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 undergraduate adviser and fill out the Petition for Admission to Departmental Honors Form. If accepted, students will receive a written invitation from the Chair.
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 the undergraduate adviser 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.
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 undergraduate adviser, 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
Dr. Sasha Senderovich, Assistant Professor
Courses taught: Russian Jewish Experience, Soviet and Russian Cinema
Languages: Russian, Yiddish