HAROLD B. SEGEL is professor emeritus of Slavic literatures and of comparative literature at Columbia University. A native of Boston, he graduated from Boston Latin School in 1947, Boston College in 1951 with a degree in modern languages, and Harvard University with a Ph. D. in Slavic languages and literatures in 1955. He began his teaching career at the University of Florida in Gainesville in September 1955. In January 1959 he joined the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Columbia University. At Columbia, he has held appointments in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the School of the Arts, the School of International and Public Affairs, and the School of General Studies. He was director of graduate studies in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, 1977-80; member, Council for Research in the Humanities, Columbia University, 1977-79; chairman of the Council, 1978-79; member, the Columbia University Senate, 1978-80, 1980-82; and director, Institute on East Central Europe, 1978-88. Professor Segel has held visiting professorships at Indiana University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Stockholm University in Sweden. He has been a member of the Board of Trustees, The Kosciuszko Foundation, 1992-98; and a member of the Board of Directors, Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America, 1999 -. Professor Segel has been the recipient of numerous fellowships, grants, and awards. He was twice decorated in 1975 by the Polish government for contributions on behalf of Polish culture, first at the Ministry of Culture in Warsaw and again at the Polish Consulate in New York.
Professor Segel's extensive publications fall into several areas: Polish literature; Russian literature; East European studies, German and Austrian literatures; and comparative literature.
In the field of Polish literature, he is the author of such books as The Major Comedies of Alexander Fredro (Princeton, 1969); Polish Romantic Drama (Cornell, 1977; new edition, Harwood, London, 1997. Cloth and paper eds.); Renaissance Culture in Poland: The Rise of Humanism, 1470-1543 (Cornell, 1989); Stranger in Our Midst: Images of the Jew in Polish Literature (Cornell, 1996. Cloth and paper eds.); and Political Thought in Renaissance Poland: An Anthology in English (PIASA, 2003). He was also an editor of Poles and Jews: Myth and Reality in the Historical Context (Institute on East Central Europe, 1984). His translation of Aleksander Fredro’s Topsy Turvy Talk, Being the Napoleonic Memoirs of Count Alexander Fredro, initiated the Polish Review Library of Polish Classics series, published as an e-book (208/30 Press, 2010).
In the field of Russian literature, he has published: The Literature of Eighteenth-Century Russia: A History and Anthology in two volumes (Dutton, 1967. Cloth and paper eds.); The Trilogy of Alexander Sukhovo-Kobylin (Dutton, 1969; reissued by Harwood, London, in 1995 as The Death of Tarelkin and Other Plays: The Trilogy of Alexander Sukhovo-Kobylin. Cloth and paper eds.); and Twentieth-Century Russian Drama from Gorky to the Present (Columbia, 1979; updated ed., 1993, Johns Hopkins. Cloth and paper eds. ).
In the field of East European studies, he is the author of The Columbia Guide to the Literatures of Eastern Europe Since 1945 (Columbia, 2003) and The Columbia Literary History of Eastern Europe Since 1945 (Columbia, 2008).
In the field of Austrian and German literatures, he has published: The Vienna Coffeehouse Wits, 1890-1938 (Purdue, 1993; paperback ed., 1995) and Egon Erwin Kisch: The Raging Reporter (Purdue, 1997).
In the field of comparative literature, he has published: The Baroque Poem: A Comparative Survey (Dutton, 1974; reprinted 1983. Cloth and paper eds.); Turn-of-the-Century Cabaret: Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, Munich, Vienna, Cracow, Moscow, St, Petersburg, Zurich (Columbia, 1987; paperback ed., 1990); Pinocchio's Progeny: Puppets, Marionettes, Robots, and Automatons in Modernist and Avant-Garde Drama (Johns Hopkins, 1995. Cloth and paper eds.); and Body Ascendant: Modernism and the Physical Imperative (Johns Hopkins, 1998). With the exception of Body Ascendant, all these books contain chapters or materials dealing with Poland.
Professor Segel's contributions to books include:
"Mickiewicz and the Arabic Qasidah," American Contributions to the Fifth International Congress of Slavists (1963); "From Albertus to Zagloba: The Soldier Braggart in Polish Literature," Indiana Slavic Studies (1963); "From the History of Polish Romantic Orientalism: Aleksander Chodêko's Derar," Orbis Scriptus: Dmitrij Tschizewskij zum 70. Geburtstag (1966); "Jeremiasz Curtin – tlumacz dziel Sienkiewicza," Literatura Komparatystyka Folklor: Ksiega poswiecona Julianowi Krzyzanowskiemu (1968); "Polish Drama and Theater," Reader's Encyclopedia of World Drama (1969); "Classicism and Classical Antiquity in Eighteenth- and Early Nineteenth-Century Russia," The Eighteenth Century in Russia (1973); "Czeslaw Milosz and the Landscape of Exile," Cross Currents: A Yearbook of Central European Culture (1982); " A Comparative View of the Puppet Aspect of Wyspianski's The Wedding," Polish Theatre and Dramatic Technique (Uppsala, Sweden, 1983); "Russian Cabaret in the European Context: Preliminary Considerations," Theatre and Literature in Russia 1900-1930 (Stockholm, Sweden, 1984); "Drama," Handbook of Russian Literature (1985); “The Humanist as Lover: Conrad Celtis in Cracow," Ars Philologica Slavica: Festschrift für Heinrich Kunstmann (Munich, Germany, 1988); "Maxim Gorky," European Writers: The Twentieth Century (1989); "German Expressionism and Early Soviet Drama," Russian Theatre in the Age of Modernism (1990); "Drama and Struggle: The Wartime Stage Repertoire," Culture and Entertainment in Wartime Russia (1995); "Culture in Poland During World War I," European Culture in the Great War: The Arts, Entertainments, and Propaganda, 1914-1918 (1999); " Pantomime, Dance, Sprachskepsis, and Physical Culture in German and Austrian Modernism," The Great Tradition and Its Legacy: The Evolution of Dramatic and Musical Theater in Austria and Central Europe (2003).
Professor Segel and his family currently live in Tucson, Arizona.