Professor Emerita of Russian

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Professor Emerita Catherine Vakar Chvany, died on October 19, 2018, in Watertown, Massachusetts. Chvany was a renowned Slavic linguist and literature specialist, who played a pivotal role in promoting the study of Russian language and literature in MIT’s Global Studies and Languages Section (formerly, Foreign Languages and Literatures). MIT NEWS ARTICLE.


Catherine Chvany taught at MIT 1967-1993, and was Professor Emerita of Russian since 1993.

She attended Radcliffe College and Harvard University, 1946-48 and 1961-63, receiving a B.A. in Linguistics She earned a Ph.D. in Slavic Languages & Literatures at Harvard in 1970.

Chvany was a Fellow of Harvard Russian Research Center, 1978 to present. Instructor, Wellesley College, 1966-67; at MIT since 1967, Assistant Professor 1971-74, Associate Professor 1974-83, Full Professor 1983-93, Emerita 1993 to present. Visiting Professor, UFR de Linguistique, Université de Paris 7 (Jussieu), Fall 1991. Served on advisory or editorial boards of Slavic and East European Journal, Russian Language Journal, Journal of Slavic LInguistics, Peirce Seminar Papers, Essays in Poetics (U.K.), Supostavitelno ezikoznanie (Bulgaria).