Faculty and Instructors

Dr. Emily Johnson
Associate Professor
Office: KH 213
Phone: (405) 325-1486
e-mail: emilydjohnson@ou.edu

Dr. Emily Johnson, Associate Professor of Russian, received her Ph.D. in Russian Literature from Columbia University. She also holds a Harriman Certificate in Russian Area Studies. Before coming to Oklahoma she taught at Columbia University, Hofstra University, Drew University, and Williams College. Her research interests include early-twentieth-century guidebooks to St. Petersburg, the history of the Moscow-Tartu School of semiotics, and contemporary Russian poetry. Her book, How St. Petersburg Learned to Study Its Self: The Russian Idea of Kraevedenie, was published by Penn State University Press in 2006 as part of the series Studies of the Harriman Institute. Other publications include: "Nikita Khrushchev, Andrei Voznesensky and the Cold Spring of 1963," "Transcendence and the City: Nikolai Antsiferov's The Soul of Petersburg as an Aesthetic Utopia," and an article on the poet Aleksandr Kushner for a forthcoming volume of the Dictionary of Literary Biography. In 2005 Dr. Johnson received the Irene Rothbaum Award for Outstanding Junior Faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences. In 2001 she received the Cecil W. Woods Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Dr. Heidi Karriker
Office: KH 122
Phone: (405) 325-1487
e-mail: karriker@ou.edu

Dr. Alexandra Heidi Karriker, Professor of Russian, teaches courses in language, literature, film, and women's studies. Her primary research interests, funded by grants and contracts, are in Russian film, gender issues, and contemporary writings by women. She is the author of books, refereed articles, translations, and reviews, and she has presented papers, invited lectures and workshops at international, national, and regional conferences. Her Women and Film colloquia attracted renowned scholars for five years in the 1990s when she served as the Director of the newly established program in Film and Video Studies. She has been the advisor to the Other Film Club since 1975, which she formed to provide a venue for screening international, classic, documentary, and controversial films on the OU campus. For over thirty years, the Other Film Club has sponsored film festivals and has invited film directors to show and discuss their works with students, film enthusiasts, and residents of the greater Oklahoma City area. Dr. Karriker has served as advisor to Russian, Russian Area Studies, and Film and Video Studies majors and minors, and she has also mentored OU freshmen.  She has been active in faculty governance on the Faculty Senate, Research Council, Appeals Board, and Graduate Council.  She has also served as the Chair of the Campus Tenure Committee, the Welfare Committee, and the Provost's Committee on Women's Issues.

Maria Laubach
Office: 203
Office phone: 325-1556
email: marialaubach@cox.net

Maria Laubach received her B.A. in Philology with a major in German and a minor in English from Saratov City State University named after N.G. Tchernyshevsky inSaratov, Russia in 2001.  She moved to Oklahoma in the fall of 2002 and enrolled as a graduate student in German at the University of Oklahoma in the fall of 2003. Maria received her MA in German in the spring of 2006.  She has taught German 1115 and 1225 and is currently teaching German 1225 and Russian 1115 online at OU. 

Dr. Kirsten Rutsala
Assistant Professor
Office phone:
email: krutsala@ou.edu

Kirsten Rutsala received a B.A. from Middlebury College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Slavic languages and literatures from the University of Illinois.  Her research interests include Russian literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Russian intellectual history, women's studies, and cultural studies.  She has written about the use of parody to challenge or revise existing literary conventions in the works of Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, and Nabokov; cultural myths in the memoirs of Nadezhda Mandelshtam and Evgenia Ginzburg; and the various ways that Russians and Americans have represented each other in literature and film. 

Kirsten Rutsala has taught at Concordia College, Parkland College, Monterey Peninsula College, and the Defense Language Institute.  Since her arrival at the University of Oklahoma in Fall 2006, she has taught Russian language courses at the intermediate and advanced level, as well as courses on Russian literature in translation.

Dr. Yevgeny Slivkin
Office phone: 325-6181
email: rutsala_slivkin@juno.com

Yevgeny A. Slivkin was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. He received an
M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the A. M. Gorky Institute for Literary
Studies of the Union of Soviet Writers in Moscow. He worked as a screen writer and a journalist for the Editorial Office of Artistic Broadcasting of the St. Petersburg Television Company.

After his move to the USA  in 1993 he taught Russian literature and
language at Georgetown University and George Washington University in Washington D.C. Upon earning his Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and
Literatures from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he taughtRussian literature and language at Grand Valley State University in Michigan and upper-division Russian language courses and Russian area studies at the Defense Language Institute in California. Currently he teaches Contemporary Russian Poetry and Contemporary Russian Prose at the University of Oklahoma.

He is the author of three collections of poetry published in Russia and
ten scholarly articles in American, European, and Russian professional academic journals. He is working on the monograph "The Genesis and Variations of the Image of the Medieval Knight in Russian Literature of the Nineteenth Century" for which he made preliminary research in his doctoral dissertation.

Rachick Virabyan
Office: KH 221C
phone: 325-6729
email: rav@ou.edu

I was born in Tbilisi, the capital of the former Soviet republic of Georgia. By nationality I'm Armenian. All of my formal education was in Russian, since it was the main language of international communication in the former USSR. After I graduated from high school, I served in the Soviet Army (1975-1977).

I applied to the Department of Russian Philology (1978-1983) at Yerevan State University, which is located in the capital of Armenia. That allowed me to pursue my interest in Russian and Western-European culture and literature and continue my studies of the Russian language, literature and linguistics. I also studied pedagogy, which prepared me to teach Russian language and literature. In 1983 I defended my thesis "The Moral Psychological Aspects in the Novels of A. Aleksin," and graduated from the university with the equivalent of an American M.A. degree in Russian Philology. After graduation, I started working as a teacher of Russian language and literature in the high school system.
Due to nationalistic turmoil in Georgia, I was forced to flee to Russia, to the city of Sochi, where I continued teaching until I emigrated to the U.S.A. in May 1992.

During my first few months in America I experienced many difficulties since I didn't know any English. However, I quickly overcame the communication barrier and in May of 1993 I applied for a position as a Russian Instructor at the University of Oklahoma.

In 2006 I became a faculty member of the Modern Languages Department and I continue to teach first- and second-year Russian. I also serve as a member of the department's Language Lab Committee.  


© Josh Pratt 2001, Kelley Keefer 2007




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