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Statement from the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures:

“In this dark hour when Russian military troops threaten to occupy Kyiv, the cradle of Eastern Slavic civilization, we, the professors and lecturers of the Stanford Slavic Department, cannot be silent. Putin’s regime has been using military power unlawfully to force Ukraine to divert from its course towards a democratic, inclusive, educated society in which everybody can realize their full potential. We are committed to use the soft power of Slavic languages, literatures, and cultures to educate future world leaders about the differences between the Slavs, the rich history of Ukrainian culture in the Russian Empire, the atrocities committed against the Ukrainian people under the Soviet regime, and the profound role of the national cultures of Eastern Europe in the modern world. Our students and faculty represent many ethnicities and diverse political views, but we all are deeply troubled by Vladimir Putin’s professed goal to destroy Ukraine’s statehood, based on an ignorance of history, in flagrant violation of international law and codes of human rights. The attack on Ukraine is an attack on democracy. We appeal to all political leaders and civilians to support Ukrainians in this war and to restore peace in Ukraine.”

The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures supports coordinated study of Russian language, literature, literary and cultural history, as well as literary theory and criticism.

Its programs may also be combined with the programs in Russian, East European and Eurasian history, Jewish Studies, Film Studies (Russian and East-European film), modern Russian theater, International Relations, Stanford’s Overseas Studies, the Special Languages Program, and the Honors Program in Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities.

A full undergraduate program provides a choice of several tracks leading to a B.A. (with a Major or a Minor), or a B.A. Honors. The department offers a full graduate program leading to an M.A. in Russian and Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures. Stanford undergraduates are eligible to apply to the department for a co-terminal 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 history, Jewish Studies, art and music history, theater, or film studies; they may design their own Minor, choose the "related field" option, or participate in the Graduate Program in Humanities leading to the degree of Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures and Humanities.

The Department runs a colloquium series, which brings to Stanford distinguished speakers, and 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 US.

Improving cultural understanding is a critical part of the department's mission, and we offer a full range of courses at all levels, from Freshman and Sophomore Seminars devoted to Russian literature, music and visual arts that do not require specialized knowledge to advanced research seminars for graduate students. The Slavic theme house, Slavianskii Dom, serves as an undergraduate residence for many students in the program and often hosts program-related activities. Undergraduates also choose to study in Moscow through the Stanford Overseas Studies Program.

Our undergraduate program has attracted students seeking careers in journalism, business, international relations, law, 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, including Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam.

Stanford students are in a privileged position in relation to Russian and, more broadly, East European and Eurasian Studies, because of Stanford's tremendous faculty resources that are without peer in the US. Green Library and the Hoover Institution libraries and archives possess the premiere Russian and East European collections, which our undergraduates and graduate students use in their research. Our 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.