Professor Nikander Strelsky offered a course in comparative Slavonic literature for the first time. Students in the first semester Russian course surveyed that literature from the 13th century epic, the Lay of Igor’s Raid, to the “New Economic Policy” of 1928, with attention to works by Pushkin, Gogol, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Bunin and Gorky. Some reading was included in Soviet realism and the proletarian novel and drama.
Russian history had been taught at Vassar since 1907, and a course in the contemporary history of Southeastern Europe introduced in 1917 had gradually expanded to include the recent history of Poland, Germany and Czechoslovakia, along with Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Rumania, Bulgaria, Albania and Greece.
Professor Strelsky first offered a non-credit Russian language course in 1931, and the course was first given for credit in 1935. Many of the readings in his new comparative literature course, from Polish, Czech, Yugoslav and Bulgarian writers, were read in translation.