor in Russian and East European Studies to complement their studies.  Many of our majors and minors have studied abroad in Russia, Poland or the Czech Republic.
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Our PhD program ranks among the best in the country!  We offer individual attention and the opportunity to pursue a personalized program by way of coursework taken outside the department.  Students specialize in Russian literature, but our faculty also includes specialists in Polish, Czech and South Slavic literatures and cultures.  Our greatest strengths are in Russian prose and poetry, literary theory, and in the social and intellectual context of literary works.

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News and Events


Recent Publication

Economists Should Read Great Literature, according to Morson and Schapiro

Professor Saul Morson's new book, co-authored by Northwestern president Morton Schapiro, has received rave reviews, including from The Washington Post. Cents and Sensibility explains that economists should read great literature and learn from the humanities, not just mathematics.

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Recent Publication

Clare Cavanagh's Translations of Polish Books Earn Praise

Slavic Department Professor and Chair Clare Cavanagh received praise for her translation of 
Slight Exaggeration by Adam Zagajewski. The work, originally published in Polish in 2011, was reviewed in The New York Times, which describes it as "delightful to read straight through as it riffs, zags and circles."

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News and Events

Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk and her translator, Jennifer Croft, won the Man Booker International Prize for “Flights,” a philosophical rumination on modern-day travel. Jennifer received her PhD in Comp Lit/Slavic at Northwestern. Congratulations, Jennifer!
Thanks to Professor Emeritus Irwin Weil, students can apply for the Irwin and Vivian M. Weil Travel and Language Study Grant.

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