James Russell

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Professor James Russell of Harvard University offers courses in Classical and Modern Armenian language, on the Armenian Epic of Sasun, on the writings of the mystic poet St. Gregory of Narek, and on the folk beliefs and practices of the Armenian people. He has also taught two Freshman Seminars, "Greece and the East" and "Linguistics and Racism," a House Seminar ("Four Alienated Visionary Writers of Cambridge: T.S. Eliot, Delmore Schwartz, Vladimir Nabokov, and William S. Burroughs"), and an Introduction to the Zoroastrian Religion, as well as offering sophomore and junior tutorials on mystical texts. Before coming to Harvard in 1993, he was Lady Davis Fellow and Visting Associate Professor of Armenian and Ancient Iranian at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Books: Zoroastrianism in Armenia , Yovhannes T'lkuranc'i and the Mediaeval Armenian Lyric Tradition . A few recent articles: "Problematic Snake Children of Armenia", "On Mysticism and Esotericism amongst the Zoroastrians", "The Mother of All Heresies: A Late Mediaeval Armenian Text on the Yushkaparik", "The Armenian Shrines of the Black Youth", "Polyphemos Armenios", "An Epic for the Borderlands... the Mythologem of Alcestis in Armenia", "Ezekiel and Iran", and "Scythians and Avesta in an Armenian Vernacular Paternoster." He was Government Fellowship Lecturer at the Cama Institute in Bombay, India, and has been a frequent guest of the Armenian Academy of Sciences. He enjoys swimming and lives in Cambridge with his cat.