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Lewis Bagby

Department of Modern & Classical Languages

Professor Emeritus


B.A. Pomona College, Philosophy 1966
M.A. Stanford University, Russian Literature 1969
Ph.D. Univ. of Michigan, Slavic and East European Languages and Literature 1972
Professor of Russian 1985, 1970


Lewis Bagby began his teaching career at UW in 1970 as an instructor of Russian language and literature. He taught courses from first to fourth year Russian, courses on 19th and 20th century Russian literature, and special topics courses on individual Russian authors, periods, and themes. Having moved through the academic ranks to full professor, from 1989-92 he served as chair of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, and from 1995 to 2006 was UW Director of International Programs. 

During his time as director, he formed UW relations with partner institutions on all continents (excluding Antarctica) in order to foster student, faculty, staff, administrative, and citizen exchanges. As director of international programs he secured a million dollars in grants to support UW’s efforts to internationalize its educational programs across all colleges.

He has published on 19th century Russian literature and in retirement is working on a book-length project on Dostoevsky (tentative title – First Words: On Dostoevsky’s Introductions).  He is the author of Alexander Bestuzhev-Marlinsky and Russian Byronism (The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995), which was translated and published in St. Petersburg (St. Petersburg: Akademicheskii proekt, 2001 and 2011). He is the translator of one of Bestuzhev-Marlinsky’s most popular society tales, The Test (in Russian Romantic Prose, Translation, Press, 1979). He also edited A Hero of Our Time: A Critical Companion (Northwestern University Press/AATSEEL, 2002), a volume which includes UW student and faculty translations of key studies of that classic Russian novel.  In 1984 he was the recipient of the John Ellbogen Meritorious Classroom Teaching award; in 1994 he received separately both the Mortar Board’s and the African American Community’s recognition for “contributions to UW and service to students”; and in 1996 the Provost presented him an “Excellence in Advising” award. On the international front, in 1998 Bagby received an honorary doctorate from UW’s partner institution in Russia, Saratov State University. In 2013 he was presented a “College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Former Faculty Member” award. He currently serves as a member of the UW Libraries Development Board, of which he is the chair (2013-2015).

Dr. Bagby has recently completed his groundbreaking investigation of Dostoevsky's forewards, prologues, and prefaces.  First Words:  On Dostoevsky's Introductions has been published (Dec. 2015) by Academic Studies Press. 

portrait photo of professor Bagby

Lewis Bagby

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