Academic Program



Contemporary central and eastern Europe consists of heterogeneous societies with contested cultural traditions. Offerings in the Department of German and Russian Studies investigate important interconnections among history, society, culture, and language in the region. The curricula in German and Russian explore societies challenged and invigorated by change and stress the importance of attaining fluency not only in the language but also in the nuances of cultural understanding.

The department offers a major and a minor in German and a minor in Russian. The department also contributes to the interdisciplinary program in European studies. More information on the Department of German and Russian Studies is available on the website (www.bates.edu/german-russian).

All students, and especially majors and minors, are strongly encouraged to spend an extended period of time abroad prior to graduation. Opportunities to do so include participation in the Bates Fall Semester Abroad programs in Austria, Germany, and Russia; junior-year- or junior-semester-abroad programs; summer sessions; and the various off-campus Short Term courses sponsored by the department.

Entering students are assigned to the appropriate level in language courses according to the following criteria: their performance on the SAT II or Advanced Placement Test of the College Entrance Examination Board taken in secondary school, relative proficiency based on length of previous study, and/or after consultation with an appropriate member of the department.

Literatures and Cultures in Translation. While the department emphasizes the importance of acquiring the fluency needed to study literature and culture in the original, many courses are offered in translation. See listings under individual languages for detailed descriptions of these courses.

EU/GR 220. Remembering War: The Great War, Memory, and Remembrance in Europe.
GER 262. The Split Screen: Reconstructing National Identities in West and East German Cinema.

ES/RU 216. Nature in Russian Culture.
INDS 256. Rites of Spring.

Major Requirements in German. The major consists of nine courses at the 200 level or above. Required are:

1) Both of the following:
GER 233. Advanced German Language and Culture I.
GER 234. Advanced German Language and Culture II.

2) At least one course from each of the following four groups:

a) key artistic periods in the cultural history of the German-speaking countries:
GER 241. German Modernisms.

b) specific genres of German literature:
GER 244. Staged Marriages.

c) the diversity of German cultures:
GER 350. Margins and Migrations.
GER 357. Austrian Literature.
GER 358. Literature and Film of the German Democratic Republic.

d) turning points in the history of the German-speaking countries and their political and cultural legacies:
GER 264. World War I in German Culture.
GER 270. Living with the Nazi legacy.
GER 356. Representing Austrian Fascism.

3) One complementary course from outside the department:
ENG 295. Critical Theory.
EUS 101. Introduction to European Studies.
HIST 104. Europe, 1789 to the Present.
PHIL 234. Philosophy of Language.
PHIL 272. Philosophy from Descartes to Kant.
PHIL 273. Philosophy of the Nineteenth Century.

4) GER 457 or 458. Senior Thesis. Students for whom German is the only major must register for the senior thesis. Students may choose to pass a series of comprehensive examinations in German if German is one of two majors and they complete a thesis in the other major.

Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may not be elected for courses applied toward the major except for 201, 202, and/or 233; nor for the minor except for 101, 102, 201, 202 and/or 233.

Minor in German. A minor requires a minimum of seven courses in German. At least one of the seven courses must involve a study of literature or culture (taught either in the language or in translation), but only one course in translation may be counted toward the minor. A student may petition to have up to three comparable courses, completed at other institutions either in the United States or abroad, apply toward the minor. Advanced Placement courses may not be applied toward the minor.

Russian Major Requirements for the Class of 2015. A major in Russian is available only for the Class of 2015. The department expects students majoring in Russian to have a broad exposure to Russian language and culture and strongly encourages majors to spend some portion of an academic year in Russia by the end of the junior year.

To fulfill the major in Russian, students complete any ten courses. EUS 248 and PLTC 232 may be counted toward the major. Students may petition to have appropriate Short Term course(s) count toward the major.

Students for whom Russian is the only major must complete a thesis, RUSS 457 or 458, which may count as one of the ten courses. Students may choose to pass a comprehensive examination based on their course work when Russian is one of two majors and they complete a thesis in the other major.

Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may not be elected for courses applied toward the major or minor, except for 101, 102, 201, 202, 301, and 302.

Minor in Russian. A minor requires a minimum of seven courses in Russian. At least one of the seven courses must involve a study of literature or culture (taught either in the language or in translation), but only one course in translation may be counted toward the minor. A student may petition to have up to three comparable courses, completed at other institutions either in the United States or abroad, apply toward the minor. Advanced Placement courses may not be applied toward the minor.