Courses at Borderlines Open School for Advanced Cross-Cultural Studies

online courses being offered by a new nonprofit initiative, Borderlines Open School for Advanced Cross-Cultural Studies. These courses are open to anyone with interest in the topic, including the general public, undergraduate/graduate students, and teachers and professors.

Below are just a few of the online courses offered in Winter/Spring 2021 that may be of particular interest to members of SEELANGS. Most courses are seminar-style, and are capped at 20 students.

Science Fiction with Deep Philosophical Issues (from Eastern Europe and Russia)

Instructor: Sibelan Forrester

Sundays 3–5pm ET, January 10–31, 2021

Poetry Translation Masterclass: Theory, Problems, Practice

Instructor: Rebecca Ruth Gould

Fridays 5–7pm ET, January 15–February 5, 2021

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Resource: Free Subscription to Language Learning & Technology Journal

The new issue of Language Learning & Technology (Volume 24, Number 3) is now available at

Please visit the LL&T website and be sure to sign up to receive your free subscription if you have not already done so.

Also, we welcome your contributions for future issues. If you have questions about this process or wish to submit a manuscript, please check our guidelines for submission at

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Resource: The Russian Hour with Marina Alexandrova

“The Russian Hour” is a weekly free event for learners of Russian as a foreign language at the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at UT-Austin. Hosted by Dr. Marina Alexandrova and the Texas Slavic Club, “The Russian Hour” in designed to help improve students’ listening and speaking skills while discussing various relevant topics, including politics, culture, history, health, art, education, and business with native speakers of Russian. For inquiries, email

To view the schedule and get the meeting link, visit:

Resource: The Bridge: Connecting Past and Present Through Archival Research on Russia (Middlebury Institute of International Relations)

Despite all the indications to the contrary, many of the most important Russian archives are open and worth investigating. 

The goal of The Bridge is to illuminate archival sources and disseminate information about collections that are available (in-person and online) for use by students and young experts in the field. Research based on original source material is of paramount importance to moving the field of Russian Studies forward. Some highlights of this project include how to access critical archives such as RGANI, GARF, and the Foreign Ministry archives; tips on how to access archival material in regional archives that may be off-limits in Moscow; and how to access a variety of archival material online from the comfort of your own home or office.

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Inaugural Session of Share Language, Culture, Life (Crossroads Eurasia)

Event Date: October 25, 2020

Join a conversation with your Russian peers

Please join us for the inaugural session of Share Language, Culture, Life – a new series of moderated online conversations through which you can learn what your Russian peers think on current cultural topics.  

In our first session, we will talk about Russian social media influencers – who they are, how they relate to their audiences, and how they are similar or different to those popular in the West. We will hear the perspective from students in Russia about how they and their friends relate to influencers and compare experiences between the West and Russia.

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Resource: Practice your Russian with Film Hour/Book Club

Film Hour 

Join Evgenia Wilkins at the University of Texas at Austin for an hour-long Zoom session every other week to watch and discuss clips from contemporary Russian films, commercials, and shorts. Practice your listening and speaking skills, get ideas about the films to watch later, and learn Russian set phrases. All levels are welcome! 

Book Club: Russian Short Stories 

Every other week we will meet for 1 hour over zoom to discuss Russian short stories of the XX century in Russian. Read the story ahead of time and bring one question for the discussion to the meeting. You could also sit in on any of the meetings. We will clarify the language, talk about the characters and the plot. Readers of all levels are welcome!

See the events page for meeting details/reading lists

Resource: Language Learning and Pedagogy Podcasts

  1. Ракета” ( podcast for students in the Novice High – Intermediate Mid range of proficiency with short weekly recordings of native speakers talking about themselves, their families, hobbies etc.
    The transcripts of the recordings are available here:
  2. Foreign Language Pedagogy Podcast ( interviews with colleagues around the world where we discuss various issues and topics related to teaching Russian and foreign languages in general. 
    Recently, podcast host Izolda Savenkova and her guests discussed new trends in teaching bilingual kids, teaching the language of mass media, positive lessons from teaching during the pandemic, games in language classroom and many other topics. 

Resource: The Corpus of Russian Translations Website

The website presents samples of original texts alongside their Russian translations. The comparison helps one not only to see the translator’s method and principles, but also to get an idea of how Russian readers understood and interpreted European political treatises throughout the “long” eighteenth century.

The website also provides a context for the key political concepts that entered the Russian language at the time. When the different contexts of a certain concept are put in chronological order, it will be possible to see how political terms changed their meaning, in other words, how the language and the semantics of Russian political culture evolved.

The database will provide scholars with a basis for further research in the history of language and political thought in Russia and will allow researchers and lovers of history to expand their understanding of the political discourse of eighteenth-century Russia.