Vladimir Padunov, long-time professor of Slavic languages and literatures and film studies at the University of Pittsburgh and member of the Apparatus editorial board, died on June 26, 2022, a few weeks after his 75th birthday.
Volodya had been battling cancer for some time, so while his death did not come as a surprise, it was still a shock. As his colleague and friend for 35 years, it’s hard for me to grasp that this brilliant, passionate, eccentric man is no longer with us. His contributions to Russian and Slavic film studies as a teacher, scholar, and curator are as legendary as his vast erudition and exacting intellectual standards. It’s well-known that Volodya did not suffer fools, but although he could sometimes be prickly, he was also kind-hearted and extraordinarily generous. To offer one small example of his generosity, Volodya’s unstinting support of my work early in my career, which included persuading the University of Texas Press to publish a second edition of my first book, made an enormous difference to me. Why did he bother? He received nothing in return (apart from my enduring gratitude), but this is who he was, a true original, настоящий человек.
Vladimir Padunov will be sorely missed by his family (including his wife Nancy Condee and their children Kira and Nikolai), his many friends and colleagues around the world, and his legion of students past and present.
Denise J. Youngblood
University of Vermont