Boris Gasparov

Professor, Slavic Languages
1230 International Affairs
+1 212-854-6287
+1 212-854-5009


Professor Gasparov received his education in linguistics and musicology in Moscow. He continued his intellectual development in Tartu, Estonia, at the time when Yuri Lotman and others were making that university the world's center for original ideas about semiotics, linguistics, and literature. He emigrated to the United States in 1981 and taught at Berkeley for 11 years, before coming to Columbia where he is professor of Russian, co-chair and founder of the University Seminar on Romanticism, and a member of the Seminars on Linguistics and on Slavic History and Culture. His books range from Slavic medieval studies and comparative grammar to semiotic studies of oral speech, to Pushkin and his time, to Russian modernism and twentieth century poetry. Music remains deeply embedded in his teaching, scholarship, and personal life. His book, Five Operas and a Symphony: Word and Music in Russian Culture (Yale University Press, 2005), has received the ASCAP Deems Taylor award. Gasparov’s ongoing projects include Speech, Memory, and Meaning: Intertextuality in Every-Day Language, and a book on the Early Romantic roots of modern theoretical linguistics.

Ph.D.: Moscow, 1965

Research Interests: Slavic and general linguistics, Russian and European Romanticism, Russian literature and culture of the 20th century, music