Benjamin Rifkin

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Brief Bio: 

I am a professor of Russian and conduct research in the area of foreign language education, the power of the liberal arts, transformative learning experiences, and the performance-based assessment of learning outcomes.

Full Bio: 

Dr. Benjamin Rifkin is Dean of the Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Professor of Russian at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. Rifkin has published over two dozen articles in peer-reviewed journals both in the USA and Russia, as well as chapters in edited volumes on these topics. He is the author or co-author of textbooks for Russian including Advanced Russian through History (Yale University Press), and Panorama:  Intermediate Russian Language and Culture (Georgetown U. Press).  Rifkin was the leader of the RAILS (Russian Advanced Interactive Listening Series) Project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, funded by a grant from the US Department of Education.  He has served on the Editorial Board of the Slavic & East European Journal, the Russian Language Journal, the NECTFL Review, and the Foreign Language Annals.  He has also served on the boards of directors of the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (and served as president of the association), the American Council of Teachers of Russian, the Northeast Conference (on Language Teaching), the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, and the NJ Council for the Humanities.  He has been recognized by awards for scholarship (AATSEEL), teaching and advising (University of Wisconsin-Madison), and service (AATSEEL, ACTR, Middlebury College, Islamic Center of Long Island).

Teaching and Research Interests:  

Russian language, literature, film; Applied Linguistics; Foreign Language Teacher Education; Liberal Arts learning outcomes; Transformative learning experiences and significant learning.


  • BA, MA in Russian & East European Studies from Yale University
  • AM and PhD in Slavic Languages and Literature from the University of Michigan




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