Tensions over Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, the Olympics doping scandal, ongoing fighting in Ukraine, NATO troop buildups in Eastern Europe, and the West's renewed anti-Russian sanctions, all underscore the relevance of Russian Studies for students seeking to make a difference in today's interconnected world. Davidson's Russian Studies Department helps prepare future leaders for an era when Russia plays an increasingly prominent role, by initiating them into core liberal arts values of critical thinking, engaging multiple perspectives and mastering a major world language that is spoken by more than 250 million people around the globe.
Russian Studies also introduces students to perhaps the most universally revered cultural canon in the world, with its renowned writers, composers, dancers, directors, literary theorists and artists: literary giants like Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov and Akhmatova; the musical genius of Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky; the dance revolutions of Diaghilev, Vaganova and Balanchine; the groundbreaking films of Eisenstein and Tarkovsky; the pioneering theories of Jakobson and Bakhtin; the revolutionary canvasses of Kandinsky, Chagall, Popova and Malevich.
The U.S. State Department has designated Russian a Critical Need language, underscoring our need to engage the Russian Federation in numerous foreign policy challenges, including Ukraine, the conflict in Syria and North Korea's nuclear program. Our graduates enter a world of opportunity in foreign policy, diplomacy, national security, energy, business, NGOs, publishing and the arts.