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Thomas Seifrid

University of Southern California

Thomas Seifrid received a B.S. in Wildlife Biology with a simultaneous major in Russian
at the University of Montana in 1978. He completed his graduate study in Russian
literature at Cornell University, earning his Ph.D. there in 1984. From 1982-85 he taught
Russian and the Humanities at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Since 1986 he has
taught in the department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of
Southern California, of which he is also presently the chair (he also serves as chair of the
German Studies program). From 2018-2020 he served as director of the Society of
Fellows in the Humanities at USC. From 2013-14 he was president of the American
Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (AATSEEL). His
primary scholarly interest is in the literature and culture of 20 th -century Russia.

His first book, Andrei Platonov. Uncertainties of Spirit (Cambridge UP 1992) was the first
English-language monograph on a writer now considered to be the one of the masters of
twentieth-century Russian prose. His second book (The Word Made Self: Russian
Writings on Language, 1860-1930, Cornell UP 2005) explores the philosophy of
language in Russia in the early twentieth century. He has also written a Companion to
Andrei Platonov’s The Foundation Pit (Academic Studies Press 2009). His current work
is on theater and conceptions of urban space in Soviet Russia. He is also avidly
interested in Polish language and culture.


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