Honors Program

Participating in the Departmental Honors Program is a great way for students to delve more deeply into a topic that interests them, while developing skills and relationships that last well beyond graduation.  Honors students work closely with an individual faculty mentor, who supervises a research project for two or three quarters.  Not only do successful participants receive a Bachelor's degree "With Honors in Slavic," but they also have access to the Honors Computer Lab in Mary Gates Hall, and are eligible to apply for a number of Honors Program Scholarships.  We also encourage all honors students to attend the departmental convocation held at the end of every spring quarter, so that we may acknowledge their achievements.

Who is eligible for Departmental Honors?

Any student majoring in Russian Language, Literature, and Culture or Eastern European Languages, Literature, and Culture, and who meets the following requirements:

    • Has a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher
    • Has a GPA of 3.7 or higher for courses in the major
    • Has completed at least 90 credits (Junior standing)
    • Does not have more than 120 credits

How do I apply for admittance to Departmental Honors in the Slavic Department?

There are two ways to be accepted into the Departmental Honors Program:

    • BY INVITATION: Every autumn quarter, Slavic Department faculty review the files of all eligible majors.
    • BY PETITION: Majors wishing to petition for permission to enter the Departmental Honors Program should consult with the Professor Kat Dziwirek and fill out the Petition for Admission to Departmental Honors Form. If accepted, students will receive a written invitation.

I’m already in the University Honors Program. Do I also need to do Departmental Honors?

The short answer is, it depends.  With the new curriculum that launched in 2010, students no longer need to complete Departmental Honors in order to get an Honors designation.  However, if you are interested in exploring in more depth a topic related to your major, we recommend you consider participating in the Departmental Honors Program.

I was accepted and want to participate in the Departmental Honors Program.  Now what?

Congratulations!  In addition to thinking about your thesis topic and the faculty member with whom you would like to work, you will need to see an adviser in the Humanities Academic Services Center to add the honors requirements to your degree audit. This is essential in order for your honors work to be correctly recorded in your official transcript.

Honors Thesis

What is an honors thesis?

An honors thesis is an original, in-depth work of independent research that offers you the chance to analyze a subject of personal interest to you.  It could be a lengthier discussion of a topic covered in one of your classes, or something that has always intrigued you but which you have never been able to address in your studies. This is your chance to be creative and to compose a scholarly paper that adheres to high academic standards.

Your honors thesis should...

    • be in English
    • be approximately 30-50 pages in length (double-spaced, 12-point font, with one-inch margins)
    • have a proper bibliography and citations, using either MLA or Chicago-style formats

A PDF of citation and writing guides is available on the UW Library’s website to help you.  We also recommend that you take a look at the honors theses on file in the Slavic Department Main Office (Padelford Hall A-210) to get an idea of previous students’ work.

How do I choose a topic?

We encourage you to choose a thesis topic that both interests you and can be supervised by a Slavic Department faculty member.  If you choose to expand a paper you wrote for a class in the Slavic Department, your honors thesis must reflect substantial revision and expansion of the original paper, and you will need to turn in both the original and the thesis to your faculty supervisor for comparison.

PLEASE NOTE: Any changes of topic in the course of writing your thesis MUST be cleared with your thesis supervisor.

How do I choose a faculty adviser for my thesis?

After determining your potential thesis topic, you should consult the list of faculty and their areas of expertise (below) to find someone who has the appropriate research background to offer you guidance on your proposed subject.  Once you identify a faculty member you believe is a good fit, reach out to him or her to explain your proposed topic, and request that he or she supervise your honors thesis. 

Researching and Writing Your Thesis: SLAVIC 498 (Senior Honors Thesis)

Once you have found a faculty member who agrees to supervise your proposed work, you will turn your attention to researching and writing the honors thesis.  In consultation with your faculty supervisor, you will develop a research plan, and determine if you will need two or three quarters to successfully complete your thesis.  During the quarter(s) in which you are working with faculty on your honors thesis, it is mandatory to enroll in SLAVIC 498.   

PLEASE NOTE: In order to receive departmental honors, you must earn a minimum of 6 credits of SLAVIC 498.  No more than 9 credits of SLAVIC 498 may be taken.

Honors Thesis Presentation

Once you have completed a final draft of your thesis and it has been approved by your faculty supervisor, you will present your research to an audience of Slavic faculty and students.  You will prepare and give a 20-30 minute presentation, and then answer questions from the faculty and audience.  You are welcome to use PowerPoint or other visual and audio aids for your presentation, but are not required to do so.  We also encourage you to present at the Undergraduate Research Symposium, held every May.

