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Cavanagh Named Miller Research Professor

November 1, 2005

Clare Cavanagh, associate professor of Slavic languages and literatures and of gender studies, has been named the Herman and Beulah Pearce Miller Research Professor in Literature at Northwestern University.

Her research interests include 19th and 20th century Russian poetry; Polish and Russian literature, history and culture; comparative modernism; and gender theory.

An accomplished translator and author, Cavanagh won the 1996 American Teachers of Slavic and Eastern European Languages (AASEEL) Award for Outstanding Scholarship for her book about 20th century Russian poet Osip Mandelstam.

Titled “Osip Mandelstam and the Modernist Creation of Translation,” the book won critical acclaim for its scholarship. “The work is meticulous,” wrote a reviewer for The Times Literary Supplement.

Cavanagh’s translation of poetry by Nobel Prize-winning writer Wislawa Szymborska earned her the 1996 PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Prize for Outstanding Translation and the ATSEEL Prize for Outstanding Translation. The Swedish Academy called her collection “an excellent survey.”

Her essays and translations have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, Partisan Review, Common Knowledge and many other publications.

Cavanagh has a forthcoming book from Farrar Straus Giroux titled “Czeslaw Miosz and his Century: A Critical Life.” It explores the poetry, life and culture that shaped 1980 Nobel Prize winner Milosz. Milosz, who worked for Polish underground presses during World War II and as a diplomat of the People’s Poland at the wars end, broke from the Polish government in 1951 and moved abroad.

Supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship, Cavanagh wrote the forthcoming “Poetry and Power: Russia, Poland and the West.” The book examines Russian and Polish romantic myths of the poet-prophet and the conflicts that arose as these “poet-prophets” came into contact with Soviet power.

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