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Erin Alpert
Robert Bird
Hillary Brevig
Drew Chapman
Nancy Condee
Chip Crane
Alyssa DeBlasio
Beach Gray
Sergei Kapterev
Olga Klimova

Vsevolod Korshunov
Nicola Kuchta
Marcia Landy
Neepa Majumdar
Gerald McCausland
Vladimir Padunov
Natalia Ryabchikova
Sasha Senderovich
Oleg Sulkin
Elise Thorsen

Erin Alpert Erin Alpert

Erin Alpert received her BA in Russian Studies from the College of William and Mary. She is currently a fourth year graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. Her research interests include documentary cinema, GULAG studies and Holocaust studies.
Robert Bird Robert Bird

The University of Chicago
Associate Professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Cinema and Media Studies, and the College; Associate Faculty in the Divinity School. Robert Bird’s main area of interest is the aesthetic practice and theory of Russian modernism. His first full-length book Russian Prospero (2006) is a comprehensive study of the poetry and thought of Viacheslav Ivanov. He is also the author of two books on the film-maker Andrei Tarkovsky: Andrei Rublev (2004) and Andrei Tarkovsky: Elements of Cinema (2008). His translations of Russian religious thought include On Spiritual Unity: A Slavophile Reader (1998) and Viacheslav Ivanov’s Selected Essays (2001). His works in progress include a biography of Dostoevsky and an article on the epistolary films of Aleksandr Medvedkin and Chris Marker.

Hillary BrevigHillary Brevig

Hillary Brevig received her B.A. in Russian from Reed College (2006) and her M.A. in Russian Literature from the University of Pittsburgh (2010). She is currently a fourth year graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. Her research interests include postmodern literature and culture, as well as the glorious, glorious offerings of post-postmodernism.

Drew Chapman Drew Chapman

Drew Chapman is a PhD candidate in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh. He holds a BA in Russian from the University of Rochester (2004) and MA in Russian Literature from the University of Pittsburgh (2007).
He is currently writing his dissertation on narratives of queuing and waiting in Soviet and Russian culture.
Nancy Condee Nancy Condee

Slavic Department; Director of Global Studies (Title VI NRC). Publications include The Imperial Trace: Recent Russian Cinema (Oxford, 2009); Antimonies of Art and Culture: Modernity, Postmodernity, Contemporaneity, co-edited with Terry Smith and Okwui Enwezor (Duke, 2008); Endquote: Sots-Art Literature and Soviet Grand Style, co-edited with Marina Balina and Evgeny Dobrenko (Northwestern UP, 2000); Soviet Hieroglyphics: Visual Culture in Late 20c. Russia, ed. (BFI/Indiana UP, 1995). She is Executive Director of the CD-rom on Thaw cinema, Kino ottepeli (Moscow: Artima Studio, 2002).
Her work, with Vladimir Padunov and separately, has appeared in The Nation, The Washington Post, October, New Left Review, Sight and Sound, and PMLA, as well as major Russian cultural journals (Ab imperio, Znamia, Voprosy literatury, Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, Iskusstvo kino). She has worked as a consultant for the Edinburgh Film Festival, the Library of Congress, and Public Broadcasting for several Frontline documentaries.
Chip Crane Chip Crane

Chip Crane is a PhD candidate in the Department of Theatre Arts at the University of Pittsburgh. He holds a B.A. in Theatre Studies from Georgia State University and an M.A. in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. His publications include articles on Sergei Tret'iakov’s Roar, China! (Text and Presentation 2010) and Nikolai L'vov’s early inquiry into the fate of amateur theatre in the provinces (Performing Arts Resources 28, 2011) as well as several film reviews in KinoKultura. He is presently writing his dissertation on the relationship of the Blue Blouse amateur theatre movement to spatial practices in the early Soviet Union.
Alyssa DeBlasio Alyssa DeBlasio

Alyssa is Assistant Professor of Russian at Dickinson College. She completed her Ph.D. in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh (2010) and has also taught in the Department of Philosophy at the Higher School of Economics (Moscow). Her articles on Russo-Soviet cinema and intellectual history have appeared in Russian Review, Studies in East European Thought, Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema, Kinokultura, Russkii zhurnal, and Epistemologiia i filosofiia nauki . Presently, her research looks at the writing of histories of Russian philosophy and philosophy textbooks in the past twenty years, as well as literary and cinematic representations of Soviet-era philosophy and the natural sciences.
Beach Gray Beach Gray

