C.V. Starr Professor Emeritus of Russian and East Eur. Studies
I graduated from Horace Mann School (New York), and attended Williams College where I was the very first Russian major. Following graduation, I studied at Oxford University and the University of Leningrad, after which I received my D.Phil. (or Ph.D.) in Russian Literature from Oxford. First I taught Russian at Williams; I was Chair of the Department of Slavic Language at the University of Texas at Austin, and Director of the Title VI Center for Russian and East European Studies; and I became Deam of Language Schools and Schools Abroad at Middlebury in 1998. Since my term as Dean ended in 2004 I have been teaching full-time in the Russian Department.
Courses offered in the past four years.
▲ indicates offered in the current term
▹ indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]
ENGL 7751 - Tolstoy and/or Dostoevsky
Summer 2009, Summer 2011
ENGL 7753 - 19thC Realist Novel Old & New
ENGL 7765 - Modern European Drama
RELI 1030 - Jews & Rus Empire in Crisis
Jews and the Russian Empire in Crisis
S. An-sky (1863-1920) was a Russian-Jewish writer, ethnographer, and social activist. A prolific author, he wrote in two languages in every imaginable genre: articles, novels, plays, and songs. His best known work, The Dybbuk, immortalizes the legendary figure of a dead soul that takes possession of a living body to right an injustice suffered during its lifetime. We will study An-sky’s collected “works”: his fiction, play, memoirs, photographs, artifacts, and folk music. Our goal is a greater understanding of the cultural borderland between the two worlds, Russian and Jewish, which An-sky inhabited and portrayed at a time of crisis. (This class counts toward a concentration in Judaism within the religion major or as an elective credit towards the religion major).
RUSS 0122 - The Russian Mind (in English)
The Russian Mind (in English)
In this course we will study the dominant themes of Russia's past and their role in shaping the present-day Russian mind. Topics will include: Slavic mythology; Russian Orthodoxy; Russian icons; the concept of autocracy; the legacy of Peter the Great and Catherine the Great; the Golden Age of Russian Literature (Pushkin, Gogol, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky); Russian composers, including the "Mighty Five"; Russian theater and ballet; the origins of Russian radicalism; the Russian Revolution; the legacy of Lenin and Stalin; and Russia from Khrushchev to Putin. 3 hrs. lect.
RUSS 0354 / THEA 0354 - Chekhov
Chekhov (in English)
A study of Chekhov's major dramatic output: a survey of the history of Russian theatre before Chekhov; Turgenev's Month in the Country; Chekhov's evolution as a writer; analysis of his four major plays: Seagull, Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, and Cherry Orchard; Chekhov's European contemporaries and his Russian successors. 3 hrs. lect.
RUSS 0500 - Advanced Independent Study
Advanced Studies in Language and Literature
Supervised individual study for highly qualified students. (Approval required)
RUSS 0700 - Senior Independent Study
Senior Independent Study
I have written two books, one on the literary ballad in early 19th c. Russian poetry and the other on dreams and the unconscious in 19th c. Russian prose. I have translated a dozen or so works into English, including works by Herzen, Chernyshevsky, Dostoevsky, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Mikhail Artsybashev, Vladimir Jabotinsky, Ivan Shcheglov, and Boris Akunin. I am currently working on an annotated translation of S. An-sky's novel "The Pioneers."