Russian for Historians

This summer (2020–2021), we are offering a special series of free workshops for students who have studied some Russian and would like to improve their skills in reading and interpreting Russian texts. The workshops are tailored for those with an interest in going on to pursue research on Russian history, at the undergraduate or postgraduate level; but non-historians are also very welcome to take part.

We will aim to cater for mixed levels, with the exception of absolute beginners. You will need to have mastered the basics (alphabet + some basic grammar) in order to take part.

The workshops will be friendly and informal sessions focused on teaching you strategies for rapidly expanding your vocabulary and your reading comprehension. Working on a range of different sources together, we will develop your ability to make intelligent guesses about meaning (through the study of Russian word formation, and by helping you to break down sentences grammatically).

We will also work on improving your skills in handling and interpreting primary sources; and we will explore together the University Library’s exciting collection of Russian-language materials, perhaps inspiring future research projects drawing upon these extensive but presently under-utilised sources.

This initiative is part of our project aimed at revitalising Russian Studies at the University of Melbourne. We want to help foster a research community and provide enrichment, training and social opportunities for students with an interest in Russia and the region, especially in this time of pandemic, where travel isn’t possible.

Participants from outside the University are also welcome.

Sessions will take place online via Zoom.

To sign up, or for more information, email Dr Oleg Beyda.

Feature image: Cover of Vaniushka the Red Army Soldier 6 (detail), by Evgenii Ivanovich Redin, published by Molodaia Gvardiia, Raduga via Princeton University Commons