❍ Year of graduation: 1984
❍ Field of current or former occupation: Academia
Question: What is your current occupation and where do you live? Please briefly describe your duties and responsibilities. How long have you been at this position?
Katya Hokanson: I live in Eugene, Oregon and teach at the University of Oregon in their Comparative Literature Dept and their Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies Program, as an associate professor. I have been in Comparative Literature since 1995 and in both units since 2008. I teach four courses per year for REEES and one for comparative Lit and advise PhD students (Comp Lit) and MA students (REEES) as well as undergrads.
Question: Did studying Russian language and culture at Williams help you in your professional and personal development? If yes, then how were Russian Studies were useful to you? What opportunities and challenges did the Russian major open up for you both specific to your current occupation and more generally?
Katya Hokanson: Yes, my Russian major led to my PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures at Stanford University.
Question: Please share your advice or recommendation about the Russian department at Williams to a prospective student who is considering taking courses or majoring in our program.
Katya Hokanson: Obviously, I graduated some time ago (1984) when my professors were Nick Fersen, Melissa Smith, Michael Katz, and Darra for one year, so my experience is different from those with the current configuration. However, by reputation (and I know or have met everyone except the newest faculty member) the Williams Russian Dept. is excellent and I have recommended it to students currently at Williams.
If you would like to write to Katya Hokanson, please contact Baktygul Aliev.