- Fulbright Award (1959)
Michael Ginsburg was a professor emeritus of Slavic languages and literatures and the first chairman of the Slavic department at IU. He earned J.D.s from the Demidov Law College in Yaroslav in 1920 and the University of Petrograd in 1925 as well as a doctorate es lettres from the University of Paris in 1931. He came to the U.S. in 1931 where he joined the faculty of the University of Nebraska as an assistant professor of east European history and of classical philology and archaeology. In 1938, he was promoted to associate professor and to professor in 1940. Ginsburg took a leave from the university to serve as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force during World War II. During his leave, he also served as chief of the internal political section in the USSR Division of the Office Research and Intelligence at the Department of State from 1945 to 1947. When he returned to academia, he remained with the U.S. Air Force as a reserve officer and was promoted to major in 1949. Ginsburg took an appointment on IU's faculty in 1947 as a professor of Russian language and civilization, the university's first professor of Russian. Within two years, he established the Department of Slavic Studies at IU and was named its first chairman. In 1951, he organized the first annual summer Russian Workshop which grew into the largest summer Russian program in the U.S. By the end of 1958, he established a Ph.D. program in Slavic languages and literatures at IU. In 1966, Ginsburg retired from IU as a professor emeritus.
Ginsburg's research interests focused upon the whole of Russian culture including Russian literature and art. Throughout his many publications, his writings reflected themes of law, classical philology, and Jewish culture particularly in its relation to Russian culture. Ginsburg received a Fulbright award in 1959 to research in Finland and two Guggenheim Fellowships in 1939 and 1942.
Ginsburg passed away on October 18, 1982.