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Department of Slavonic Studies

Promoting Excellence in the Study of Poland, Russia and Ukraine

The Department of Slavonic Studies at the University of Cambridge offers innovative undergraduate and graduate teaching in Polish, Russian and Ukrainian and engages in the advanced study of Poland, Russia and Ukraine, with an emphasis on cultural history from the Middle Ages to the present day.

For centuries, the University of Cambridge has cultivated a deep understanding of the societies of Eastern Europe by way of celebrated scholarship and instruction. In 1900, a grant from what strikes us now as an improbable source -- the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers -- established the first University Lectureship in Russian. Today the Department of Slavonic Studies promotes international excellence in teaching and research over a wide array of topics in the study of language, literature, thought, history and culture.

The intellectual vitality of the Department of Slavonic Studies is particularly evident in the fields of Pre-Modern East Slavic culture; Polish, Russian and Ukrainian Literatures of the 19th and 20th centuries; Slavonic Linguistics; Nationalism Studies; Film and Visual Culture; Memory Studies; and Russian Imperial and Soviet History. It is home to a dynamic annual programme of public lectures, research seminars, conferences and exhibitions.

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Slavonic News

Cambridge’s Slavonic Studies Department: Do Not Eliminate the Polish A-Level

20 March 2015

The Department of Slavonic Studies wishes to express its serious concern about AQA’s decision to eliminate the Polish language A-level from 2018. Given that AQA is meant to offer ‘qualifications that meet the needs of teachers and students’, this recent announcement is puzzling. Polish is now the second most widely spoken language in the United Kingdom. Student demand for its instruction is growing exponentially across the board. As UK universities like Cambridge work to institutionalise programmes dedicated to the language and culture of Poland, it is particularly troubling to see AQA move in the opposite direction. We call upon AQA and the UK Government to reconsider this decision and to continue to offer the Polish A-level for the benefit of a better British education.

'Eisenstein's Ivan: Sensory Thinking from Machiavelli to Disney', Prof Joan Neuberger, Tues 3 March, 5pm

27 February 2015

In Ivan the Terrible, Eisenstein tried to use everything he'd been thinking about and living through for the previous twenty years to compose his portrait of the tsar. This paper draws on his writing about Disney to show how some of his most fanciful ideas about things like fish turning into tigers were inscribed in his most serious considerations of human change, violence, power and film making itself.