Department of Modern and Classical Languages
Distinguished Emeritus Professor Lewis Bagby joined the UW Department of Modern and Classical Languages in 1970, served as chair for three years, and retired in 2007. He is recognized for building and sustaining the Russian program in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and for extending internationalization to all the university’s professional colleges on the model of the College of Arts and Sciences and Dean Oliver Walter’s globalization emphasis. Bagby was one of the first American scholars of Russian to establish student, faculty, and citizen exchange programs in rural Russia (1991). Bagby formed the Wyoming-Saratov Initiative at a time when few other American institutions ventured outside Moscow and Leningrad. Once established as director of International Programs at UW (1995), Bagby created similar academic exchange programs on six continents.
Bagby has been recognized with several UW teaching honors—the John P. Ellbogen Meritorious Classroom Teaching Award, the Golden Apple Award, the Mortar Board “Top Prof” Award. In addition, he was presented an Honorary Doctoral Degree from Saratov State University. An active researcher who continues to publish in retirement, he has many articles and books to his credit, such as Alexander Bestuzhev-Marlinsky and Russian Byronism (published both in the U.S. and in translation in Russia) and Lermontov’s “A Hero of Our Time”: A Critical Companion. Bagby currently is working on a book-length study of Dostoevsky’s use of literary introductions (First Words: Dostoevsky’s Prefaces). “He is a scholar and teacher of the highest order, a humanitarian, and an inspiring, generous colleague,” comments former student Joseph Krafczik, coordinator of the Wyoming-Saratov Study Abroad Program and current senior academic professional of Russian in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages.