William J. Comer, Ph.D. 1992


Dissertation: The Russian Religious Dissenters and the Literary Culture of the Symbolist Generation.

I was in the Department of Slavic Languages at the University of Kansas from 1992 through 2014, receiving tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in 1999, and promotion to Full Professor in 2012. At KU, I was the Language Coordinator responsible for curriculum development, teacher training and the administration of the Undergraduate Language Program in Russian. I taught Russian at all levels, as well as courses in methods of teaching Slavic languages, the integration of technology in language teaching, Russian culture, and the church history of Russia. From 1998-2007, I served as Director of the Ermal Garinger Academic Resource Center, the unit which provided audio, video and computer support for the teaching and research missions of foreign language and humanities departments at KU. From January 2012 through June 2014, I chaired the KU Slavic Department.

In Summer 2014, I moved to Portland State University (in Portland, Oregon) where I serve as director of the Russian Flagship Program (http://www.pdx.edu/russian-flagship/home). The Flagship Program (one of 27 National Language Flagship Programs [http://www.thelanguageflagship.org/] ) is an exciting endeavor that allows undergraduate students to reach professional level language skills in Russian while pursuing a major of their choice. The new environment and program is exhilarating, and for the first time ever, my teaching load now regularly includes Russian literature in the original and in translation as well as language courses.

Since the early 2000s my research has focused mostly on second language learning and language pedagogy, especially foreign language reading, and the application of Processing Instruction to Russian. My pedagogical edition of Viktoria Tokareva’s short story A Day without Lying (Slavica, 2008) was awarded the prize for Best Book in Language Pedagogy by American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages in 2010.

For more information, see my profile on https://pdx.academia.edu/WilliamJComer.