Karen Ryan, Ph.D.

Professor of Russian Language and Literature

Karen Ryan arrived to Stetson University in 2012 and served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences until 2017. Before coming to Stetson, she was professor of Russian language and literature at the University of Virginia and served 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.

Ryan has taught courses on Russian language, literature, and culture at the University of Virginia, Iowa State University and Williams College. She has created and directed two study programs in Russia, most recently "literary places in Russia," a month-long course in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Ryan's research focuses on Russian literary satire of the twentieth century. She has published extensively on Russian satire, including Contemporary Russian Satire: A Genre Study (1995) and Stalin in Russian Satire, 1917-1991 (2009).


  • Ph.D., Slavic languages and literatures, University of Michigan, 1986
  • M.A., Slavic languages and literatures, University of Michigan, 1982
  • B.A., Russian and Soviet studies, Cornell University, 1980

Course Topics

  • Russian Language (all levels)
  • Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature
  • Twentieth-Century Russian Literature
  • Russian Culture Through Film
  • Russian Émigre' 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)
  • University Seminars:
    • Russian Film; Images of Stalin
    • Russian Humor and Satire Literary Places in Russia (UVA in Russia)

Research Interests

  • Russian satire
  • Russian contemporary literature
  • Russian women's literature
  • Russian émigré literature


Authored Books

  • Stalin in Russian Satire, 1917-1991. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2009.
  • Contemporary Russian Satire: A Genre Study. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
  • Russian Publicistic Satire: The Contemporary Journalistic Feuilleton. Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press, 1993.

Edited Books

  • Twentieth-Century Russian Literature: Proceedings of the V World Congress of Central and East European Studies. Houndmills: Macmillan, 2000.
  • Venedikt Erofeev's Moscow - Petushki: Critical Perspectives. New York: Peter Lang, 1997.

Recent Articles

  • "Failures of Domesticity in Contemporary Russian-American Literature: Vapnyar, Krasikov, Ulinich, and Reyn." TranscUlturAL 1.4 (2011): 63-75. Web.
  • "Vladimir Voinovich and Soviet/Émigré/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.

Karen Ryan

Faculty Expert

  • Russian Literature and Culture

Contact Information