The Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures at Indiana University was first organized in 1947 as the Department of Slavic Studies under the leadership of Michael Ginsburg, the university’s first professor of Russian. Today, IU is the only university in the state of Indiana to offer the doctoral degree in Slavic Languages and Literatures. We also offer a master’s degree and an exceptional array of language, literature, culture, and linguistics courses in the study of Russian, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Czech, Polish, Romanian, and Ukrainian.
IU Slavic department faculty members represent one of the largest and best concentrations of expertise in the United States. Professors Fowler, Holdeman, Melnyk, Shardakova, and Shrager have particular strength in Slavic Linguistics. Emery, Valentino, Geballe are experts in Russian literature, while Holdeman, Shrager, Shardakova specialize in language pedagogy. Other professors focus on literary and cultural studies: Cravens, Holdeman (Czech); Nizynska, Sicinski (Polish); Emery, Rousseva, Valentino (South Slavic); and Melnyk and Asher (Ukrainian).
Finally, the Indiana Slavic department has extensive faculty expertise in translation studies, with contributions from Cravens, Emery, Geballe, Johnston, and Valentino. The department is also home to the Michael Henry Heim Chair and the Michael Henry Heim Visiting Professor in Slavic and East European Letters, both of which positions honor and continue the work of the eminent Slavic literary scholar, educator, and translator whose name they bear.
Russian and East European Institute (REEI)
The Slavic department works closely with IU's Robert F. Byrnes Russian and East European Institute, which originated in the department in the 1950s. As one of the country’s leading programs in Russian and East European area studies, REEI assists students in acquiring language proficiency, analytical tools, and area studies knowledge, offering courses and cocurricular programming throughout the year. Special concerts, exhibits, lectures, film showings, pedagogy workshops and other events are usually open to the public and advertised in the REEI section of the main IU Calendar of Events.
The Language Workshop
Like REEI, the Language Workshop originated in the Slavic department, where it was known for over sixty years as the Summer Language Workshops in Slavic and East European Languages (SWSEEL). The Language Workshop continues to offer the greatest number and variety of levels of Russian language anywhere in the U.S., as well as courses in other Slavic and East European languages, in coordination with the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures.
Languages + Cultures
Our department offers a rich and rare selection of courses in the following languages and cultures: