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Visiting Assistant Professor of Russian

Office Hours

Office:  KEI 217

Monday 2:15-3:30; Thursday 10:00-11:30


B.A., Carleton College, Russian Studies

Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, Comparative Literature (Russian & German)

Research and Teaching 

My primary research focuses on cultures of realism, social reform and utopia in mid-nineteenth century Russia. My book project analyzes the fascinating discursive strategies used to span the gap between empirical realities and sweeping visions of social and spiritual transformation. I focus particularly on the the literary and social criticism of Vissarion Belinsky and Nikolai Dobroliubov and on the prose and journalism of Fyodor Dostoevsky.  Although Russian is my dominant area of interest, I have also worked extensively in German, applying the above questions to the early Enlightenment culture of the German-speaking world.

My teaching extends far beyond my research. In recent years I have been teaching a course on Russian film in the context of the social, political and cultural upheavals spanning the late imperial through the Stalinist periods. I've also developed and taught a course on Russian poetry conducted entirely in Russian, as well as courses focused on the social and cultural history of nineteenth-century Russia as well as the utopias and anti-utopias of the twentieth century. I very much enjoy teaching the fascinating  Russian language at any level from beginner to advanced. 

I operate the website luchsveta.org, a public humanities project used by Russian language learners and instructors around the world. The website curates compelling clips related to contemporary social and cultural issues in Russia and presents them with introductions and transcripts as a tool for intermediate and advanced language learning. The project is particularly useful for developing the ability to comprehend authentic, contemporary spoken Russian while learning about the issues that concern Russian people today.


"'Wondrous Life': Dobroliubov's 'Organic' Reception of  Chernyshevskii's Rationalist Aesthetics." Forthcoming in Russian Literature.

"Imitation and Moral Transformation: The Clash of Competing Poetic Imperatives in J. C. Gottsched's Dichtkunst." The German Quarterly 87.1 (Winter 2014)

"Realist Convictions and Revolutionary Impatience in the  Criticism of N. A. Dobroliubov." Slavic and East European Journal 57.1 (Spring 2013)