Past Professor

Maurice Friedberg
CAS Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures

Professor Friedberg is a specialist in the interaction of literature and society in Russia and is best known for his study of Soviet literary censorship and the Communist Party’s efforts to harness and direct the ideological potential of non-Soviet writing published in the USSR. His most recent article explores “A Possible Inspiration for Babel’s ‘Pan Apolek'” in Depictions: Slavic Studies in the Narrative and Visual Arts in Honor of William E. Harkins. 

Earlier works include Russian Classics in Soviet Jackets, about the legacy of prerevolutionary literature; A Decade of Euphoria, which examines the role of translated Western fiction, poetry, and drama in post-Stalin Russia; and Literary Translation in Russia, which discusses the role of translation in the overall literary process, including censorship, beginning with the eighteenth century and continuing through the dissolution of the USSR in 1991.

Professor Friedberg’s work has been published in French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Hebrew, Korean, and Japanese. Chinese translations have appeared in Beijing for some years; Russian ones began to be printed only after the collapse of the Soviet State. He received two Guggenheim Fellowships (1971, 1982) and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. He directed seminars for the NEH, Social Science Research Council, and American Council of Learned Societies. He has served for many years on the editorial boards of several scholarly journals and on the boards of various professional organizations. In May 1988 he was invited to the White House to brief President Ronald Reagan on problems of Soviet culture prior to the President’s state visit to Moscow. 

He was elected to full membership in the Russian Academy of the Humanities. He served as a member of the International Board of Advisors for the four-volume Censorship: A World Encyclopedia (London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2001). In 2002 he received the Distinguished Contribution Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies.