Welcome to the 2022-23 school year in the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures!
The war in Ukraine has dominated our field since Russia’s full-scale invasion in February of this year, making it hard to concentrate on teaching, let alone feel celebratory about the beginning of the school year. Luckily, we have students who bring us energy and enthusiasm, ask us hard questions, and look towards a future in which they will be in positions to have a positive impact. This makes all the difference.
This year we commemorate the Slavic department’s 75th anniversary and renew our commitment to studying historically grounded questions about the cultures of Central and Eastern Europe. The department has gone through a few changes over the decades, but our focus on the languages of this dynamic and often politically sensitive region has not changed. And so today our students learn Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, Czech, Polish, Russian, and Ukrainian, and they learn to encounter the cultures of the region both on their own terms and in comparative context.
Our students also continue to combine majors and minors across the College of Arts and Sciences and beyond -- in anthropology, history, international studies, media, music, political science, and more. The historical experiences of the peoples of Central and Eastern Europe frequently enable us to challenge our students to reflect on their own experiences as they develop real-world critical thinking skills and analytic clarity when faced with sometimes clashing ideologies and cultural norms. We send them into the world with thorough preparation in the languages and cultures of this immensely rich region, and our alumni include former ambassadors, government analysts, military officers, professional entertainers, translators, scholars, and teachers.
As always, we want to hear about the accomplishments of our alumni and supporters. Please stay in touch. If you’re in Bloomington and would like a tour, a visit to a class, or an immersive hour with current students at one of our language tables, please drop us a line.