Professor Andy Kaufman Bio
Russian literature and language expert, author, and actor Dr. Andrew D. Kaufman has been bringing alive the Russian classics to Americans for 15 years. He holds a Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Stanford University, and he is both a published scholar and an innovative, award-winning teacher of Russian language, literature, and culture at some of America’s top universities.
Co-author of the renowned Russian for Dummies, Professor Kaufman has discussed Russian literature and culture on the national television show “Democracy Now!,” and he has been heard as a featured guest on Pacifica Radio, Talk America Radio, and on Silver Rain Radio in Russia. In 2005 Dr. Kaufman was a featured Russian literature expert for Oprah’s Book Club, where he became known to a national audience as a passionate, down-to-earth, and inspirational teacher of the Russian writer, Leo Tolstoy.
A fluent speaker of Russian, Professor Kaufman has lived extensively in Russia, where he studied at Moscow State University in 1989-90. He has lectured at the Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences and at the Leo Tolstoy Museum and Estate at Yasnaya Polyana, and he has worked as an interpreter, translator, and management consultant throughout Russia.
Professor Kaufman trained and worked as a professional actor for seven years. He helps people appreciate the rich tradition of Russian theater, and he draws on his acting skills to create captivating and enlightening talks, as well as inspirational readings from the Russian classics. Dr. Kaufman is currently a Lecturer and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Virginia, where he is completing a book about the universal relevance of Tolstoy’s novels.