DAVID FRICK, 1955-2022, Distinguished Professor Emeritus


David Frick passed away December 10, 2022. The department will share more news and memorial plans in the near future. Here is a link to his obituary.

Retired June 2020.

Affiliated with Department of History

Ph.D. Yale University (Slavic Languages and Literatures).

Teaching: Polish literature (all periods); advanced Polish language; history of Poland (including literary language); Old Church Slavic; Medieval Orthodox Slavic texts; history of Eastern Europe. Recent graduate seminars have included: History of Cities; Early Modern East-Central Europe.

Research interests: Orthodox Slavic Reform in the Ukraine and Belorussia in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Polish sacred philology in the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation. Textual criticism and cultural polemics in Muscovy in the 17th century. Poland-Lithuania in the Age of Confessionalization. Enlightenment Poland. Cities. Vilnius/Wilno.

Current projects: A translation of the Polish letters of Fryderyk Chopin; an edition, in English translation and with extensive commentary, of primary sources for a history of Protestant, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Uniate reform movements in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Informational Links:
Old Polish Literature
Mikolaj Rej
Polonistica on the Internet

Selected publications:


  • Polish Sacred Philology in the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation: Chapters in the History of the Controversies (1551–1632). University of California Publications in Modern Philology 123. Berkeley, 1989.
  • Meletij Smotryc´kyj. Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute Publications. Cambridge, Mass., 1995.
  • Wilnianie. Zywoty siedemnastowieczne. Bibliotheca Europae Orientalis. Warsaw, 2007.
  • Rus´ Restored: Selected Writings of Meletij Smotryc´kyj (1610–1630). Harvard Library of Early Ukrainian Literature. English Translations, Volume 7. Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2005.
  • Kith, Kin, and Neighbors: Communities and Confessions in Seventeenth-Century Wilno. Cornell University Press: Ithaca, 2013.

Edited Book

  • Litauen und Ruthenien/Lithuania and Ruthenia. Studien zu einer transkulturellen Kommunikationsregion (15.–18. Jahrhundert/Studies of a Transcultural Communication Zone (15th–18th Centuries), Forschungen zur osteuropäischen Geschichte 71. Wiesbaden, 2007. (Co-edited with Stefan Rohdewald and Stefan Wiederkehr, with an introduction by the three editors—“Transkulturelle Kommunikation im Großfürstentum Litauen und in den östlichen Gebieten der polnischen Krone: Zur Einleitung,” pp. 7–33.)

Literary Translations

  • Jerzy Pilch, A Thousand Peaceful Cities (a translation of Jerzy Pilch, Tysiac spokojnych miast, London, 1997), Rochester, NY, 2010.
  • Jerzy Pilch, My First Suicide (a translation of Jerzy Pilch, Moje pierwsze samobójstwo, Warsaw, 2006), forthcoming, Rochester, NY, 2011.
  • Fryderyk Chopin, Korespondencja (a translation of the Polish letters of the composer for the Warsaw Narodowy Instytut Fryderyka Chopina), in progress.


