Regents' Proceedings 301
Horace W. Dewey, Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, retired from active faculty status on May 31, 1988, after an unusually productive career as a teacher and scholar.
Born in China of missionary parents, Professor Dewey received his A.B. degree from The University of Michigan in 1942, following, which he served in the United States Army in Africa and Europe. He returned to The University of Michigan in 1946, where he served as a teaching fellow in Russian and German, and received his M.A., LL.B., and Ph.D. degrees in 1948, 1950, and 1955, respectively. He was appointed as an instructor in Russian in 1947, assistant professor in 1957, associate professor in 1959, and professor in 1962.
Professor Dewey taught a variety of classes on Russian language and literature, ultimately specializing in Old Russian literature and literature of the 18th century. Throughout much of his career he also regularly taught pre-Petrine Russian history in the Department of History. His attentiveness to his students and his deep knowledge of his subjects always made him an extremely popular teacher.
Professor Dewey's research interests centered on pre-Petrine Russia's literature and history, with special reference to its legal and institutional history. In analyzing primary sources on such seemingly prosaic subjects as interest rates, tax-collecting procedures, amnesties, etc., he attempted to show the effect such institutions and practices had on the lives of Russian people. Professor Dewey was also interested in teaching methods for the Russian language. He was active in teacher exchange programs with the USSR, conducting study tours to that country and hosting delegations of Soviet teachers in Ann Arbor in cooperation with the English Language Institute.
An unusually gifted linguist, Professor Dewey is fluent in Russian, French, and German, and he has maintained his childhood knowledge of Chinese through continuous study of that language. He has served the University on many occasions as interpreter for foreign visitors. His published works include many reviews and articles, and the following books: Reading and Translating Contemporary Russian, Muscovite Judicial Texts: Russian Private Law XIV-XVII Centuries, and Court Law for the People (Zakon Sudnyj Liudem). He continues his scholarship, and several book-length studies are currently in progress.
The Regents now salute this distinguished educator for his dedicated service by naming Horace W. Dewey Professor Emeritus of Slavic Languages and Literatures.