Final Post-Presentation Editing of the Thesis

After the presentation, you will have one final opportunity to edit your thesis. This is not the time to make major changes, but rather to correct any errors or formatting problems that may have arisen. Once these last edits have been made, turn in your final draft to your thesis supervisor for a grade. Unless otherwise specified by your thesis supervisor, an e-mailed electronic copy is fine.

PLEASE NOTE: The final version of your thesis must be turned in no later than Friday of finals week in the quarter in which the thesis is completed, though it may be due sooner, as per discussion with your faculty thesis supervisor.

Formatting and Binding the Thesis

Your thesis must include a title page, page numbers, notes, and bibliography, and be double-spaced in a 12-point font. After finishing the post-presentation editing of your thesis and submitting it to your faculty supervisor, you will also need to print two copies and give them to the departmental administrator, no later than Friday of finals week in the quarter in which you complete your thesis.  These copies should be double-sided, on quality paper, and in black ink.

After you turn in the two copies of your thesis, the Slavic Department will professionally bind them.  One copy will be given to you, and the other will be kept in the department. 

Faculty Thesis Supervisors

Dr. José Alaníz, Professor

Courses taught: Russian literature (1917-present), Kafka, Pelevin, Disability in Russian Culture, Comics and Film, Nature(s), Bad Love, Buddhism: East and West, Death and Dying in Russian Culture, Post-Soviet Cinema, Superheroes, Survey of Russian Cinema, Film Genre: Horror as ‘Body Genre’, Fakes

Research areas: Death and dying, disability, comics, eco-criticism, cinema, post-Soviet culture

Languages: Russian, Spanish, Italian, Czech

Personal interests: Drawing, film, Latin America, Japanese pop culture

Dr. Jim Augerot, Professor Emeritus

Courses taught: Slavic linguistics, Russian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Old Church Slavonic

Research areas: Phonology and Morphology of Slavic languages

Languages: Russian, Bulgarian, OCS, Romanian

Personal interests: Skiing, dancing, gardening

Dr. Michael Biggins, Affiliate Faculty (Suzzallo Library)

Courses taught: Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced Slovene language; Russian translation

Research areas: Slavic literary translation, 20th century Slovene literature

Languages: Russian, Slovene, German, Polish, BCMS, Czech, Lithuanian, French, Norwegian

Personal interests: Classical music, hiking, the Tao of hedge trimming

Dr. Gordana Crnković, Professor

Courses taught: Literature, Film, and Culture of the Former Yugoslavia and Successor States; Eastern European Fiction; Post World War II European Novel; BCMS; Eastern European Film in Comparative Perspective

Research areas: Yugoslav and post-Yugoslav literature, English and American 20th century literature, cinema studies, cultural studies

Languages: BCMS, Slovenian, Macedonian, French, Spanish

Personal interests: Hiking

Dr. Galya Diment, Professor

Courses taught: Russian literature (all periods), Nabokov, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Pushkin, Turgenev, Russian Crime Fiction, Early Russian and Soviet Film, Eisenstein, Russians in Hollywood

Research areas: Nabokov, Russian and English Modernism, the art of autobiography, early Russian silent film, the culture of the Russian Pale of Settlement

Personal interests: Visual arts (especially the Soviet Constructivists), music (Renaissance, Mozart, Shostakovich, Klezmer), interpreting politics (both American and Russian)

Dr. Katarzyna Dziwirek, Professor

Courses taught: Ways of Meaning: Universal and Culture-Specific Aspects of Language, Ways of Feeling: Expression of Emotion Across Languages and Cultures, Issues in Bilingualism, Intro to the History of Slavic Languages, Polish language

Research areas: Syntax, morphology, typology, semantics, pragmatics, bilingualism

Languages: Polish, Russian

Personal interests: Reading

Dr. Barbara Henry, Associate Professor

Courses taught: Russian literature (1700-1917), Bulgakov, Babel, Russian Folk Literature, Intro to Russian Culture and Civilization, East European Jewish Culture, Russian Drama and Theatre, Russian Comedy, Russian language

Research areas: 19th and 20th century Russian literature and drama, Yiddish literature and drama, Russian-Jewish literature and culture

Languages: Russian, Yiddish, French, German

Personal interests: Visual art, classical and modern dance, medicine, classics, genealogy, Latin music

Dr. Claudia Jensen, Affiliate Faculty (Music History)

Courses taught: Russian music (all periods)

Research areas: Early Russian music (to 1800), early Muscovite theatre

Languages: Russian

Dr. Sasha Senderovich, Assistant Professor

Courses taught: Russian Jewish Experience, Soviet and Russian Cinema

Languages: Russian, Yiddish