Contacts

Office: Building 260, Rooms 127-128
Mail Code: 94305- 2006
Phone: (650) 723-4438
Email: slavic@stanford.edu
Web Site: Slavic Languages and Literatures

Courses offered by the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures are listed on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site under the subject codes SLAVIC (Slavic Studies), and SLAVLANG (Slavic Language).

The department supports coordinated study of Russian language, literature, literary and cultural history, theory, and criticism. The department's programs may also be combined with the programs in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, Jewish Studies, Film Studies, Drama, International Relations, Stanford's Overseas Studies, the Special Languages Program, and other programs. The department is a part of the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages.

A full undergraduate program provides a choice of several tracks leading to a B.A. (with a major or a minor) or to a B.A. with Honors. The department offers a full graduate program leading to an M.A. in Russian and a Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures. Stanford undergraduates are eligible to apply to the department for a coterminal B.A./M.A. degree. Students in the department's Ph.D. program are required to choose among minor programs in other national literatures, linguistics, Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, Jewish Studies, art and music history, theater, or film studies; or they may design their own minor or choose the related field option.

The department runs a colloquium series, which brings distinguished speakers to Stanford; organizes international conferences and symposia; and since 1987 maintains a continuing publication series, Stanford Slavic Studies. Along with the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, the department offers qualified undergraduates summer grants (on a competitive basis) for intensive Russian language instruction in accredited programs in Russia and the U.S.

Improving cultural understanding is a critical part of the department's mission, and the department offers a full range of courses at all levels devoted to Russian literature, music and visual arts that do not require specialized knowledge, as well as advanced research seminars for graduate students. The Slavic theme house, Slavianskii Dom, serves as an undergraduate residence for many students in the program and hosts program-related activities.  The undergraduate program has attracted students seeking careers in journalism, business, international relations, law, medicine, and human rights, as well as academia. Russian is still the lingua franca over the vast territory of the former Soviet Union, and a good command of this language offers a gateway to Eurasia's diverse cultures, ethnicities, economies, and religions.

Stanford students of Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies benefit from unmatched faculty resources. Green Library and the Hoover Institution libraries and archives hold world-renowned Russian and East European collections, which undergraduates and graduate students use in their research. Department students master a difficult language and a rich and challenging literature, and are rewarded by gaining entry into a unique, powerful, and diverse civilization that defined major trends in the past century and plays an increasingly significant role in the world today.

Mission of the Undergraduate Program in Slavic Languages and Literatures

The mission of the undergraduate program in Slavic Language and Literatures is to expose students to a variety of perspectives on Slavic, especially Russian language, history, culture, literature, and philosophical thought. The program offers three tracks. Courses in the Russian Language and Literature track focus on the linguistic and philological study of literature, as well as the history of Russian literature. The Russian Studies track guides students through a comprehensive interdisciplinary study of Russian literature and culture in historic context. The Russian and Philosophy track provides students with a background in the Russian language and literary tradition with emphasis on philosophical thought.

Slavic Theme House

Slavianskii Dom, at 650 Mayfield Avenue, is an undergraduate residence that offers opportunities for students to expand their knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia. Assignment is made through the regular undergraduate housing draw.

Faculty in Slavic Languages and Literatures

Director: Lisa Surwillo

Chair of Graduate Studies:  Lisa Surwillo

Chair of Undergraduate Studies: Yuliya Ilchuk

Professors: Lazar Fleishman, Gabriella Safran

Associate Professor: Monika Greenleaf 

Assistant Professor: Yuliya Ilchuk

Acting Assistant Professor: Katherine Hill Reischl

Courtesy Professor: Nancy Ruttenburg

Emeriti (Professors): Gregory Freidin, Richard D. Schupbach

Graduate Advising Expectations

The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures is committed to providing academic advising in support of graduate student scholarly and professional development. The overall goal of advising, both in the DLCL and the department, is to help graduate students make academic and career choices wisely, and think ahead, in order to craft a long-term plan for their graduate student career and beyond. When most effective, the advising relationship entails collaborative and sustained engagement by both the advisor and the advisee. As a best practice, advising expectations should be periodically discussed and reviewed to ensure mutual understanding. Both the advisor and the advisee are expected to maintain professionalism and integrity. Advising is both an academically invaluable form for the transmission of expertise, as well as a key aspect of creating a strong departmental and Stanford community.

Faculty Advisors

Faculty advisors guide students in key areas such as selecting courses, designing and conducting research, developing of teaching pedagogy, navigating policies and degree requirements, and exploring academic opportunities and professional pathways.

  • Upon enrolling, students plan their work under the direction of the Chair of Graduate Studies or a faculty member designated by the program. When the student selects a more specialized advisor, the transition should involve oral or written communication between both advisors and the student concerning the student's progress, goals, and expectations. It is possible for doctoral students to choose two main advisors at the dissertation stage, provided all agree this is academically sound. 

  • Faculty advisors should meet with assigned students to discuss their selection of courses and to plan from a broader, longer-term perspective, including discussion of Program milestones and a basic timeline; an overview of Department and DLCL offerings beyond courses; student goals and interests and DLCL or Stanford programs that may be relevant; and (for doctoral students) how to transfer previous graduate coursework.

  • Faculty advisors and graduate students should meet at least once per quarter to assess the advisee's course of study, performance over the past quarter, and plans for the next quarter, as well as longer term plans. If a student has two advisors, the student should meet at least once per quarter with each advisor and at least once per year with both advisors at the same time. 

  • For doctoral students, faculty should help their advisees plan for exams, research grant applications, develop research projects, and plan ahead for both the academic job market and the job search beyond academia.

  • Faculty advisors should provide feedback about the student's progress to the department during the Annual Review process. For more information about the Annual Review, see the Graduate Handbook.

Graduate Students

Graduate students are active contributors to the advising relationship, proactively seeking academic and professional guidance and taking responsibility for informing themselves of policies and degree requirements for their graduate program.

  • Upon enrolling, students plan their work under the direction of the Chair of Graduate Studies or a faculty member designated by the program. As the student develops a field of expertise, the student will choose a program advisor to replace the Chair of Graduate Studies role. The transition should involve oral or written communication between both advisors and the student concerning the student's progress, goals, and expectations. 

  • Graduate students and faculty advisors and should meet at least once per quarter to assess the advisee's course of study, performance over the past quarter, and plans for the next quarter, as well as longer term plans. If a student has two advisors, the student should meet at least once per quarter with each advisor and at least once per year with both advisors at the same time. 

  • Students should consult with their advisors on all academic matters, including coursework, conference presentations and publications, research travel, and teaching plans. 

  • Students should provide a thorough self-evaluation each year for the annual review. For more information about the Annual Review, see the Graduate Handbook.

For a statement of University policy on graduate advising, see the Graduate Advising section of this bulletin