  • “Szymon Budny and Sacred Philology: Between East and West.” Commentary to: Biblia Slavica, Serie II: Polnische Bibeln, Band 3, Budny: Teil 2, Kommentar, Paderborn, 1994.
  • ” ‘Foolish Rus’ ‘”: On Polish Civilization, Ruthenian Self-Hatred, and Kasijan Sakovyc; Harvard Ukrainian Studies 18 (1994).
  • “The Uses of Authority and the Authority of Use (Philological Praise and Blame in Early Modern Rus’).” Harvard Ukrainian Studies 18 (1994).
  • “Sailing to Byzantium: Greek Texts and the Establishment of Authority in Early Modern Muscovy.” Harvard Ukrainian Studies 19 (1995).
  • “Franklin’s Free Will; Or, Optimism in Cracow, 1798.” Austrian History Yearbook 28 (1997).
  • “Misrepresentations, Misunderstandings, and Silences (Problems of Seventeenth-Century Ruthenian and Muscovite Cultural History).” In Religion and Culture in Early Modern Russia and Ukraine, eds. Samuel H. Baron and Nancy Shields Kollmann, DeKalb, Illinois, 1997.
  • “The Brest Bible of 1563: Translators, Sponsors, Readers.” Commentary to: Biblia Slavica, Serie II: Polnische Bibeln, Band 2, Brester Bible: Teil 2, Kommentar, Paderborn, 2001.
  • “Lazar’ Baranovyc: The Union of Lech and Rus.” In Culture, Nations, and Identity: The Ukrainian-Russian Encounter, 1600-1945, eds. Andreas Kappeler, Zenon E. Kohut, Frank E. Sysyn, and Mark Von Hagen, Edmonton and Toronto, 2002.
  • “Slowa uszczypliwe, slowa nieuczciwe: The Language of Litigation and the Ruthenian Polemic.” In Xrusai Pulai, Zlataja Vrata: Essays Presented to Ihor Sevcenko on His Eightieth Birthday by His Colleagues and Students. Ed. Peter Schreiner and Olga Strakhov. Palaeoslavica 10 (2002), Vol. 1.
  • “The Bells of Vilnius: Keeping Time in a City of Many Calendars.” In Making Contact: Maps, Identity, and Travel, eds. Lesley Cormack, Natalia Pylypiuk, Glenn Berger, and Jonathan Hart, Edmonton, Alberta, 2003.
  • “The Councilor and the Baker’s Wife: Ruthenians and Their Language in Seventeenth-Century Vilnius.” In Speculum Slaviae Orientalis: Ruthenia, Muscovy and Lithuania in the Late Middle Ages. UCLA Slavic Studies, n.s., IV. Moscow, 2005, pp. 34-65.
  • “Jews and Others in Seventeenth-Century Wilno: Life in the Neighborhood.” Jewish Studies Quarterly 12 (2005): 8-42.
  • Aethiopem dealbare difficile, Wilkiem orac trudno: The Adagia of a Seventeenth-Century Ruthenian Polemicist.” In Slavia Orthodoxa and Slavia Romana: Essays Presented to Riccardo Picchio by His Students on the Occasion of his Eightieth Birthday, September 7, 2003, ed. Harvey Goldblatt, Krasimir Stanchev, and Giorgio Ziffer. Yale Russian and East European Publications 15. New Haven, 2006, pp. 95-124.
  • “Since All Remain Subject to Chance.” Poor Relief in Seventeenth-Century Wilno. Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung 55 (2006): 1-55.
  • “Buchner at the Font: Godparenting and Network Building in Seventeenth-Century Wilno.” In Politics and Reformations: Communities, Politics, Nations, and Empires. Essays in Honor of Thomas A. Brady, Jr. Eds. Christopher Ocker, Michael Printy, Peter Starenko, Peter Wallace. Leiden, 2007, pp. 205–27.
  • “Jews in Public Places: Chapters in the Jewish-Christian Encounter in Seventeenth-Century Wilno.” Polin 22(2010):215–48.
  • Libellus chamorum: protestancka elita mieszczanska a szlachta w siedemnastowiecznym Wilnie.” In Litwa w epoce Wazów. Prace ofiarowane Henrykowi Wisnerowi w siedemdziesiata rocznice urodzin. Eds. Wojciech Kriegseisen and Andrzej Rachuba. Warsaw, 2006, pp. 239–55.
  • “Separation, Divorce, Bigamy: Stories of the Breakdown of Marriage in Seventeenth-Century Wilno.” In Litauen und Ruthenien/Lithuania and Ruthenia. Studien zu einer transkulturellen Kommunikationsregion (15.–18. Jahrhundert/Studies of a Transcultural Communication Zone (15th–18th Centuries) Forschungen zur osteuropäischen Geschichte 71. Wiesbaden, 2007, pp. 111–36.
  • “Pochwalki na zdrowie, slowa uszczypliwe, zle a zapamietale przedsiewziete umysly. Obelgi starowilenskie ad honorem Durani.” In Amoenitates vel lepores philologiae. Eds. Roman Laskowski and Roman Mazurkiewicz. Cracow, 2007, pp. 96–107.
  • ‘Ruski czlowiek’: Muscovites and Ruthenian Identity in Occupied Wilno, 1655–1661.” In Tentorum Honorum: Essays Presented to Frank E. Sysyn on His Sixtieth Birthday, Journal of Ukrainian Studies 2008–2009(33–34):134–60.
  • Turris Babel Vilnensis: Speaking, Writing, Ethnolinguistic Stereotyping.” In Die Europäizität der Slawia oder die Slawizität Europas. Ein Beitrag der kultur- und sprachrelativistischen Linguistik. Eds. Christian Voß and Alicja Nagórko. Studies on Language and Culture in Central and Eastern Europe, vol. 2. Munich, 2009, pp. 91–123.
  • ” ‘According to the Confession in Which I Die’: Taking the Measure of Allegiances in Seventeenth-Century Wilno.” Central Europe, vol. 8, no. 2 (2010):107–22.
  • “Five Confessions in One City: Multiconfessionalism in Early Modern Wilno.” In Thomas Max Safley, ed., A Companion to Multiconfessionalism in the Early Modern World, Brill’s Companions to the Christian Traditions 28, Leiden, 2011, pp. 417–44.