Alla Epsteyn

Senior Lecturer in Russian

Teaches Russian language; Wintersession in Moscow Program Director; at Wellesley since 1998.

My scholarship flows naturally from reflections on my teaching experience. I present and publish articles on language pedagogy and share my pedagogical research with colleagues in Russia and the U.S.

I view myself primarily as a teacher of Russian language and culture, and some of my most rewarding experiences come from my basic approach, which is to teach language through culture. My Advanced Topics courses focus on cultural traditions of Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russian children’s literature and popular film comedies of the Soviet era. I also teach intermediate Russian language and conversation sections of elementary Russian course.

In 2008, I developed the Russian Department’s first program of language study abroad (Wintersession-in-Moscow) which takes students to the Moscow State University for the Humanities every other winter.

I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, traveling and doing yoga.

Wintersession in Moscow - Зимняя школа в Москве


  • M.A., Moscow University
  • Ph.D., Academy of Sciences Institute of World History (Russia)

Current and upcoming courses

  • Students will become experts in one of the great overarching themes of Russian culture: St. Petersburg. We will read and discuss texts, view films, listen to music, and compose essays on the theme of Russia's second capital. The course includes study of grammar, vocabulary expansion with strong emphasis on oral proficiency and comprehension. At the end of the semester, each student will write a final paper and present to the class her own special research interest within the general investigation of St. Petersburg's history, traditions, culture, and art.
  • Conversation, composition, reading, music, comprehensive review of grammar; special emphasis on speaking and writing idiomatic Russian. Students learn and perform a play in Russian in the course of the semester. Three periods.