Thomas Hodge

Professor of Russian

Interests include history of 19th-century Russian literature, Russian nature writing, and Russian music.

I've devoted most of my research to the nexus of Russian literature and Russian music in the 1800s, and to the history of nineteenth-century Russian nature writing and hunting literature. My most recent work is a book-length analysis of Turgenev as a nature writer: Hunting Nature: Ivan Turgenev and the Organic World, published in 2020 by Cornell University Press. An authorized Russian translation of the book -- Природа охотника: Тургенев и органический мир -- was published in 2022 by Academic Studies Press / Bibliorossika.

Over the years I've taught more than a dozen different courses, though now I focus on elementary Russian language and nineteenth-century Russian novels and poems. I teach these literature courses in both English and Russian. In 2000, with Professor Marianne Moore of the Biological Sciences Department, I co-founded Lake Baikal: The Soul of Siberia, a course that sent a dozen Wellesley students to the great lake nine times over the span of two decades.

I write occasional program notes for the Salzburg Festival's concerts of Russian music, as well as liner notes for Deutsche Grammophon. I also collaborate with local musicians who feature Russian repertoire.

I was born and raised in Northern California. In college I played catcher for four years on the varsity baseball team; here's some grainy video evidence from March 1983: Bunt | Tag. These days I enjoy spending time with my wife and two children, commuting on my bike, cooking, catch-and-release fly-fishing, fly-tying, birdwatching, mushroom-hunting, canoeing, hiking, and camping. Sometimes I skip rocks.

Humanities Wellesley



  • B.A., Pomona College
  • M.A., Oxford University
  • A.M., Stanford University
  • Ph.D., Stanford University

Current and upcoming courses

  • Survey of Russian fiction from the Age of Pushkin (1820s-1830s) to Tolstoy's mature work (1870s) focusing on the role of fiction in Russian history, contemporaneous critical reaction, literary movements in Russia, and echoes of Russian literary masterpieces in the other arts, especially film and music. Major works by Pushkin (Eugene Onegin, "The Queen of Spades"), Lermontov (A Hero of Our Time), Gogol (Dead Souls), Pavlova (A Double Life), Turgenev (Fathers and Children), Tolstoy (Anna Karenina), and Dostoevsky (Crime and Punishment) will be read.