Faculty and Staff
The faculty of the Bucknell Russian Program is not only extremely diverse but also very talented. It comprises a language specialist, a culture specialist, a folklorist, and a language assistant from Moscow University to assist with conversation practice. Far from any 'Ivory Tower', the Bucknell faculty is engaged in creative endeavors outside the classroom--and most have enjoyed previous professional careers in radio, screen, music, and drama.
FULL TIME FACULTY
Ludmila Shleyfer Lavine
Professor Ludmila Shleyfer Lavine received her Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Princeton University in 2000.
Professor Lavine's research focuses on Russian poetry of the 20th century; she has also published on 19th-century Russian literature. Her articles on Aleksandr Pushkin, Marina Tsvetaeva, Aleksandr Blok, and others, appear in American and European scholarly journals.
Professor Lavine's teaching interests include Russian language at all levels, 19th- and 20th-century Russian poetry and prose, the poetic song, and Russian popular culture.
Professor Slava Yastremski was born in and grew up in Moscow. He graduated from the Department of Theater History and Dramatic Literature of the Moscow State Theatrical Institute. Professor Yastremski worked at the Taganka Theater, wrote for the newspaper Izvestia, and also worked in Russian television and motion pictures as an assistant director.
Professor Yastremski and his family immigrated to the United States in 1975. In 1981 he received his PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures from the University of Kansas and went to work at Yale. During his 9 years a Yale Univesity, he served as coordinator of Russian language instruction. He taught and produced plays at Middlebury's Russian Summer School for 7 years. His production of Nikolai Erdman's dark comedy The Suicide at Middlebury was the premier of the play in the Russian language. Professor Yastremski joined the Bucknell faculty in 1990 and in 1995 he became chair of the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics.
One of the main goals of Professor Yastremski's research is to bring Russan literature and culture to a broad array of US audiences. He has published several successful translations of works by prominent Soviet writers and poets: a collection of Vasily Aksyonov's stories Surplussed Barrelware, a collection of Marina Tsvetaeva's poetry, After Russia, and, most recently, Andrei Sinyanski's controversial book Strolls with Pushkin. Professor Yastremski received Columbia University's Translation Center Award and AATSEEL's Best Translation of the Year award for his most recent effort. In addition to his translations, Professor Yastremski has published more than 25 articles in Izvestia plus several scholarly articles on Russian poets and writers, and on popular culture (for example, 'A Cosmonaut Meets Superman: The Myth of the Soviet Positive Hero in the 1980's').
Professor Yastremski also teaches a wide range of Russian courses: Russian theatre, Russian cinema, and business Russian. Perhaps his most exciting courses are his sister courses on the history of Russian culture, RU 301 and RU 302, for which he wrote the textbooks himself.
Professor James Lavine is the Program Coordinator for Linguistics. He completed a joint Ph.D. in Theoretical Linguistics and Slavic Languages from Princeton University in 2000. He also holds an MA in Russian Area Studies from Harvard University (1992).
Professor Lavine's research focuses on the syntax and morphology of the Slavic and Baltic languages. He has published in the Journal of Slavic Linguistics, Formal Approaches to Slavic Linguistics, the Proceedings of the Chicago Linguistics Society, the Generative Linguistics in Poland series, the Prague Bulletin of Mathematical Linguistics, and elsewhere. He has also served as guest-editor for the Journal of Slavic Linguistics and is currently editing the 2005 volume of Formal Approaches to Slavic Linguistics.
Professor Lavine teaches courses in all areas of linguistics, as well as Russian and numerous other Slavic languages.
Professor Robert Beard, emeritas, taught Russian at Bucknell for 35 years. He received his PhD from the University of Michigan and came to Bucknell in the fall of 1965. In 1968 he established Bucknell's first Russian major. Mr. Beard took an avid interest in developing on-line learning tools, and he was instrumental in creating Bucknell's Russian web pages, which have won several awards. He retired from Bucknell and from academia in June 2000. He is currently pursuing a new career developing on-line linguistics tools. The Bucknell Russian Program gratefully acknowledges his contribution to this site.