About the course
This course is led by CENES faculty member Veta Chitnev
The course includes a selection of themes related to Russia and Russian culture. How do Russians view themselves and conceive of their own identity? What do Russians think makes them “Russian”? The scope of the topics covered will range from the representation of the major historical events and significant figures in Russian culture to the role of religion in shaping and reshaping Russian ethnic identity.
This course is a powerful tool for developing intercultural competence, and it will facilitate your cultural knowledge, reflexivity, and critical thinking. You will have an opportunity to
- compare your perception of Russian people’s conventions described in literature and covered in class in pre-departure lectures you’re your experience of observing Russian people and interacting with them;
- visit museums and historical sites that allow a deeper understanding of Russian cultural history.
The research component will contribute to the development of your critical thinking skills and will allow you to explore a topic of your interest in greater depth.
About the experience
Moscow is home for important cultural, historical, spiritual, and architectural sites that play a fundamental role in constructing national identity.
A typical day might include:
A walk through the Tchaikovsky Conservatory to attend a noon-hour recital by one of the students, a chance to interact directly with Russian and international university students at the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, experiencing Moscow's magnificently decoded subway system and even observe Russian people celebrating Russia day. Three times a week you will participate in critical discussions mediated and/or lectures conducted by Veta Chitnev. Here's a sneak peek of the proposed itinerary:
- A 90-minute group seminar on the topic “Identity and religion” (location on campus)
- ½ day site visit of The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour
- Time for readings or explore independently
- Full day excursion to Sergiev Posad. You will visit the spiritual centre of Russia, The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, a center for the Slavophile movement and artistic activity in the 19th century, Abramtsevo and the Toy Museum.
- Time for individual study
Notable environmental conditions
The weather in Moscow during that time of the year is quite comfortable. Daily high temperatures increase by 3°C, from 20°C to 23°C, rarely falling below 14°C or exceeding 29°C. Because there is plenty of walking involved, make sure you bring comfortable shoes.
You will stay on the RUDN campus, which is situated in southwestern Moscow in a beautiful and ecologically clean area of the city. The most “green” Russian university (according to the UIGreenMetric World University Ranking) is located nearby the parkland covering 50 hectares. You will live in the dorms, in apartments with equipped kitchen, bathroom, Internet connection, and Satellite TV.
More information about the campus you can find here.