Our colleague, mentor and friend, Viktor Markovich Zhivov died
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at Alta Bates Hospital. There was a panikhida
(prayers for the departed) that afternoon at 5:30PM at St. John
the Baptist church on the corner of Adeline and Essex in Berkeley.
The funeral and burial service will be at 11AM Friday morning (April
19) at St. John's Church.
A memorial for students and colleagues will be planned for sometime
in the coming academic year.
Viktor was a remarkable man, warm, caring, learned, highly distinguished
within the academy in Russia, Europe and the US, deeply knowledgeable
about his area of specialization and profoundly curious about all
that was outside of it. We loved him for his intelligence, humor
and empathy. He will be missed terribly, both at Berkeley and in
the larger intellectual community of Slavic Studies.
Who we are: We study and teach the languages, literatures,
and cultures of the Russian and other Slavic peoples and their immediate
neighbors in East and Central Europe (Hungary and Romania) as well
as the Caucasus and Central Asia (hence the terms “Eurasia”
and “Eurasian”). Over the centuries, these peoples shared
linguistic, literary, cultural and historical experiences, which
both united and divided them. These experiences include their intermediary
position between the “West” and the “East,”
participation in large multi-national states and empires, membership
in the Soviet bloc in the twentieth century, and, in recent decades,
the transition to post-socialism. In a word, we represent peoples
who have influenced the history of a large part of the world.
Our department, which celebrated its one hundredth anniversary
in 2001, was one of the first departments of its kind in the United
States. It was home to UC Berkeley’s only Nobel Prize winner
in the Humanities, Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004). Over
the years, it has remained in the vanguard of Slavic, East European
and Eurasian studies because of the breadth of coverage and interdisciplinary
approach to the field. Our faculty members have a wide range of
interests and train students to discover the links between language,
literature and other aspects of culture (including history, religious
thought, visual arts, theater, film, popular culture) as well as
between our subject matter and that of other related disciplines.
Thus, students find that our courses complement their studies in
other fields as different as History, English, Political Science,
Although much of what we teach is specific to the Slavic field,
the faculty is dedicated to helping students develop skills in expository
writing (in English), in interpreting texts, in clear written and
oral communication, in research, and in critical thinking. As students
in a small department, our majors benefit from the accessibility
of their teachers and the community of fellow students.
Courses on literature and culture: Most courses on literature
and culture are taught in English, with readings in English translation.
Students with a working knowledge of Russian or another Slavic language
are encouraged to do some reading in the original. Many of our courses
satisfy university breadth requirements (often more than one). Our
faculty offer Freshmen and Sophomore seminars. We also offer sections
of Reading and Composition. The Slavic Department welcomes students
from all majors, programs, and disciplines in our courses.
Language Instruction: We regularly offer instruction in
Russian, Polish, Czech, BCS (Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian) and Bulgarian,
as well as the non-Slavic languages Armenian, Romanian and Hungarian.
The department offers special classes for heritage speakers of Russian
and courses in Russian/English, English/Russian oral and written
Fall 2013 Courses
Summer 2013 Courses
Spring 2013 Courses
TROIKA: An undergraduate journal in Slavic,
East European and Eurasian
Studies at UC Berkeley
Student Learning Initiative and Slavic Languages & Literatures
Berkeley Online Schedule
of California, Berkeley
College of Letters
Books by Faculty (refresh the page
to see another image):