The department offers three different concentration options for undergraduate students at the BA level. Depending on their interests, students can pursue a concentration in Polish Studies, in Russian language, literature and culture, or in South Slavic (Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian) Studies.
Polish at KU
The University of Kansas has a more than thirty-year tradition of teaching Polish language and literature. The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures offers yearly regular courses of elementary, intermediate and advanced Polish. Students who already have advanced knowledge of Polish can take independent study courses in Polish Language and Literature after obtaining the consent of the instructor.
KU recommends that students study abroad, and can consult with students to pick the programs that best match their academic and professional interests.
Professor Svetlana Vassileva-Karagyozova is the Director of the Polish Program. She teaches upper-level courses of Polish and courses in Polish and Czech (West Slavic) literature, culture and cinema. Her research interests include 21st century Polish prose, the Polish post-1989 Bildungsroman, Communism, memory studies, and trauma theory.
Russian at KU
Russian has been taught at KU since 1943. Students can take up to five years of language instruction (with courses from the Russ 100 through the Russ 600 level). In addition to work on the language students have the option to take a wide number of courses in the literature, culture, film and structure of the language that are taught in English. Students are encouraged to plan a semester or academic year of study abroad into their academic program, especially after they have completed Russ 504 on the KU campus. Students, whose academic schedules allow only a summer of study abroad, should complete Russ 208 before studying abroad. The study of Russian opens up a myriad of career opportunities in fields ranging from business to diplomacy to environmental studies to technology and cultural exchange.
Bosnian / Croatian / Serbian (BSC) at KU
This concentration allows students to focus on Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian (formerly known as Serbo-Croatian). Three languages for the price of one! Although Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian have all become official languages of their newly independent states, they remain completely understandable among each other. If you learn one language,you can speak to any of nearly 20 million people in three countries, in the Republics of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and the Federation of Serbia and Montenegro.
Career opportunities connected with Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian are numerous and so far demand for employees with knowledge of the language(s) has greatly exceeded supply. Possible career paths with this language include commerce, academia, intelligence, security, tourism, NGOs, journalism, diplomacy and foreign service. KU is the only place in the U.S. between the West Coast and the Mississippi River where one can study Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian from the beginning to the advanced level. Moreover, KU offers the only summer study-abroad program in North America for intensive study of Croatian, located in the beautiful city of Zadar on the Adriatic Sea.