Review: Teaching Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature

Teaching Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature: Essays in Honor of Robert L. Belknap edited by Deborah Martinsen, Cathy Popkin & Irina Reyfman was reviewed in The Russian Review, October 2015 issue (Vol. 74, No. 4). Reviewer Donna Orwin (University of Toronto) writes:

“This volume celebrates the career of Columbia University Professor Robert L. Belknap (1929-2014), who trained a generation of teachers and scholars working across North America. The contribution to it by Belknap himself provides a fascinating history of pedagogical experimentation at Columbia during his time there. The twenty-one other contributors to the volume, drawn from his former students, colleagues, and admirers, practice what he preached. The mix of close-reading and contextualization that he and his colleagues promoted and delivered is an inspiration and a challenge for those of us who deal with shorter semesters, fewer teaching hours each week, and undergraduates who cannot read as many pages as he did. . . . In his own essay, Belknap describes his own life’s work as “studying and teaching.” It seems clear that he regards the two as linked, as indeed they are in all the contributions to this volume. Each essay can be profitably read as both scholarship and pedagogy.”