Russian classes were first offered at Davidson in 1989 with classes in language, culture, and literature while Russian was offered as a self-instructional language since 1984. Ms. Bonnie Marshall was the first Davidson professor to teach Russian. Russian classes were listed under the German/Russian Department (and for a brief time, the German/Russian/Japanese Department) until Russian became its own department in 2011 with Dr. Amanda Ewington as the chair. Dean Robert Williams worked to establish a semester or summer program abroad but it wasn’t until 1992 that Davidson students with an advanced level of Russian were offered an opportunity to study at a Russian University. This program was called the Consortium for East-West Cultural and Academic Exchange and was an exchange program for Russian and American students (until 1995). As of 2014, Davidson students can join other colleges’ programs to study abroad and improve their proficiency in the language and culture.
In 1996, students began a Russian club at Davidson. Students saw the importance of bringing awareness of the Russian culture to Davidson by showing Russian films, working with a Russian community in Charlotte and organizing a Russian choir.
Davidson offered the Russian minor to students beginning in 1998, and as of 2014, students have the option of minoring in Russian. There is no Russian major at Davidson, however, students can choose to design a major related to Russian studies through the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. In 2014, the Russian department had two professors: Dr. Ewington (chair) and Dr. Irina Erman (visiting assistant professor). Between the two professors, they offered five of the 21 Russian courses in the fall of 2014.
“Russian.” Davidson College Catalogs 1984-2014. Davidson College Archives, Davidson, NC.
Wagner, Tony and Jill Williams. “To Russia with love: Russian club meets.” Davidsonian [Davidson, NC] 30 Sep. 1996.
Author: Meredith Pintler ’16
Date: 8 August 2014
Cite as: Pintler, Meredith. “Russian Department.” Davidson Encyclopedia. 8 August 2014. https://digitalprojects.davidson.edu/omeka/s/encyclopedia/page/russian-department