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Stephen J. and Fan Parker Slavic Library

In 2016, we are celebrating the tenth anniversary of the dedication of the Stephen J. and Fan Parker Slavic Library.

 

The library serves as an invaluable resource for Slavic students, faculty, and staff: It is the departments preferred venue for colloquia, small classes, study groups and social events.

The library houses a unique collection of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian literature and literary criticism donated by Stephen Parker's mother, Professor Fan Parker. We a re now in the fortunate position to continue growing the library with the generous support of our alumni, friends, and faculty who have donated funds and materials. If you would like to contribute to the Parker Library Fund, visit our Donations page. 

Small class taught in the Parker Slavic Library

Born in Riga, Latvia, Fan Parker came to the US while still in her teens. She received her BA from New York University and a Master of Arts in Germanic literatures. After earning a doctorate in Slavic Studies from Columbia University in 1945 she went on to found, develop, and chair the Russian Department at Brooklyn College, part of the City University of New York, for nearly four decades. She taught an array of courses in Russian language and 19th and 20th century Russian literature, and published writings, among others, in regard to Dostoevsky, Garshin, Soviet literature, the Russian artist Ilya Repin, children’s literature, and Alice in Wonderland.

Professor Parker's retirement colloquium at the Parker Slavic Library

Within the Parker Library is the substantial Joseph L. Conrad Memorial Collection, which contains the bulk of the late Professor Joseph L. Conrad's professional library. The Collection includes substantial and comprehensive works pertaining to the life and writings of the Russian writers Chekhov and Turgenev, as well as many others, as well as a wide-ranging collection of works on Slavic folklore, with an emphasis on Russian and South Slavic folk traditions. The collection was bequeathed to the Slavic Department following Professor Conrad's untimely death in 2003. It was dedicated, upon completion of the Library, on 7 April 2006. Professor Conrad's express wish was for his collection to continue to be used by Slavic Department colleagues and students.

 


In Memoriam

Reed Rankin ✝ 12/29/2019

The faculty and students in the Department Slavic Languages and Literatures are deeply saddened that one our undergraduate majors, Reed Rankin, passed away last week (12/29) in Fredonia, Kansas. Reed was a beloved student in the department and is fondly remembered by his peers and professors. He began studying Russian as a Freshman and stayed with a challenging but rewarding language for three and a half years, tackling introductory, intermediate, advanced levels, and even continuing his studies into his senior year with Russian for the Professions. We know that he was planning further study in Moscow in the next academic year, prior to matriculation at KU School of Law.

A thoughtful student, Reed often contributed insight and posed challenging questions in class. ​​ Reed’s dedication to the study of Russian language, culture, and history was tremendous and fueled by infectious curiosity. He showed great acumen in translating from Russian into English, always finding English-language equivalents for Russian cultural concepts through skillful use of one-liners from American films. We also treasured his ability to speak in fluid Russian about rural, farm life in Kansas, and the effects that natural phenomena, like floods, on a farming community. He was a pleasure to know and teach, and will be remembered for his kind and polite demeanor. Our thoughts are with Reed’s family at this time

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KU’s Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies program is one of only 12 federally-funded national resource centers in the US
Only doctoral program in Slavic Languages and Literatures between the Mississippi and the West Coast
100% of graduate students in the Slavic program had funding in academic year 2012-13
KU's Libraries house over 500,000 volumes of Slavic books and electronic editions
Two of the department’s last four doctoral candidates have won a Fulbright grants to conduct dissertation research abroad