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Memorial Plaque

Memorial Plaque

When Bill Hopkins came to Indiana University a few years ago to accept a Distinguished Alumni Award from the Russian and East European Institute, he expressed his gratitude to the REEI, the Slavic Department and the Summer Workshop for helping prepare him for his future career in the State Department and for his role as Russian interpreter to two presidents. In his remarks he selected for special praise the dedicated group of Russian emigres who, as Russian language teachers, were affiliated for many decades with the Slavic Department, and suggested that we recognize their contributions by installing a memorial plaque in their honor.

Today, thanks to the contributions of a number of our alumni, a bronze plaque hangs in the central offices of the Slavic Department. We invite the numerous alumni of the REEI, the Slavic Department, and the Slavic Workshop to stop by the department to recognize the contribution of those few individuals who added so much to our knowledge and understanding of the Russian language and culture.

-- Jerzy Kolodziej

The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures 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. Indiana University is the only university in the state of Indiana to offer the doctoral degree, as well as offering bachelor's and master's degrees, in Slavic Languages and Literatures. The department has a full array of language, literature, culture, and linguistics courses for students interested in the study of Russian, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Czech, Polish, and Romanian.

Intensive summer training in Russian and other languages of our region has been offered at IU Bloomington since 1950. Indiana University's Summer Workshop in Slavic, East European, and Central Asian Languages (SWSEEL) remains the largest such program in the United States, offering students the opportunity to complete a full year of college language instruction during a single eight-week summer session for reduced tuition rates.

Cathedral Novocherkassk

Photo courtesy of Olena Chernishenko.

IU Slavic department faculty members represent one of the largest and best concentrations of expertise in the United States, with particular strength in Slavic Linguistics (Fowler, Franks, Holdeman, Shardakova, Shrager, Stern-Gottschalk); Russian literature (Beinek, Stefani); pedagogy (Holdeman, Shrager, Stern-Gottschalk); and literary and cultural studies of Czech (Cravens), Polish (Beinek), Romanian (Illias) and South Slavic languages (Emery, Franks).

The department works in cooperation with IU’s U.S. Department of Education funded Title VI Center, the Russian & East European Institute, to offer a variety of extra-curricular programming throughout the year. Department students participate in language practice tables (available for all languages), study abroad, talent shows, the Zeta Zeta chapter of Dobro Slovo National Slavic Honor Society, and the annual American Council of Teachers of Russian (ACTR) national post-secondary Russian essay contest. Special concerts, exhibits, lectures, film showings, pedagogy workshops and other events are usually open to the public and advertised in our section of the main IU Calendar of Events.

The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures is located in Ballantine Hall, near the center of the IU-Bloomington campus. The main office, located in Ballantine Hall 502, is open from 8-12 and 1-5 on university business days. We invite you to take an on-line campus tour or visit us in person. You can call us at (812)855-2608 or send an email to iuslavic at