Thomas Seifrid

Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures
Thomas Seifrid
Email Office THH 255 Office Phone (213) 740-2735


  • Ph.D. Russian Literature, Cornell University, 1984
  • M.A. Russian Studies, Cornell University, 1981
  • B.S. Wildlife Biology & Russian, University of Montana, 1978
  • Tenure Track Appointments

    • Professor of Slavic, University of Southern California, 02/16/2005 –
    • Associate Professor of Slavic, University of Southern California, 09/01/1992 – 02/15/2005
    • Assistant Professor of Slavic, University of Southern California, 09/01/1985 – 08/31/1991
    • Assistant Professor of Russian and the Humanities, Reed College, 09/01/1982 – 05/31/1985
  • Summary Statement of Research Interests

    Professor Seifrid studies twentieth-century Russian literature and culture, particularly that of the Soviet 1920s and 1930s; Russian philosophy of language of the late-nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries; the life and works of Vladimir Nabokov; and Polish language and culture.

    His most recent book examines the prolific body of writings produced in Russia from roughly 1860 to 1930 which seek to define the nature of language (or the Word, or Logos). What is striking about these works is, on the one hand, how diffuse they are–the corpus in question embraces not only the philosophy of language proper but also linguistics, theology, theologically-inspired philology, poetics and manifesti, while its authors range from the Ukrainian linguist Potebnia to Shpet, Losev, Bulgakov, Florenskii, Bakhtin, Khlebnikov, Pasternak, and Mandelstam (to name a few).

    His current research examines connections among ideology, literary genre (including theater), and urban space in early Soviet culure.

  • Conference Presentations

    • Andrzej Stasiuk and his narratives of depletion , American Association for the Advancement of Slavic StudiesTalk/Oral Presentation, Philadelphia, Fall 2008
    • Razgovor vpolgolosa: Pasternak’s Novel, Its Discourse, and Its Times , The Life of Boris Pasternak’s ‘Doctor Zhivago’: Culture and the Cold WarTalk/Oral Presentation, Invited, Stanford University, Fall 2007
  • Book

    • Seifrid, T. (2009). A Companion to Andrei Platonov’s ‘The Foundation Pit’. Brighton, MA: Academic Studies Press.
    • Seifrid, T. (2005). The Word Made Self. Russian Writings on Language, 1860-1930. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
    • Seifrid, T. (1992). Andrei Platonov: Uncertainties of Spirit. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

    Book Chapters

    • Seifrid, T. (2005). Excavating the Stone: Some Expansive Notes on a Passage in Dostoevsky. (Vol. 399-415) Sanford, CA: Word, Music, History. A Festschrift for Caryl Emerson/Stanford Slavic Studies.

    Journal Article

    • Seifrid, T. (2002). Khaidegger i russkie o iazyke i bytii. Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie/Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie. Vol. 53, pp. 1.
    • Seifrid, T. (1998). Gazing on Life’s Page: Perspectival Vision in Tolstoy. Proceedings of the Modern Language Association/Modern Language Association. Vol. 113, pp. 3.
    • Seifrid, T. (1996). Nabokov’s Poetics of Vision, or What ‘Anna Karenina’ is Doing in ‘Kamera obskura’. Nabokov Studies/Nabokov Studies. Vol. 3, pp. 1-12.
    • Seifrid, T. (1994). Getting Across: Border-Consciousness in Soviet and Emigré Literature. Slavic and East European Journal. Vol. Vol.38 (No.2: 245-60.)
    • Seifrid, T. (1993). Suspicion Toward Narrative: The Nose and the Problem of Autonomy in Gogol’s ‘Nos’. Russian Review/Blackwell. Vol. vol.52 (no.3: 382-96)
    • Seifrid, T. (1990). Trifonov’s House on the Embankment and the Fortunes of Aesopian Speech. Slavic Review/American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. Vol. Vol.49 (No.4: 611-24)
    • Seifrid, T. (1982). Theatrical Behavior Redeemed: Dostoevskij’s Belye noci. Slavic and East European Journal. Vol. Vol. 26 (No.2: 163-73.)
    • USC Raubenheimer Outstanding Senior Faculty Award, Excelled in teaching, research and service to the University., 2010
    • USC or School/Dept Award for Teaching, General Education Teaching Award (for Fall 2006), Fall 2007
  • Administrative Appointments

    • Director, German program, 09/2008 –
    • Chair, department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, 09/2007 –
    • Director of the Society of Fellows in the Humanities, 07/01/2018 – 06/30/2020
  • Administative Appointment

    • Chair, department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, 2007 –
    • Chair, department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, 1991 – 2000

    Professional Offices

    • President (2013-14), American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages, 2013-2014

    Professional Memberships

    • Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America, 01/01/2009 –
    • Association for Slavic, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies, 05/01/1985 –
    • Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages, 05/01/1985 –
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