Eugene Ostashevsky

Clinical Professor of Liberal Studies

Ph.D., Stanford University

Areas of Interest: My main interests lie at the intersection of poetry, philosophy of language, philosophy of math, epistemology, and translation. Unfortunately, such an intersection might not exist.

Course(s) Taught: Cultural Foundations I, II, & III, Social Foundations III


    NYU Humanities Initiative Faculty Research Fellowship, 2010-2011.
    The National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship for Translation Project, 2010.
    New York Foundation for the Arts, Poetry Fellowship, 2005.
    ACLS/SSRC/NEH International and Area Studies Fellowship, 2004.
    The Wytter Bynner Foundation Poetry Translation Prize, 2003.

Teaching Statement: Poet and cultural arbiter Ezra Pound once defined literature as “news that stays new.” My teaching hews closely to Pound’s proclamation. I ask students to project themselves into classic texts, pictures, and films, in order to see these worlds from the points of view of their characters, including the author; and thus to understand the characters’ choices in the light of the options available to them. Although I am obsessed with dependence of meaning on historical context, what ultimately renders a work canonical—i.e., not boring—for me is the force with which it escapes preconceived notions, the way it sabotages systems of political dominance (such as morality or utility) to show the tragedy and slapstick of being human.



  • Iterature. Brooklyn, NY: Ugly Duckling Presse, 2005

Translation and Scholarship:

  • OBERIU: An Anthology of Russian Absurdism. Poetry, fiction, and drama by Alexander Vvedensky, Daniil Kharms, Nikolai Zabolotsky, Nikolai Oleinikov, Yakov Druskin and Leonid Lipavsky. Ed.; trans. with Matvei Yankelevich. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2006.
Updated on 11/08/2016