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Foreign Languages and Literatures

Senior and Other Projects in the Russian Program

May 06, 2010

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Undergraduate Campus


1. Kim VanKoten (Foreign Languages major; Russian/Spanish) presented her honors
thesis titled “Макаревич и Гребенщиков: два направления в формировании рок
личности» (Andrei Makarevich and Boris Grebenshchikov: two different paths in
the formulation and expression of Russian Rock”) on April 29.

This thesis compares the lives and musical achievements of Russia’s two most famous rock personalities, Boris Grebenshchikov and Andrei Makarevich, who are considered the founders of Soviet/Russian rock music. Kim places her comparative study within the social and cultural context of two different rock scenes in the Soviet Union of the 1970s & early 80s, one in Leningrad (Grebenshchikov) and the other in Moscow (Makarevich). Specifically, Kim analyzes the different ways in which these two musicians adapted Western rock to a Russian context as their way of coming to terms with, or escaping from, Soviet reality. Kim also examines the rockers’ different approaches to moral issues, society, philosophy of life, and, most importantly, to music and its role. Fans of the St. Petersburg rock scene would appreciate Kim’s conclusion when she states that Grebenshchikov’s philosophy of rock music was ultimately more enduring because it constituted a more radical break from the past and a more effective way of dealing with the social problems of the Soviet Union, which is clearly what the times called for.


2.  Students of Russian capstone course (Russian 420) presented their final projects April 24-29.  Please click on the following link to see these presentations -


3.  Students of first-year Russian course (Russian 102) read (or sang) Russian poetry in class on April 23rd. Please click on the following link to see the Russian 102 students’ poetic and singing performances:

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Foreign Languages and Literatures

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