Elizabeth Wood, Professor of Russian History, and Maria Khotimsky, Senior Lecturer in Russian, Global Languages, have been awarded a Alex and Brit d’Arbeloff Fund for Excellence in Education grant to develop their new subject “Russia Real and Imagined Through the Ages – Introduction to Russian Studies.”

This subject, which debuts in Fall 2020, is an inter-disciplinary class that will have a strong digital component. It joins a list of other “HASS Exploration” subjects.

Wood and Khotimsky envision the class as a chance for students to select a topic that may be drawn from history, music, culture, philosophy, or any field of particular interest to the students. Through research that may involve exploring archives, examining old documents, discovering videos, field trips to local museums, or other methods of research, students will be able to construct components of a web-based museum based on their findings.

The class instructors plan to draw on resources available locally, such as the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, MA; and an upcoming exhibition of contemporary artist Anne Bobroff-Hajal’s paintings on Russian history themes.

Maria Khotimsky explained that the project-based approach, and collecting the research results on an online platform, will allow students—individually and collectively—to produce something that then becomes a resource or inspiration for the next group of students taking the class. Khotimsky said, “Having a digital resource will allow us to bring together images, documents, media; different kinds of knowledge that provide different ways of engaging.”