Independent Study

All majors complete a one-semester Independent Study project in the junior year and a two-semester senior I.S. thesis. Working closely with a faculty advisor, each senior has the opportunity to develop his or her interests through the process of writing a unique major paper and defending it in an oral exam with the advisor and a second faculty member.

For their junior and senior I.S. projects, majors have worked on topics as diverse as the environmental movement in Siberia, feminine literary perceptions of Stalin's purges, vodka in Russian culture, and Dostoevsky’s novels and the literary theory of Bakhtin.

Past Independent Study Projects

(found at Digital Resource Commons)

  • Katarina J. Greenslade (2016) – The Lady in Red: Fashion and Femininity in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia 1922-2000
  • Katherine B. Tuttle (2015) – “Our Crimea or Our Can of Worms? (Крым наш или наш Крым?): A Russian Media Portrayal of the 2014 Crimean Crisis”
  • Nicholas J. O’Neill (2015) – “Russian Military Adaptation to a Changing Battlefield: A Study of Military Reforms аfter 1992 and the 2008 Conflict in Georgia”
  • Sarah Carracher (2015) – “The Adulteress and the Patriarchy: The Search for Female Independence and Autonomy in Anna Karenina and The Awakening”
  • Zachary M. Sessa (2014) – “The Soviet War in Afghanistan and the Application of U.S. Special Forces: A Combat Analysis”
  • Allison K. Miraldi (2014) – “With or Without the State’s Consent: Female Sexuality in the Soviet Union During WWII”
  • Caroline Bilsky (2014) – “You Laugh and Cry from the Same Mouth: A Exploration of Successful Aging in Contemporary Russia”
  • Briana Ewing (2013) – “Chekhov: A Response to Romantic Solipsism in 'The Little Trilogy’"
  • William F. Burkhart (2013) – “Putin and the Russian Federation: Securing Power at the Expense of Democracy”
  • Daniel Hollingsworth (2012) - "In the Shadow of the prophet:  Shalamov and the new prose of the Gulag"
  • Samuel Foulkes (2012) - "Chechnya:  death, journalism and history"
  • Arielle Neu (2012) - "Big brothers and barbarians:  the role of images and perceptions in Russia's foreign policy"
  • Kaitlin Marie Ball (2011) - advised by Yuri Corrigan and Gregory Shaya - "Defining Episodes in the History of the Russian Moderate Activist"
  • Jeremy Bervoets (2011) - advised by Yuri Corrigan and Marc Goulding - "The End of a Nation: Russian Nationalism as a Reaction to Westernization"
  • Stephanie Ham (2010) - advised by Yuri Corrigan and Kent Kille - "Observing Political Identity Contestation Among the Political and Social Elites of the Russian Federation"
  • Austin Kiger (2010) - advised by Yuri Corrigan and Eric Moskowitz - "The Battle for Russia’s Last Sphere of Influence: Understanding American and Russian Interest in Central Asia and the Caucasus"
  • David Armstrong (2008) - advised by Elena Sokol and Thomas Prendergast - "Resisting the Faust Myth: A study of two Post-Goethe Faustian Texts"
  • Alexis Crowell (2007) - advised by Anne Fisher - "Translating 'The Obstacle': An Exploration of the Concept of Self and the Symbol of the Window in Selected Works of Daniil Ivanovish Kharms"
  • Jesse Menefee (2004) - advised by Jennifer Hayward and Elena Sokol - "Doubt and Faith in Dostoevskii's Later Novels: A Re-Evaluation of Bakhtin's Polyphonic Theory"
  • Lindsey Coleman (2003) - advised by Elena Sokol - "Mothers, Wives, Prisoners: Feminine Literary Perceptions of Stalin’s Purges"
  • Jonathan Leif Hayes (2002) - advised by Jeffrey Lantis and Jennifer Day - "Russian Foreign Policy 1995-2002"
  • Daniel B. Borsody (2001) - advised by Peter Pozefsky and Elena Sokol - "The Return Of The Black Hundreds: Anti-Semitic Social And Political Trends In Russia, 1988-1999"
  • Sara Rance (2000) - advised by Elena Sokol - "Chechnya: A Literary Legacy: Chechens in Russian Literature and History"
  • Anna M. Navis (1999) - advised by Jeffrey Lantis and Elena Sokol - "Ideology and Foreign Policy: The Soviet Union's Foreign Aid Policy in Africa"
  • Beth Ciha (1998)  - advised by Elena Sokol - "Marxism, Patriarchy, and 'Bourgeois Feminism': The Position of Women in Soviet Russia"
  • Heather Foster (1998) - advised by Elena Sokol - "Why Vodka?: Understanding the Russians' Obsession with Alcohol"