Russian Language & Literature

Русский язык и русская литература в Рид–колледже


Evgenii BershteinEvgenii V. Bershtein

Professor of Russian

Evgenii (Zhenya) Bershtein grew up in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia, and graduated from Tartu University (Estonia). His PhD is from UC Berkeley. He has held research fellowships at Columbia University (2001-02), Helsinki University (2004, 2005), and University of Cambridge (2014). Evgenii Bershtein has published on eighteenth–century Russian poetry, the cultural and intellectual history of Russian modernism, and on Russian film (you can read some of his work here and here, in English and Russian). Most recently, he has edited the English translation of Yuri Lotman's Non-Memoirs (Dalkey Archive Press, 2014) and has been working on a project entitled Eisenstein, Sexuality, and Decadence. Professor Bershtein joined the Reed faculty in 1999, and he teaches classes on twentieth-century Russian literature and culture, Russian and European Symbolism, Russian film, Pushkin, Tolstoy, Eisenstein, as well as the Russian language at the intermediate and advanced levels.

Zhenya's pictures from Siberia, Summer 2012

Naomi CaffeeNaomi Caffee

Assistant Professor of Russian and Humanities

Born and raised in rural South Dakota, Naomi Caffee earned a B.A. from Grinnell College (2004) and an M.A. (2008) and Ph.D.(2013) in Slavic Languages and Literatures from UCLA. Prior to her arrival at Reed, she taught Russian language and literature courses at UCLA and the University of Arizona, where she also developed interdisciplinary offerings such as "Nuclear Literatures," "Multicultural Russia," and "Language, Power, and Identity in the Post-Communist World." In 2018 she co-organized and led two study abroad programs: a trip to the Moscow region as part of the course “Russian and American Foodways,” and a Fulbright Hays Group Projects Abroad trip to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Naomi's research concerns minority and transnational writing in Russian, with a particular focus on authors from Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Siberia. Her work has taken her to Azerbaijan, Abkhazia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and the Russian Arctic. Her publications include the articles "How Tatiana’s Voice Rang Across the Steppe: Russian Literature in the Life and Legend of Abai” (2018), and “The Transformation of Azerbaijani Orientalists into Islamic Thinkers after 1991” (2011, co-authored with Altay Goyushov and Robert Denis), as well asVerses on the Saami Land (2009), a translation of poetry by the indigenous Saami writer Askold Bazhanov. Her current project is a book entitled Russophonia: Writing the Wide Russian World.

marat grinberg imageMarat Grinberg

Associate Professor of Russian and Humanities

Marat Grinberg, Associate Professor of Russian and Humanities, has been teaching at Reed since 2006. He holds a BA in Modern Jewish Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and a BA in Comparative Literature from Columbia University in New York. He received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Chicago in 2006. Professor Grinberg specializes in Russian Jewish literature and culture, Russian and European Modernism, Soviet literature, poetics and cinema studies.

He is the author of "I am to be read not from left to right, but in Jewish: from right to left": The Poetics of Boris Slutsky (Academic Studies Press, 2011, paperback 2013) and co-editor of Woody on Rye: Jewishness in the Films and Plays of Woody Allen (Brandeis University Press, 2013). His latest book is the study of the great banned Soviet film The Commissar (Intellect/University of Chicago Press, 2016 Marat Grinberg offers courses in Russian and Soviet cinema, Russian science fiction, Russian and Jewish apocalyptic literature, 19th century Russian fiction, and Russian language. He also teaches "Introduction to Comparative Literature" and in the HUM 110 program.

For his most recent essays and reviews, see

Lencek imageLena M. Lencek

Professor of Russian and Humanities

Lena M. Lencek, born in Trieste of Slovene parents and educated at Barnard College and Harvard University, is Professor of Russian and Humanities. She offers courses in her special areas of interest: medieval East Slavic literature; Russian romanticism in its west European context; Russian modernism; and literary theory (formalism, structuralism, semiotics). She has offered "special topics" seminars on South and West Slavic literatures ; the culture of the book in Russia; prose of the 1920s; Russian theater of the avant-garde; epic poetry of the Russian Revolution; Russian religious culture; the Russian short story; and offers instruction in Old Church Slavonic.

Her research and publications extend beyond Slavic philology. She is the author or co-author of numerous books, including Frozen Music: A History of Portland Architecture (The Press of the Oregon Historical Society, 1985), Making Waves: Swimsuits and the Undressing of America (Chronicle Books, 1988), The Beach: A History of Paradise on Earth (Viking/Penguin, 1998, 1999) a 1998 New York Times Notable Book of the Year; Beaches (Chronicle, 2000); Beach: Stories by the Sand and Sea (Marlowe Books, 2000); Sail Away: Stories of Escaping to Sea (Marlowe Books, 2001); Escape: Stories of Getting Away (Marlowe Books, 2002); Pilgrimage (Chronicle, 2003); Off the Wall ( Chronicle, 2004); Dynamic Wave Theory (Booth Cliborn/Abrams, 2006).

Several television documentaries have developed from Lencek's publications; these include: Nothing to Hide (Australia: Beyond Productions for Discovery Channel); Beach Crazy (Los Angeles: Termite Productions for Arts and Entertainment ;) Technological Beach (for History Channel ) , and, for the History Channel, the two-hour documentary based on The Beach. A History of Paradise on Earth. She has also been radio columnist for Canadian Public Broadcasting and has contributed to "The Savvy Traveler", National Public Radio, and other NPR venues.