Brodsky & Kline Translation Talk Chicago ASEEES 2017


Zakhar Ishov is an academic, a scholar of the Nobel-Prize winning poet Joseph Brodsky,  and a translator. He is currently a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Uppsala University. Previously, he held a two-year postdoctoral position within the Excellence Initiative Program at the University of Tübingen. He has two doctoral degrees: one in Russian literature (with a minor in Italian literature) from Yale University, for the dissertation “Joseph Brodsky & Italy” completed in Dec. 2015 under the guidance of Tomas Venclova; and one in English literature and Translation Studies from FU Berlin (summa cum laude), (2008) for his thesis: “Post-horse of civilization: Joseph Brodsky Translating Joseph Brodsky,” which he is now reworking for publication with the Northwestern University Press. He is fluent in four languages: Russian, English, Italian, and German. In 2009 he was a recipient of the Charles Hall Grandgent Award from The Dante Society of America for the best essay on Dante and Mandelstam. His co-translation of a Joseph Brodsky poem “With a View of the Sea” with British poet Glyn Maxwell was published in The New York Review of Books in April 2013.

Academic Positions

  • Present2018

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Uppsala University

    IRES Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies

  • 20182016

    Teach@Tuebingen Fellow Excellence Initiative

    Slavic Department, The Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen.

  • 20142013

    Visiting Instructor, Russian Languages and Literatures

    Modern Languages and Literatures, College of the Holy Cross

  • 20072003

    Russian Language Instructor, Beginner through Advanced

    Volkshochschule (adult education center), Berlin, Germany.


  • Ph.D. 2015

    Yale University, Dissertation: “Joseph Brodsky And Italy.” Russian Literature; Minor in Italian Literature.

    Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures

  • Ph.D. 2008

    Freie Universität Berlin, English Literature & Translation Studies, summa cum laude.

    Dissertation: “ ‘Post-horse of Civilisation’: Joseph Brodsky translating Joseph Brodsky. Towards a New Theory of Russian-English Poetry Translation.” Freie Universität Berlin

  • M.A./ B.A. 2003

    Magister Artium, English and Italian Languages And Literatures

    Freie Universität, Berlin, English and Italian Departments


Peer Reviewed Books

forthcoming       Found In Translation: The English Poet Joseph Brodsky, Northwestern University Press.

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

in press              “Joseph Brodsky: An Homage to Chekhov?” Wiener Slavistisches Jahrbuch, (2019)

2018                  “The Battlefield of Translation: Joseph Brodsky and Daniel Weissbort,” Wiener Slavistisches Jahrbuch.  N.F. 6: 122-142.

2017                   “Joseph Brodsky’s ‘December in Florence’: re-interpreting exile in the company of Dante,” Australian Slavonic and East European Studies Journal, 31/1-2: 121-163.

2015                   “Brodsky and Benjamin: translation as original’s afterlife,” in Przekladaniec: A  journal of Literary Translation, Magda Heydel (Ed.), Vol. 30: 9-32. .

Book Chapters

in press               «Joseph Brodsky et Daniel Weissbort: traduction et contestation », in Patrick Hersant (ed.), Traduire avec l’auteur : études et documents, Paris: Presses de l’université Sorbonne.

in press                “Matryoshka-Hamlet: Censorship in Nikolai Polevoi’s Popular Shakespeare Translation.” In: Understanding Misunderstanding. Vol. 1: Cross-Cultural Translation. Eds. T. Brzostowska-Tereszkiewicz, M. Rembowska-Płuciennik, B. Śniecikowska, Frankfurt/M. – Berlin – Bern – Bruxelles – New York – Oxford – Wien: Peter Lang Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften, 2019.

2018                   “Joseph Brodskys „December in Florence“: Das Exil im Schatten Dantes neu Interpretieren.” In: Franziska Meier, Ed., Dante-Rezeption nach 1800. Würzburg: Königsh. & Neumann: 221-244.

Conference Proceedings

2012                   “Eliot, Akhmatova, Brodsky: three Virgilian moments.” Atti del Convegno Internazionale di Studi Roma: “Poesia russa da Puskin a Brodskij. E ora?, Rome, Italy: “Ed. Nuova Cultura,” 93-106.


2013                   “With a View of the Sea” by Joseph Brodsky, translated with Glyn Maxwell, The New York Review of Books, Apr. 25.

in Submission

“Introduction to poetry in the form of poetry: Dante read by Mandelstam,” Slavic & East European Journal, Chapel Hill, NC. (“revise and submit”)

in Preparation

“Pushkin’s Translation of Ariosto – a History of a Neglected Connection,” Pushkin Review.

“Batyushkov’s Translation of Byron And the Birth of the Russian Elegy,” Translation Studies.

“Russian Berlin vs. Gay Berlin: Vladimir Nabokov and Christopher Isherwood Writing the Weimar Republic,” Comparative Literature Studies

“Brodsky and Lowell Translating Saba,” PMLA Journal.

“Brodsky’s Unknown English Translations of Mandelstam”, Russian Literature.

“MacNeice and Brodsky: Creation of a Poet’s Sacred Landscape,” Slavic Review.

“Between freedom and prison: Joseph Brodsky and the Soviet dissident movement.” (Monograph)

From Pushkin to Brodsky: Russian Poetry Looking Westward, University of Wisconsin Press. (Monograph)

Web-Based Publication

2008                   “‘Post-horse of Civilisation’: Joseph Brodsky translating Joseph Brodsky. Towards a New Theory of Russian-English Poetry Translation,” Berlin: FU Berlin.

Other Publications

2010                   “Pronto, Signor Tramonto!” from “A Tribute to Alexander Sumerkin,” Cardinal Points, #12, Vol. 2, New York: Stosvet Press, 126-151.

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