Olga Peters Hasty

Professor Emerita
Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
  • PhD with distinction in Slavic Languages and Literatures (Yale University, 1980)
  • MA in Slavic Languages and Literatures (Brown University, 1974)


In my scholarly work, as in much of my teaching, I devote myself primarily to poets of the 19th century and the modernist period (e.g. Pushkin, Pavlova, Pasternak, and Tsvetaeva). Compelling to me is the intensity with which poetic language can be made to signify and what this signification can tell us about the creative psychology of the poet, the social and cultural environments in which the poem arises and is subsequently received, and, perhaps most importantly, about language itself. This interest extends naturally to prose of writers like Gogol', Leskov, Belyi, Babel', and Nabokov whose heightened awareness of language is essentially "poetical." Two areas of long-standing interest that are reflected in my teaching and research are gender and temporality. More recently I have explored theories relating to translatability on two distinct, but interrelated levels: between genres (literature to film) and between cultures.

Current Project: 

How Women Must Write: Devising a Poetic Self, a book examining strategies of poetic self-presentation developed by 19th and 20th century Russian women poets and the cultural dynamics that shaped the images they devised for themselves. As I work on my current project, I am moving on to explore poetic performance in the Russian tradition.

Courses Taught: 

 Undergraduate Courses taught: 

  • Survey of Russian Poetry 
  • Pushkin and his Time 
  • Russian Drama 
  • Vladimir Nabokov 
  • Russian Fiction, Foreign Film

Graduate Courses taught: 

  •    Ornamentalist Prose 
  •    Tsvetaeva and Pasternak 
  •    The Acmeist Poets 
  •    Russian Futurism 
  •    Old Russian Literature 
  •    Dissertation Colloquium 

Authored Books: 


How Women Must Write cover
How Women Must Write: Inventing the Russian Woman Poet (Studies in Russian Literature and Theory)
(Awarded a Barbara Heldt Prize for the best book in Slavic/Eastern European/Eurasian women’s and gender studies)

Northwestern University Press, 2019.

ISBN-10: 0810140934

ISBN-13: 978-0810140936


Tsvetaeva's Orphic Journeys in the Worlds of the Word.
Tsvetaeva's Orphic Journeys in the Worlds of the Word.

Northwestern University Press, 1996.

ISBN-10: 0810113155

ISBN-13: 978-0810113152


Pushkin's Tatiana.
Pushkin's Tatiana.

Ed. David Bethea (Pushkin Series). Wisconsin University Press, 1999.

SBN-10: 0299164047

ISBN-13: 978-0299164041


America Through Russian Eyes.
America Through Russian Eyes.

Yale University Press, 1988. (with Susanne Fusso)

ISBN-10: 0300040156

ISBN-13: 978-0300040159

Selected Articles: 

The Body and the Voice: Marina Tsvetaeva's "The Sibyl" and "Phaedra." 
in Myth and Violence in the Contemporary Female Text: New Cassandras, eds. Sanja Bahun-Radunovic and V. G. Julie Rajan (Burlington: Ashgate Press, 2011). 115-130.

"Writing About Shostakovich: Opus 143, Six Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva as Cycle." 
in DSCH Journal, Vol.33 (July 2010).

"Representing Ephemerality: Pasternak's «Гроза, моментальная навек».
in Eternity's Hostage: Selected Papers from the Stanford International Conference on Boris Pasternak. Stanford Slavic Studies, 2006. Vol. 1: 116-132.

"The Pushkin of Opportunity in the Harlem Renaissance." 
in Pushkin and Blackness. Northwestern University Press, 2006. 226-247.

"Tsvetaeva's Briusov, Mozart, and Salirei." 
in Word, Music, History: A Festschrift for Caryl Emerson. Stanford Slavic Studies, 2005. 693-706.

"Memory, Consciousness, and Time in Nabokov's Lolita." 
in KronoScope. Vol. 4, No. 2 (2004): 225-238.

"Valerii Briusov as Marina Tsvetaeva's Anti-Muse." 
in Vieldeutiges Nicht-zu-Ende-Sprechen. Fichtenwalde: Frank Göpfert Verlag, 2002. 191-205.

"Karolina Pavlova's Dvoinaia zhizn'." 
in Essays on Karolina Pavlova. Northwestern University Press, 2001. 53-65.

"Reading Suicide: Tsvetaeva on Esenin and Maiakovskii." 
in Slavic Review. Vol. 50, No. 4 (1991): 836-846.

"Poema vs. Cycle in the Context of Cvetaeva's Definition of Lyric Verse." 
in Slavic and East European Journal. Vol. 32, No. 3 (1988): 390-398.

"Multiplicity of Perspective as Metaphor for Poetic Creation in Pasternak's 'Opredelenie poezii' and 'Opredelenie tvorcestva.'" 
in International Journal of Slavic Linguistics and Poetics. Vol. 34 (1986): 113-121.

"Cvetaeva's Onomastic Verse." 
in Slavic Review. Vol. 45, No. 2 (l986): 245-256.