Featured Courses

Faculty in CREECA are offering some amazing courses in Summer 2024 (see below). We will post Fall 2024 courses soon!

For a full list of REECAS courses, please click on the links below.

Summer 2024: Art History 403 – Discover Eastern European Art

Instructor: Özlem Eren. Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Art History.
May 28-July 21, 2024 (Session AHH; 8-weeks, online, asynchronous. Sophomore standing required.)
3 credits

Art History 403 – Discover Eastern European Art

This course is an epic adventure in what had been missing from your curriculum so far —Art and Architecture of Eastern Europe! In 8 weeks, we will travel from the charming wooden architecture of the Russian North to the Byzantine-inspired churches in Kyiv; from the sturdy white stone churches of Vladimir-Suzdal to the iconic onion domes and glitter of Muscovy. We will be analyzing architecture, paintings, mosaics throughout the beautiful Balkan peninsula and enter into the world of Serbian despots. We will enter magnificent ballrooms, palaces that whisper conspiracies, a room entirely covered with amber (!) and witness the imperial splendor and luxury of Catherine the Great. Finally, we will feel the revolutionary energy of the avant-garde Ballet Russes!

This comprehensive introduction to the art and architecture of the Slavic regions of Eastern Europe will fill a significant void in your knowledge of world art. Besides covering a broad spectrum of artistic developments, this course will help you find answers to highly relevant questions of contemporary issues today. Is there a continuity in the architecture of Rus’? How is the artistic legacy of Medieval Rus’ interpreted today in Russia and Ukraine? Is the art of Medieval Rus’ Byzantine art? Is the whole idea of “Byzantine Commonwealth” just a myth? We’ll critically analyze all of these concepts.

Summer 2024: AAE 375 – Inequality, Labor Markets, and Post-Socialism

Instructor: Vladimir Gimpelson. Professor of Practice, Agricultural and Applied Economics
MTWR 10:00 – 11:45 AM; 150 Russell Laboratories (June 17-July 14, 2024)
4 credits

AAE 375–Inequality, Labor Markets, and Post-Socialism
Meets with: Sociology 496—Socialism in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

More than 30 years ago, the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia began their bumpy journey from socialism to capitalism. This course examines how their systemic transformations affected inequality and labor markets through a comparative prism, applying sociological, economic, and political perspectives. It covers topics such as labor market performance, institution building, well-being, poverty, social stratification and mobility, the rise of informality, and migration, with a focus throughout on how labor markets shape social structures, income distribution, and the quality of life in general.

Fall 2024: Lit Trans 269 – Yiddish Literature and Culture

Instructor: Sunny Yudkoff, Associate Professor of Yiddish Studies, Department of German, Nordic, and Slavic, and the Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies

TR 11:00 – 12:15 AM; 224 Ingraham Hall

3 credits

Lit Trans 269: Yiddish Literature and Culture (Also, cross listed as German and Jewish Studies)

In the American cultural imagination, eastern and central European Jewish life and the history of Yiddish culture is often represented by the image of Jewish men. What happens to that image when women’s stories and women’s legacies are placed at the center? The following course introduces students to classic and lesser-known works of the Yiddish literature and culture that take as their central concern the gendered experience of modern Jewish life. Covering material from the seventeenth century until today, we will explore a variety of texts, including memoirs, prayers, short stories, poetry, and visual art produced in Yiddish—a language that has been both praised and derided as mame-loshn, or “mother tongue.” The course texts will also familiarize students with major historical events of European Jewish history, including messianic movements; the Jewish Enlightenment; the rise of Jewish nationalism, socialism, and communism; and the Holocaust. The course also investigates the legacy of these works for contemporary theorists of Jewish culture and gender. This discussion-based course presumes no previous knowledge of Yiddish literature or language, or Jewish cultural literacy.

Fall 2024: History 418 - Imperial Russia, 1801-1917

Instructor: Professor Geoffrey Durham

MW 4:00 – 5:15 PM

3 Credits

Between 1801 and 1917, imperial Russia went from being the center of the world’s largest land empire and one of Europe’s Great Powers to a collapsing state embroiled in a series of wars and revolutions. Nevertheless, the Tsarist regime outlived many of its main rivals. With staggering ethnic, religious, and cultural diversity, as well as immense inequalities in terms of wealth and rights, how did the empire’s different parts fit together? How can we understand the relationship between the Russian empire and the nations that emerged from within it? Lastly, what kinds of opportunities and constraints did the autocratic political system generate across the Eurasian continent and beyond? In this survey of Russian imperial history between 1801 and 1917, we will examine these questions and pay particular attention to themes of imperial expansion and diversity, as well as the social, political, and economic structures that shaped the lives of the tsars’ subjects. Doing so will enable us to consider the historical relationship between Ukraine and Russia, and to evaluate Vladimir Putin’s use of that history to justify the ongoing war and his broader geopolitical ambitions for the Russian Federation.