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German & Scandinavian Studies, Deparment of Languages and Literatures


Robert A. Rothstein
Adjunct Professor of German & Scandinavian Studies
Walter Raleigh Amesbury, Jr. and Cecile Dudley Amesbury Professor of Polish Language, Literature, and Culture
Professor of Comparative Literature and Judaic and Near Eastern Studies
Adjunct Professor of Linguistics

Contact Information
Location: Herter Hall
Phone: (413) 545-0894
Email: rar[at]

About Me
Robert A. Rothstein was trained in linguistics by Noam Chomsky, Morris Halle and Roman Jakobson, but also has a long-standing interest in folklore. In addition to publications in the field of Slavic linguistics, his bibliography includes such titles as "The Poetics of Proverbs," "Yiddish Songs of Drunkenness," "The Popular Song in Wartime Russia," "The Girl He Left Behind: Women in East European Songs of Emigration," "Klezmer-loshn: The Language of Jewish Folk Musicians," and "How It Was Sung in Odessa: At the Intersection of Russian and Yiddish Folk Culture." Since 2004 he has contributed a regular column on Polish language, literature and folklore called ìTwo Words to the Wiseî to the Boston biweekly newspaper Bialy Orzel / White Eagle. At UMass, where he directs the Program in Slavic and East European Studies, he has taught Polish, Russian, Yiddish, Belarusian and Slovak, as well as courses in folklore, linguistics, and Yiddish literature and culture. He holds a joint appointment in the Department of Judaic & Near Eastern Studies, an adjunct appointment in the Department of Linguistics and in 2006 was appointed the Walter Raleigh Amesbury, Jr., and Cecile Dudley Amesbury Professor of Polish Language, Literature and Culture.

Research Interests
Folklore, Slavic linguistics, Polish, Russian, Yiddish, Belarussian, and Slovak

Ph.D. 1967, Harvard University
A.M. 1961, Harvard University
S.B. 1960, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Current and Recent Courses
Polish 110-240: Elementary-Intermediate Polish

Selected Publications