Katherine O'Connor

Professor Emeritus

Katherine Tiernan O’Connor, Professor of Russian emeritus, retired from Boston University in 2012 after 41 years of service. Her many contributions included longtime service as the director of the BU Humanities Foundation (1991-2008), precursor to today’s BU Center for the Humanities. As chair (1988-96) of the department then called Modern Languages and Comparative Literature, she administered one of the largest units on campus, a titanic omnibus department including all the languages and cultures now housed in Romance Studies and African Studies in addition to those now taught in WLL. In 1981 Professor O’Connor was awarded the Metcalf Cup and Prize for Excellence in Teaching. Her scholarly publications included vital studies and translations of 19th– and 20th-century Russian writers, with particular focus on Boris Pasternak and Anton Chekhov, as well as a much-needed retranslation of Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel The Master and Margarita. Among her distinctions were fellowships and awards from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Ford Foundation, IREX, and the National Endowment for the Humanities