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About Robert A. Rothstein

Robert A. Rothstein is Professor of Judaic and Slavic Studies and of Comparative Literature, and Adjunct Professor of Linguistics. He earned his undergraduate degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and graduate degrees (A.M., 1961; Ph.D., 1967) from the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. Trained in linguistics by Noam Chomsky, Morris Halle and Roman Jakobson, he also has a long-standing interest in folklore. In addition to publications in the field of Slavic linguistics, his bibliography includes such titles as "The Poetics of Proverbs," "Yiddish Songs of Drunkenness," "The Popular Song in Wartime Russia," "Death of the [Russian] Folk Song?", "Language Play in the Yiddish Proverb," "Food in Yiddish and Slavic Folk Culture" and "How It Was Sung in Odessa: At the Intersection of Russian and Yiddish Folk Culture." He has taught Polish, Russian, Yiddish and Slovak, as well as courses in Slavic and general folklore and in Yiddish literature and culture. He directs the UMass Program in Slavic and East European Studies and serves as Secretary-Treasurer of the American Committee of Slavists.


Present Amesbury Professor of Polish Language, Literature & Cultures, Department of Judaic & Near Eastern Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Present Director of the Program in Slavic & East European Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Honors and Awards

  • Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities, 1985

Contact Information

Herter Hall Room 741
161 Presidents Drive
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst MA, 01003
Tel: 413-545-0894


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