Russian Language & Literature

Русский язык и русская литература в Рид–колледже

The Russian House

Russian House board
Welcome to the Russian House


Every week the Russian House hosts different cultural events: films, dinners and teas, board games, poetry readings, musical performances, and much more. These informal gatherings provide a unique opportunity for students to meet and put their Russian skills to use while enjoying Russian art and food. Students of all levels of ability are welcome and encouraged to come! Our resident Russian Language Scholar is always on hand for advice and support.

In addition to these weekly events, the Russian House holds a larger on-campus event once every semester, to which all Reed students are invited.

Russian Roulette Oktoberfest

Friday, October 27th, starting around 5pm at the Quad and SU

chervona image
Picture of the local band Chervona

This semester the German and Russian Houses will be hosting Oktoberfest with a Russian spin; Russian Roulette Oktoberfest! Come and take a chance, you’ll never know what you’re getting! German atmosphere? Russian music? German or Russian food? It’ll all be there! Beer Nation will be providing the beer if you are 21+, and we will be inviting the Eastern European/Russian/Ukrainian local band Chervona! Non-alcoholic beverages will also be provided, along with German sausages, Russian pierogi, and other various foods! Please come and dance and eat the evening away!

The Russian House's weekly events:

  • Conversation Hours - Come and practice your Russian language with the language scholar and other Russian students over snacks and tea on Sundays from 6-7pm.
  • Cultural Events - Every week the Russian House hosts a Russian-related activity. These often include film screenings, Russian games, cooking lessons, crafting, and readings. These generally take place on Sunday evenings at 7pm.

If you are interested in being added to the Russian House email list, please contact the Russian House Advisor, Caroline Wright, at

You may also want to check out the News and Events page.

Russian House softball team, 2016
Russian House softball team, 2016

Russian film with live musical accompaniment at the Russian House
Russian film with live musical accompaniment at the Russian House

Russian Scrabble
Russian Scrabble

Charles Isenberg Collection

Charles (Chuck) R. Isenberg (1944-1997) was a member of the Reed Russian Department from 1985 to his death in 1997. A graduate of Columbia University with an MA and Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Harvard University, Prof. Isenberg taught at Wesleyan University before coming to Reed.

A specialist in the prose of Osip Mandelstam, the frame narrative, Russian realism, modernism, and narrative theory, he was an active contributor to numerous professional journals and conferences, editor of the Tolstoy Society Journal, and author of Substantial Proofs of Being: Osip Mandelstam’s Literary Prose (1987) and Telling Silence: Russian Frame Narratives of Renunciation (1993).

At Reed Professor Isenberg introduced a number of innovative courses, including: "The Russian Novella," "The Soviet Experience: Society, Literature, and Culture," "Tolstoy," "Gulag Narratives," "The Chronicle Novel," "East European Cinema," "Literature and Culture of Glasnost Era", "Mandelstam" and distinguished himself by his unfailing grace, wide-ranging expertise and intellectual curiosity. His generosity of spirit knew no bounds, and his gentle sense of humor was always in good supply. Outside the walls of academia, Professor Isenberg was a passionate skier and a masterful sailor who enjoyed nothing so much as tacking off the coast of Maine.

As part of his legacy to Reed, Chuck left an exquisitely curated teaching library to the students of the Russian House so they may continue to learn and to expand their horizons even as they engage in silent dialogue with the great minds who authored the texts. The Charles Isenberg Collection is available to all students of Russian and is permanently housed in the Russian House, Woodstock I.

Contents of the library