The campus community mourns the passing of Madhu Malik, who died on Friday, May 20. Madhu joined the Bucknell Faculty in 1983 and after teaching for 26 years, retired as Professor Emeritus of Russian in 2009.
A native of India, where she was born in 1947 on the eve of India’s independence, Madhu received her BA and MA in Russian Language and Literature from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, and her PhD in Slavic Folklore from the University of Virginia in 1982.
From 1974 to 1976, she studied at Moscow University, where she coauthored a monograph in Russian, Translation as an Aspect of Foreign Language Study. She also worked for Radio Moscow and as a translator and announcer for the Russian service of the All India Radio. She produced shows for both Radio Moscow and All India Radio.
Madhu published articles on the writings of Nikolai Gogol, the Russian folk singer Vladimir Vysotski, and The Wizard of Oz, and delivered many talks on folklore and communications at professional meetings around the world. She published a second book, Traditional Forms of Communication and the Mass Media in India (Unesco 1982), and most recently a book-length translation of Ivan Minayev’s Clever Wives and Happy Idiots: Folktales from the Kumaon Himalayas (2015).
While at Bucknell, Madhu taught popular classes in Russian language and culture, folklore and ritual, women in Russian culture, pop culture and guitar poetry. She advised the Russian Club for many years, organizing events such as the Ukrainian pysanka egg painting ceremony every spring. In addition to past service as director of the Bucknell Russian Studies Program, Madhu was, with Karen Dugger, a founding member of the Race/Gender Resource Center, and served as its co-director for many years.
Madhu was a beloved member of the Bucknell community and of Lewisburg, where she made her home for many years, surrounded by a multigenerational collection of deeply loyal friends. In retirement she travelled widely, dividing her time between New Delhi and Lewisburg while also visiting new places at every opportunity. She is survived by close family and friends in India and by many grieving friends in Lewisburg and beyond.
In lieu of flowers and cards, and in honor of Madhu’s training as a folklorist, if you are able to share stories or pictures in memory of Madhu, please send them to Katie Faull at firstname.lastname@example.org or to Meenakshi Ponnuswami at email@example.com, so that a living archive may be created and presented at a later date to her family.
Members of the Bucknell Community are encouraged to visit our In Memoriam Site at bucknell.edu/InMemoriam and share personal notes of sympathy and remembrance with others.
On behalf of the entire Bucknell community, I extend our deepest sympathies to Madhu’s family, as well as to all who knew her at Bucknell.
John C. Bravman