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An inspiring, dedicated teacher, Kopper is known for leading discussions in which everyone is encouraged to share ideas freely. His students describe his courses as formative to their Dartmouth experience and to their appreciation of literature, art, and the world itself. The leading scholar on the Russian émigré Boris Poplavsky, Kopper's scholarly interests include 19th- and 20th-century European and Russian authors and the Symbolist and Modernist movements.
Kopper chaired the Russian department for eight years and advised numerous students on their thesis work.
Several of these students completed doctoral programs in Slavic Studies and have become notable scholars. He chaired the Comparative Literature Program for five years and was instrumental in creating the graduate program in comparative literature. He also served as a supportive mentor to younger colleagues. For Dartmouth's 250th celebrations, he and Associate Professor of Anthropology Sienna Craig organized a conference detailing the history of women professors at the College.
Recently, Kopper says, he experienced something he'd heard colleagues describe as a "generational moment": Teaching the daughter of a student he'd taught in the early 1990s was "both thrilling and touching."
Looking back, he considers himself lucky to have been at the College, where seeing new students' faces every fall "is like reading a newspaper with the ink not yet dry," Kopper says. "Their quick brilliance at the 11th hour … offers a bracing, invigorating lesson in the contemporary world."
Taken from Dartmouth in the news.