The Russian program strives to give students opportunities to enrich the College’s curriculum and venture beyond the Russian major and minor requirements.

The department has hosted lectures, arranged round-table discussions on politics, poetry readings by contemporary authors, and even a Russian language competition for undergraduates across Ohio (The Ohio Undergraduate Olympiada of Spoken Russian)!

Weekly Events - temporarily suspended Fall 2020-21

Russian Tea

Every Tuesday at 7:00 p.m., join Russian students and the language assistant in Luce Suite G for an opportunity to drink tea, practice Russian, and learn about Russian culture.

Russian Lunch

Every Monday at 12:00 p.m., join Russian students and faculty in Lowry 250/251 for an opportunity to practice Russian and learn about Russian culture.

Past Events


Undergraduate Russian Olympiada was held at Bowling Green State University on February 29, 2020, with students from Russian 102 and 202 competing. Caleb King ‘22 and Kate Yordy ‘22 from the 202 course took home 1st and 2nd place in the 2nd year category. Kelsey Nolin ‘20 and Lydia Reedstorm ‘21 from the 102 course took 1st and 2nd in the 1st year category.


2019 Russian Festival

On October 2nd COW students went to the Something Russian festival, which is a reunion in Mogadore Ohio of people with Russian heritage of the area. There is traditional Russian food, dances, performances, and even a tour of the building housing the event, the St. Nicholas Orthodox Church. Students learned about the history of the church, the differences between Russian Orthodoxy and other Christian denominations, as well as tried some amazing traditional Russian dishes, saw traditional Russian dances and even enjoyed a Balalaika ensemble. There was a raffle for directly imported Russian items, a stand containing religious items, and even a bookstore. Students had the opportunity to experience Russian culture from native speakers with Russian heritage, in one of its purest forms available locally.

A Reading with Sophia Shalmiyev took place on April 22, 2019. Wooster was pleased to welcome Shalmiyev to campus for a reading of her 2019 memoir Mother Winter. Her work touches on ideas of loss and longing in the experience of immigration and displacement. Shalmiyev comments of coming of age as a refugee, motherhood, feminism, culture, and art.

Undergraduate Russian Olympiada took place on February 23, 2019 this year. A group of our Russian 102 and 202 students travelled to Kent State University to compete in the competition. Olivia Azzarita '21 from the 102 class placed third in the first-year category.


Wooster-Kenyon Jeopardy the second-year Russian class ventured to Kenyon College in Gambier, OH on April 22, 2018 to compete in the second annual Jeopardy contest between the schools. Students developed their reading and speaking proficiency as they researched major Russian and former Soviet cities : Moscow, Irkutsk, Vladivostok, and Almaty. Wooster students took the prize and look forward to keeping this new tradition going!

Adventures in Twitterature: Translating Dostoevsky into 140 Characters or Less on April 18, 2018 we had the pleasure to welcome Dr. Katherine Bowers from the University of British Columbia. She gave a talk about a project in which she took part: @RodionTweets. As a part of #cp150, a celebration of Crime and Punishment’s 150 year anniversary, she and a team of other Dostoevsky scholars have tweeted out the novel from the perspective of the protagonist, Rodion Raskolnikov. The account took on an uncanny life of its own, eliciting responses from the public, seeming to comment on current events, and even influencing scholarship. Dr. Bowers discussed the nuts and bolts of creating a fictional Twitter persona, the process of deep reading and synthesis required to produce a character’s voice, and the public’s surprising reaction to and engagement with @RodionTweets. Translating Dostoevsky into 140 characters or less is a new way of reading for the digital age, but surprisingly it gets at the heart of Crime and Punishment, transforming the novel for scholars and the public alike, one snippet at a time.

Undergraduate Russian Olympiada on February 24, 2018 Wooster hosted the annual Ohio Undergraduate Olympiada of Spoken Russian, sponsored by the Ohio State University’s department of Slavic and Eastern European Studies. We welcomed students from across the state of Ohio to compete. Maureen Hanes ’21 placed third in the first-year competition, Daphne Letherer ’20 placed first in the second-year competition, Chelsea Brown ’20 placed third in the second-year competition, and Erin Tupman ’19 placed first in the third-year competition.


Bilingual Poetry Reading on October 23, 2017 the College of Wooster welcomed the Russian-language poet Semyon Khanin to campus for a poetry reading. Based in Riga, Latvia, he both writes poetry and translates poems between Latvian, Russian, and other European languages. This event was co-sponsored by the departments of German and Russian Studies, English, and History.

Wooster-Kenyon Jeopardy on April 2, 2017 Wooster and Kenyon students competed with one another at Wooster in a game of Russian-language Jeopardy based on trivia about Russian and former Soviet cities. This project was a part of the second-year Russian courses at both colleges intended to develop speaking proficiency and cultural knowledge. Students had to research Kaliningrad (Russia), Vilnius (Lithuania), Vladivostok (Russia), and Yakutsk (Russia) in Russian. They then prepared a presentation to educate their classmates about each city. In the competition Wooster students were victorious.

Undergraduate Russian Olympiada a group of our students went to Bowling Green State University on February 25, 2017 to compete in the annual Ohio Undergraduate Olympiada of Spoken Russian. Daphne Letherer ’20 placed first in the first-year competition and Erin Tupman ’19 placed third in the second-year competition.


The Specter of Russia: A Second Cold War? on October 25, 2016 Wooster held a roundtable discussion about Russia in the current political climate. The event was Sponsored by the Department of German and Russian Studies and co-sponsored by the Global and International Studies Program, the Department of Political Science and the Department of History. Professors Jeff Lantis(Political Science), Michael Furman(Russian Studies), Peter Pozefsky(History), and Tatiana Filimonova(Russian Studies) engaged with students from across the College. They outlined historical and cultural contexts which surround the reemergence of Cold War rhetoric and offered insight into the once again tense relationship between Russia and the United States.

Undergraduate Russian Olympiada this all-Ohio Russian language contest was held at Kent State University in 2016. Wooster students Aidan Brown ’18 and Erin Tupman ’19 placed first in their respective language competitions.


Playing with the Punks: St. Petersburg Punk Culture and the DIY Ethos on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 Russian instructor Michael Furman gave a talk on his PhD research concerning St. Petersburg punk culture. He examined the American perception of Russian punks through Pussy Riot and explored the idea that true punk culture is built around the spaces people make and the communities they foster, he also used a linguistics approach to analyze the gender dynamics of these St. Petersburg punk communities.