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Matt McGarry

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Matthew McGarry

Instructor, Russian

Kaufman Hall

(405) 325-6181



2017 marks the beginning of my third year teaching Russian language and literature at the University of Oklahoma-Norman.  Before coming to OU, I did my graduate work in Russian Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Kansas. During my time at UW and KU I taught beginning, intermediate, and advanced Russian language classes, as well as surveys on 19th and 20th century Russian literature.  In addition, I coordinated the tutoring program for the Russian Flagship.  Since coming to OU, I have had the privilege of serving as the Russian Language Program Coordinator.


My primary goal as a teacher of language and literature is to empower students to actively use the skills they are developing so as to become, as Hayden White frequently writes in his work, "agents rather than patients of history."

Courses Recently Taught:

RUSS 1115 (Beginning Russian I)

RUSS 1225 (Beginning Russian II)

RUSS 3523 (Interpreting the Russian Media)

RUSS 3023 (Beginning Business Russian)

MLLL 3173 (Nabokov)

MLLL 3183 (Tolstoy)

MLLL 3163 (Chekhov)

MLLL 3523 (Russian Literature to 1917)


My research focuses primarily  on ethics of history and the rhetoric of reading in Russian prose and poetry.  Writers I focus on especially include Lev Tolstoy, Osip Mandelstam, Boris Pasternak, and Andrey Bitov.  Broadly speaking, my work examines the ways texts such as Tolstoy's War and Peace, the odes of Mandelstam, Pasternak's 1930s verse, criticism, and prose, and Bitov's Pushkin House interrogate the "science" of history and strive to restore it to the family of rhetoric from which it was extracted in the 19th century. 


A little bit about myself.  I came to Russian late in my undergraduate academic career. Before deciding to devote myself to Russian and the study of literature my goal in life was to become a college football coach.  I have coached college ball at the University of Kansas and Rutgers and varsity high school ball in New Jersey, Kansas, and Wisconsin.  Although I am no longer affiliated with any single program, I still, much to my spouse's chagrin, coach at college and high school camps and do consulting work.  

In addition to teaching Russian language and literature and coaching, I enjoy biking around Norman with my daughter, Lara, making frequent trips to Russia, usually once or twice a year, to see my spouse's family, and participating in community activities.  

Select Publications:

“Acmeism,” The Routledge Encyclopedia of European Modernism; Ed. Megan Swift (2015)

“Padeniie” (The Fall), Dmitrii Bykov, Late- and Post-Soviet Russian Literature: A Reader; Eds. Mark Lipovetsky and Lisa Ryoko Wakamiya; Brighton, MA: Academic Studies Press (2014)(Translation with notes and commentary)

“Vdrug u Tolstogo: neozhidannoe v mire zakonomirnogo,” (“Tolstoy’s Tropics of Suddeness: The Unexpected in the World of the Law”) Olga Slivitskaya, Tolstoy Studies Journal, Vol. XXV (2013)

Tolstoy on War, Narrative Art and Historical Truth in “War and Peace”; Eds. Rick McPeak and Donna Tussing Orwin. Cornell, 2012. Tolstoy Studies Journal, Vol XXV, 1-3

A History of Russian Literary Theory and Criticism; Eds. Evgeny Dobrenko and Galin Tihanov Pittsburg: 2012. Slavic and East European Journal, 57:3, 488-489.

“Ode to the Great Leader” or “Ode to the Poet”: Identifying the Hero in Osip Mandel'shtam’s “Poems about Stalin.” Studies in Slavic Cultures and Literatures VI 2007, 67-81.