Bates Fall Semester Abroad

Bates Fall Semester Abroad, Russia

Professor Costlow (Russia); Associate Prosessor Ásgeirsdóttir (Politics)

During the fall semester 2009, Bates students, including entering first-year students, can experience the excitement of living and learning in Russia. The program is based in St. Petersburg, known as Russia's "window on Europe," and includes extensive travel. Courses consider the opportunities and challenges of contemporary political, economic, and cultural life, exploring how Russians' sense of self and national identity is shaped by history, place, and rapid change. No prior knowledge of Russian is required.

The program begins in late August with intensive Russian language study. In mid-September students travel to Irkutsk, founded in the sixteenth century when Russian trappers made their way across Siberia. Classes on the shore of Lake Baikal combine natural history, an introduction to local indigenous cultures, and language study. In late September, students return to Petersburg to begin regular classes and home stays.

St. Petersburg has a rich and dramatic history: cradle of revolution; epicenter of industrialization; heroic survivor of the longest siege in modern history; and home of artists, poets, dancers, and musicians. Students take trips to Moscow, a city fast on its way to status as a major world capital of finance, culture, and politics, and to the ninth-century city of Novgorod, one of Russia's most beautiful and well-preserved medieval sites. The program ends in mid-December. The program fulfills the requirements of General Education concentration C078, Russian in St. Petersburg.


BSAR 003. Intensive Russian I. Open to first-year students. Staff. Concentrations

BSAR 004. Intensive Russian II. Open to first-year students. Staff. Concentrations

BSAR 012. Identity and Place in Contemporary Russia.This course explores Russian identity as it relates to place. Students consider images of Petersburg and Siberia fashioned by writers and visual artists and experience day-to-day associations with particular places and their cultural meanings, from Nevsky Prospekt to cemeteries, country houses, and a building that once housed the KGB. Classic and contemporary works of art, literature, music, and film also are studied. As a final project, students create their own writing about place. Open to first-year students. J. Costlow. Concentrations

BSAR 013. Russian Political Economy.Over the past two decades, the political economy of Russia has undergone a fundamental transformation from a centrally planned economy toward a market economy. This course introduces students to the political and economic features of the centralized, planned economy, and examines the challenges and successes of post-Soviet political and economic transition. Students consider the political implications of Russia¿s reliance on natural resources, the transformation of industry and the emerging financial sector, and Russia¿s increasing importance in international affairs. Open to first-year students. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 25. Á. Ásgeirsdóttir. Concentrations