University of Vermont

University Communications


German and Russian, International Studies
Arts & Sciences
Public Relations:Lee Ann Cox (802)656-1107
Specialty:Catherine the Great and 18th-century Russian literature; Russian satire
Biography:McKenna is past director of the UVM Area and International Studies Program and a professor of Russian. An authority on Catherine the Great and 18th-Century Russian literature, he conducts teaching and research in the area of Russian satire. His most recent book, "All the Views Fit to Print: Changing Images of the U.S. in Russian 'Pravda' Political Cartoons, 1917-1991" (2001), is a content analysis of Pravda's editorial caricatures. That book is a study of the newspaper's mission to define the "American way of life" for Russian readers during the Soviet era. An authority on the political, social, and cultural changes in Russia under President Putin and, now Medvedev, McKenna teaches a course on crime and corruption in today's Russia. He also conducts research in Russian lexicology (word roots) and paremiology (proverbs). This work is reflected in his edited volume "Proverbs in Russian Literature: From Catherine the Great to Alexander Solzhenitsyn" (1998). He also co-authored an advanced-level textbook, "Reading Russian Newspapers" (1985). McKenna developed a Business Russian course in the German/Russian Department and team-teaches another course "The Culture of Doing Business in Russia" in the School of Business Administration. He assists students to locate jobs in Russia upon graduation. His UVM honors include the Kroepsch-Maurice Award for Excellence in Teaching. McKenna is also an authority on contemporary Russian culture, giving lectures each year for the Smithsonian Institution in St. Petersburg, Russia.