Karen Ryan

Karen Ryan

Professor of Russian Language and Literature

My training, research and teaching have been in the areas of Russian language, literature and culture. Before coming to Stetson, I spent more than two decades teaching and writing at the University of Virginia.

  • Ph.D., Slavic languages and literatures, University of Michigan
  • M.A., Slavic languages and literatures, University of Michigan
  • B.A., Russian and Soviet studies, Cornell University


Course Sampling

  • Russian Language (all levels)
  • Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature
  • Twentieth-Century Russian Literature
  • Russian Culture Through Film
  • Russian Ãmigre' Literature
  • Russian Women's Literature
  • War Stories and Ethical Choices Russian Satire (Graduate Seminar)
  • Russian Modernism (Graduate Seminar)
  • Contemporary Russian Literature (Graduate Seminar)
  • Russian Autobiography and Memoir (Graduate Seminar)
  • Russian Film
  • Images of Stalin
  • Russian Humor and Satire Literary Places in Russia (UVA in Russia)

Areas of Expertise

  • Russian Literature and Culture


Karen Ryan arrived at Stetson University in 2012. Before coming to Stetson, she was professor of Russian Language and Literature at the University of Virginia and served there as chair of the department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, as associate dean of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. She earned her Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Michigan in 1986 and her B.A. in Russian and Soviet Studies from Cornell University in 1980. Dr. Ryan has taught Russian language, literature and culture at the University of Virginia, Iowa State University and Williams College. Her research focuses on Russian literary satire of the twentieth century and she has published extensively on Russian satire, including the books "Contemporary Russian Satire: A Genre Study" and "Stalin in Russian Satire, 1917-1991."


  • Russian language and culture
  • Russian satire
  • Russian literature
  • Academic administration


  • Stalin in Russian Satire, 1917-1991. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2009.
  • Venedikt Erofeev's Moscow--Petushki: Critical Perspectives. New York: Peter Lang, 1997.
  • Contemporary Russian Satire: A Genre Study. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
  • Introduction to Walpurgis Night, or the Steps of the Commander. By Venedikt Erofeev. Translated by Marian Schwartz. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014. vii-xiv.
  • "Failures of Domesticity in Contemporary Russian-American Literature: Vapnyar, Krasikov, Ulinich, and Reyn." TranscUlturAL 1.4 (2011): 63-75. Web.
  • "Vladimir Voinovich and Soviet/Émigre'/Post-Soviet Satire: A Case Study." Uncensored? Reinventing Humor and Satire in Post-Soviet Russian. Ed. Olga Mesropova and Seth Graham. Bloomington: Slavica, 2008. 11-26.
  • "Laughing at the Hangman: Humorous Portraits of Stalin. Reflective Laughter: Aspects of Humour in Russian Culture. Ed. Lesley Milne. London: Anthem, 2004. 157-65.
  • "The Devil You Know: Postmodern Reconsiderations of Stalin." Mosaic 36 (2003): 87-111.
  • "Imagining America: Il'f and Petrov's Odnoetazhnaia Amerika and Ideological Alterity." Canadian Slavonic Papers 44 (2002): 263-77.
  • "Aksenov's ptichii iazyk: Nonsense Reconsidered." Slavic and East European Journal 46 (2002): 29-46.