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Russian Program at Vanderbilt

Konstantin Kustanovich

Kustonovich Associate Professor

Ph.D. | Columbia (Russian Literature)
MA | NYU (Russian Literature)
MS | Leningrad Polytechnic (physics and mechanics)

previous positions (in education)
  • Acting Chair, Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages, 2006-2007.
  • Fulbright Fellow, Nevsky Institute of Language and Culture, St. Petersburg, 2001-2002.
  • Dean (1992-1997) and Director (1995-1997), Russian School at Norwich University.
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Lafayette College, 1986-1987.
professional honors
  • Fulbright, St. Petersburg, Russia, 2001-2002.
  • Fellow, Robert Penn Warren Center, VU, 1996-1997.
  • Travel Grant, American Council of Learned Societies, 1990
  • Research and Technology Grants, VU, 2007, 2005, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1991, 1988 (2).
contact information



  • Born in the USSR (currently Russia or Russian Federation)
  • Lived in Leningrad (currently St. Petersburg)
  • Graduated from Leningrad Polytechnic Institute (currently St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University) with MS in physics and mechanics
  • Worked as mechanical engineer
  • Emigrated to the U.S.
  • Lived in New York
  • Graduated from NYU with MA in Russian Literature
  • Graduated from Columbia with Ph.D. in Russian Literature
  • At Vanderbilt since 1987



Research interests: 20th-century Russian Literature, Russian Film, Jewish Studies, and Cultural Studies. At present, I am working on a project that explores perceptions of America among Russian immigrants, expatriots, and visitors in the last 20 years.



The Artist and the Tyrant: Vasily Aksenov's Works in the Brezhnev Era. Columbus, OH: Slavica Publishers, 1992.


От Пастернака до Пелевина: Статьи о русской литературе ХX века в сборнике Современное гуманитарное знание как синтез наук.
С.–Петербург: Невский институт языка и культуры, 2003. (From Pasternak to Pelevin: Articles on Russian Literature of the Twentieth Century. In Contemporary Humanities as Synthesis of Disciplines. St. Petersburg: Nevsky Institute of Language and Culture, 2003.) [Includes six previously published articles]

Articles (selected):

"A Hero of Bygone Time, or Russian Literature as an Ecological System in Vladimir Makanin's Underground and Other Works." In Routes of Passage: Essays on the Fiction of Vladimir Makanin. Edited by Byron Lindsey and Tatiana Spektor. Bloomington Indiana: Slavica Publishers, 2007, 115-127.

"The Unbearable Lightness of Being the Other: Myth and Nostalgia in Sotsart." Slavonica 9:1 (2003): 3-17.

"Два буддиста, два веселых друга: Буддизм и постмодернизм в произведениях Бориса Гребенщикова и Виктора Пелевина." (Two Cheerful Buddhists: Buddhism and Postmodernism in the Works of Boris Grebenshchikov and Viktor Pelevin.) In In Other Words: Studies in Honor of Vadim Liapunov, edited by Stephen Blackwell, Michael Finke, Nina Perlina, and Yekaterina Vernikov. Indiana Slavic Studies 11 (2000): 407-427.



Courses I have taught:
Russian Language: All levels
Russian Literature of the Twentieth Century (taught in English)
20th-Century Russian Prose (in English)
Russian Culture of the Twentieth Century (in English)
Contemporary Russian Culture (in English)
Russian Cinema (in English)
Jews in Russian Culture (in English)
America through the Eyes of Russian Émigré Writers (in English and Russian)
Russian Avant-garde Art (in English)
Life in the Soviet Union (in English)
Introduction to Russian Literature (in Russian)
Tolstoy (in Russian)
Russian Drama of the Nineteenth Century (in Russian)


I teach all my courses (except for the language ones) in the format of discussion and free exchange of ideas. Students read texts and materials, watch films, and mull over the pre-assigned questions preparing for the class discussion. In class everyone's opinion is respected and given full consideration. The goal is to arrive to a thorough understanding of the discussed works in the historical, political, and cultural context.