headshot photo of Dr. Kevin O'Brien

Dr. Kevin O'Brien

Professor Emeritus of English
Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Department of English
Office Location: Wilkinson Hall 224
Office Hours: On sabbatical Spring 2014
Phone: (714) 744-7662
Bard College, Bachelor of Arts
University of California, Berkeley, Master of Arts
University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D.


Kevin O'Brien received a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature (with a dual emphasis on literature in English and in Russian) from UC Berkeley. He also studied at St. Petersburg University in Russia. His course topics and literary interests are quite diverse, though among his areas of specialization are 19th and 20th century Russian literature, modernisms, poetry, and lyrical prose. He recently co-taught a course (with Wendy Salmond) on the 20th c. Russian Avant-garde in art, film, and literature. His book publications include Saying Yes at Lightning: Threat and the Provisional Image in Post-Romantic PoetryKino-Eye: The Film Writings of Dziga Vertov (translation), and Elena Guro's The Little Camels of the Sky(translation).

 He is on sabbatical Spring 2014, working on a book on Tolstoy's War and Peace. The aim of the book is to demonstrate a pervasive underlying principle that gives unity and meaning to the vast and complex world of War and Peace.

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications

Forthcoming: “Tolstoy’s Connection vs. Separation Paradigm,” a chapter in an anthology of essays on War and Peace, edited by Leighton Brett Cooke, for Grey House Publishing.

Recent Talk: “Virginia Woolf Rewriting Tolstoy” at the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies annual conference. Boston 2013.

Translation of "We: Variant of a Manifesto" by Dziga Vertov in The Russia Reader: History, Culture, Politics. Durham, Duke University Press, 2010

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications

"Tolstoy's Connection vs. Separation Paradigm" in "War and Peace," edited by Brett Cooke. Ipswich, MA: Grey House Publishing/Salem Press, 2014. The book is an anthology of essays on Tolstoy's "War and Peace" in the Grey House "Critical Insights" series. My essay is in the "Critical Readings" section.
My translation of "We: Variant of a Manifesto" by Dziga Vertov was published in "The Russia Reader: History, Culture, Politics." Duke University, 2010.
My essay on Princess Marya in "War and Peace" was published in "The Sound: A Sufi Journal for the West," issue no. 262.