Slava Yastremski, Professor of Russian at Bucknell University, passed away on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015 at home, with his wife, Irina, and son, Alex, by his side, after a brief illness. He was 63.

Professor Yastremski joined the Bucknell Faculty in 1990, where, in the course of 25 years, he played an instrumental role not only in leading the Russian Studies Program, but in developing the Programs in Comparative Humanities and Film Studies (where he also taught), and Bucknell’s Residential College system (for which he served as a long-time co-coordinator).  || Read his obituary.

Professor 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 at Yale University, 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.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., in Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Kansas

Research Interests

  • One of the main goals of Professor Yastremski's research was to bring Russian literature and culture to a broad array of US audiences.


  • Russian theatre
  • Russian cinema
  • Business Russian
  • History of Russian culture

Selected Publications

Professor Yastremski 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
  • Andrei Sinyanski's controversial book Strolls with Pushkin.
  • 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')

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