Andrew Baruch Wachtel, Ph.D. 1987


Dissertation: The Russian Pseudo-autobiography and the Creation of Russian Childhood

At present, Andrew Baruch Wachtel serves as the President of the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic.

He also holds the chair as the Bertha and Max Dressler Professor in the Humanities at Northwestern University.

While still a graduate student at Berkeley, Andrew Baruch Wachtel received a three-year fellowship from the Harvard University Society of Fellows. Subsequently he taught from 1988-91 at Stanford University, where he received tenure in 1991. Since 1991 he has taught at Northwestern University, where he served as Chair of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Director of the Program in Comparative Literary Studies, Director of the Center for International and Comparative Studies, and Dean of Graduate School. He has published a wide variety of books and articles on Russian and South Slavic literature, culture, and society. His publications include: (with Ilya Vinitsky), Russian Literature (Polity Cultural History of Literature, 2009), The Balkans in World History (Oxford University Press, 2008), Remaining Relevant after Communism: The Role of the Writer in Eastern Europe (University of Chicago Press, 2006), Making a Nation, Breaking a Nation: Literature and Cultural Politics in Yugoslavia (Stanford University Press, 1998), An Obsession with History: Russian Writers Confront the Past (Stanford University Press, 1994), Petrushka: Sources and Contexts (Northwestern University Press, 1998), and The Battle for Childhood: Creation of a Russian Myth (1990, Stanford University Press), based on his Berkeley dissertation.

In addition to his academic work, Andrew Baruch Wachtel has been active as an editor and translator of contemporary Russian and Slovenian poetry and prose. As editor of Northwestern University Press’s series “Writings from an Unbound Europe” he worked to identify and publish the most interesting contemporary poetry and prose from Central and Eastern Europe. As a translator, he has concentrated on contemporary Russian and Slovenian poetry. He is the co-author of a bilingual web anthology of Russian poetry, which can be found at

As a member of the NY Council on Foreign Relations, Andrew Baruch Wachtel was a frequent commentator on WBEZ’s “WorldView,” Channel 11’s “Chicago Tonight,” WMAQ radio, and the Chicago Tribune and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung regarding US policy in the Balkans and the events in the former Yugoslavia.