Erika Haber

Associate Professor, Russian Language, Literature, and Culture; Russian Program Coordinator and Undergraduate Advisor

Research and Teaching Interests

Professor Haber's most recent research interests are in the fields of Russian children's literature and fairy tales. Her latest book Oz Behind the Iron Curtain: Aleksandr Volkov and his Magic Land Series is currently under contract with UP Mississippi and due out in late 2017. A sample of Haber's Volkov research may be found here: “Is Magic Land Oz? A.M. Volkov and the Question of Originality” Детские чтения. Vol. 6, #2, 2014, 255-268. Previously, she specialized in the stylistics and verbal art of Russian post-Stalinist fantastic literature. In her last book-length project, The Myth of the Non-Russian: Iskander and Aitmatov's Magical Universe (2003), Haber focused on the use and integration of native myth in the subtlety subversive magical realism of non-Russian Russian writers, Chingiz Aitmatov and Fazil Iskander. Her dissertation and earliest scholarship used Structuralist and Russian Formalist theories to investigate the fantastic realism of Siniavsky-Tertz, who was sentenced to hard labor in 1966 for the words of his fictional characters. Haber has also used her extensive language-teaching experience to compose three language texts, including a Russian self-study course, Mastering Russian (1994) and her Russian Phrasebook and Dictionary (1994). The fall of the Soviet Union caused significant cultural changes to Russian society, which necessitated composing a new text for the traveler, entitled Russian-English/English-Russian Dictionary & Phrasebook (2003/2007).


•    Ph.D., Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Michigan

•    C.A.S. (Certificate of Advanced Study), Russian Translation, University at Albany

•    M.A., Slavic Languages and Literatures, University at Albany

•    Graduate study at Moscow State University, МГУ

•    Intensive graduate classes at the Russian School of Norwich University

•    B.A., magna cum laude, Russian major/double minor in German and History, University at Albany

•    Intensive language classes at the Russian School of Norwich University


•    Associate Professor of Russian Language, Literature & Culture. Syracuse University, 8/2001-present.

•    Assistant Professor of Russian Language, Literature & Culture. Syracuse University, 8/1995-7/2001.

•    Lecturer in Russian Language and Literature. Pomona College, 9/1994-5/1995.

•    Bilingual Lexicographer, 1986-1988. Helped to research, evaluate, and write entries. Input data and worked on typesetting of Professor Sophia Lubensky's Russian-English Dictionary of Idioms, New York: Random House, 1995, 1117 pp. A revised and updated version was published by Yale UP in 2013.

Awards and Honors

Appointed to the National Screening Committee for Fulbright Scholar Research Awards for Russia and Armenia, 2015-16, and for Russia, 2016-17.

Chosen as one of Ten Outstanding Faculty Members in the Nation, 2012-13, by Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity. Selected from faculty representing over 120 colleges and universities.


RUS 101-406 Beginning through Advanced Russian Language courses

RUS 319 Russian Press Readings

RUS 320 Contemporary Russian Media

RUS/LIT 331 Russian Culture Through Fiction and Film

RUS/LIT 332 Russian Fairy Tales and Folklore

RUS 351 Introduction to 19th-Century Russian Literature/19th-Century Russian Short Story/Love and Death in 19th Century Russian Fiction/The Language and Poetry of Pushkin/The Golden Age of Russian Literature

RUS 352 Introduction to 20th-Century Russian Literature/Avant-Garde Russian Literature of the Twenties/Post-Stalinist Prose/Contemporary Prose and Poetry of Petersburg/Contemporary Russian Short Fiction/Chingiz Aitmatov’s И дольше века длится день

RUS/LIT 361 Russian Literary Film Adaptations

RUS/LIT 362 Russia Today

RUS/LIT 400 Siberia: Myth and Reality

RUS 620 Russian for Research Purposes

CAS 101 Freshman Forum


Haber Myth

The Myth of the Non-Russian: Iskander and Aitmatov's Magical Universe. Lanham, Boulder, New York, Oxford: Lexington Books, 2003, 170 pp. 


Russian-English/English-Russian Dictionary & Phrasebook. New York, NY: Hippocrene Books, Inc., 2003/2007, 390 pp.


Mastering Russian. New York, NY: Hippocrene Books, Inc., 1994, 368 pp.


Russian Phrasebook and Dictionary. New York, NY: Hippocrene Books, Inc., 1991, 228 pp.
Completely revised for a 2nd edition in 1994. Reprinted for a 1998 edition.

Recent Presentations and Participation

“A.M. Volkov’s Urfin Dzhius: Playful Fairy Tale or Post-Stalinist Allegory?” for the conference, “The High Stakes and Dark Sides of Children’s Literature,” sponsored by the Children’s Literature Association, Richmond, VA, 18-20 June 2015.

«The Conflict of Texts: A.M. Volkov's Magic Land Series» for the conference «Children's Literature as a Territory of Conflicts: Texts, Personalities, and Institutions» at the Institute of Russian Literature (Pushkin House), the Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia, 1 June 2014.

 “Служить родине! Peter the Great in Aleksandr Volkov’s Два брата” for the panel History Through the Lens of Soviet Children’s Literature and Illustration at the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies Conference, Boston, MA. 21 November 2013.

“A Translator is More than a Translator: The Importance of Translations in Russian Children’s Literature,” Chair of the roundtable panel including participation by Olga Bukhina, Judith Inggs, and Michael Patrick Hearn at the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies Conference, Boston, MA. 23 November 2013.

“Alexander Volkov and The Wizard of Oz: or What Happens when a Mathematician becomes a Children’s Author” for the panel “Western Influence and Cultural Translation in East Slavic Popular Culture” at the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies conference, New Orleans, LA, 18 November 2012.

“Adaptation or Appropriation: How The Wizard of Oz was transformed into The Wizard of the Emerald City” American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages, Philadelphia, PA, 29 December 2009.

“Communist Utopia Reconsidered: The Subversive Soviet Fairy Tales of Shvarts and Shukshin.” American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, Philadelphia, PA 23 November 2008.