Welcome to the Slavic Department!

First established as the Department of Slavonic Languages in 1915 and redesigned as the Department of East European Languages in 1935, the Department of Slavic Languages embarked on its present trajectory in 1946, when a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation permitted the establishment of the Russian (now Harriman) Institute. Consequently, it was necessary for the Department to expand its language offerings. At present, the Department offers five Slavic languages— Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, Czech, Polish, Russian, and Ukrainian.

On our website, you can find out more about our faculty, our students, and our undergraduate and graduate offerings in Russian, Ukrainian, Czech, Polish, and Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian languages, literatures, and cultures. Click here for a list of Fall 2023 courses, or check us out on Facebook.



The Department of Slavic Languages at Columbia University condemns Russia’s war against the sovereignty of Ukraine.  We express our solidarity with Ukraine, its democratically-elected government, and with people everywhere who strive for freedom and peace.  We honor Russian citizens who oppose this war.  We call on the academic community to stand firmly against Russia’s military attacks on the Ukrainian state and its civilians.  We express our sympathy and support for members of our community affected by this crisis.

Ukrainian Flag


Richard Folke Gustafson, Professor Emeritus in the Barnard/Columbia Slavic Department, died on May 5, 2024, in New York City.  He was ninety.  He r

Winner: William Debnam (Columbia University),

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Selected Publications

Anna K

Anna Karenina and Others: Tolstoy's Labyrinth of Plots

Liza Knapp

From Pushkin to Popular Culture: Essays by Catharine Theimer Nepomnyashchy

Emily D. Johnson, Irina Reyfman and Carol R. Ueland
The Origins of Russian Literary Theory
Folklore, Philology, Form

The Origins of Russian Literary Theory: Folklore, Philology, Form

Jessica Merrill

Anton Chekhov's Selected Stories

Edited by Cathy Popkin