Beach Gray graduated with a B.A. in Russian Studies from Williams College in 2007. He is a second year graduate student in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh. He is interested in post-Soviet Russian film and culture, especially hip-hop and contemporary music videos.
Sergei Kapterev Sergei Kapterev

Sergei Kapterev is a Senior Researcher at the Research Institute of Film Art in Moscow. He received his PhD from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University in 2005; his dissertation (Post-Stalinist Cinema and the Russian Intelligentsia, 1953-1960: Strategies of Self-Representation, De-Stalinization, and the National Cultural Tradition) was published in 2008. His articles have regularly appeared in Kinovedcheskie zapiski since 2001; his English-language articles on Eisenstein and the reception of American films in the Soviet Union in the early Cold War have appeared in Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema and Kritika respectively.
Olga Klimova Olga Klimova

Olga is a PhD candidate at the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Pittsburgh. She received her Specialist Degree in Cultural Studies from Belarusian State University in Minsk in 2001. Olga worked as a coordinator and a project manager at the Center for Gender Studies of the European Humanities University, Belarus, in 1999 and 2001-2002. In 2005 she graduated from Brock University, Canada, with an MA in Popular Culture, and in 2007 obtained an MA degree in Russian Literature from the University of Pittsburgh.
Olga has taught a number of film and gender courses at the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film at Brock University, and currently teaches language, literature, and culture courses at the University of Pittsburgh's Slavic Department. She is working on her PhD dissertation which focuses on the Aesopian language in Soviet youth films of the 1970s through early 1980s. Olga's current research interests include post-Soviet popular culture and popular cinema, Stagnation cinema and literature, Russian youth culture and cinema, Belarusian cinema, war cinema, cultural representations of trauma, Chernobyl culture, theories of spectatorship, and much more.
Vsevolod Korshunov Vsevolod Korshunov

Vsevolod Korshunov graduated from the Philology Department of Lobachevskii University in 2000 and the Scriptwriting Section of the State Institute for Filmmaking in 2008. He is writing his dissertation (Problems of Composition in Contemporary Russian Film Scripts). He has written more than twenty documentary film scripts for Channel One, “Russia,” and “Culture.” In 2008 he was awarded a TEFI prize as the co-scriptwriter of Black Holes: Blank Spots. He is currently chief editor of the sector of documentary films and serials for the “Culture” channel.
Nicola Kuchta Nicola Kuchta

Graduate Student
Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
University of Pittsburgh

Nicola Kuchta received her B.A. in Russian Studies and International Development from McGill University in 2009. Currently in her second year at Pitt, her research interests encompass television studies, in particular schmaltzy serials, transnational studies, late- and post-Soviet popular culture, and the various intersections of gender, sexuality, late capitalism and national identity.
Marcia Landy Marcia Landy

Marcia Landy is Distinguished Professor in English/Film Studies with a Secondary appointment in the French and Italian Department at the University of Pittsburgh. She has taught courses in film theory, Visual History through Cinema, Women and Film, Italian Cinema, British Cinema, Cinema and the Transnational, Feminism and Film, Politics of Film, and Deleuze and Cinema. She has received awards for her teaching, and in 2005 she received the Chancellor’s Distinguished Senior Research Award at the University of Pittsburgh. She has received research grants from the American Philosophical Society and from the American Council of Learned Societies. Her books include Fascism in Film: The Italian Commercial Cinema 1931-1943 (1986); British Genres: Cinema and Society, 1930-1960 (1991); Imitations of Life: A Reader on Film and Television Melodrama (1991); Film Politics, and Gramsci (1994); Queen Christina (with Amy Villarejo, 1995); Cinematic Uses of the Past (1996); The Folklore of Consensus: Theatricality in Italian Cinema (1998); Italian Cinema (2000) The Historical Film History and Memory in Media (2000); Stars: The Film Reader (with Lucy Fischer 2004); Monty Python’s Flying Circus (2005, and Stardom Italian Style: Screen Performance and Personality in Italian Cinema (2008). She has published essays in such journals as Screen, Journal of Film and Television, Quarterly Review of Film and Television, The Historical Review of Film, Radio, Cinema Journal,and Television, KinoKultura, and boundary 2 among others. Her essays also appear regularly in anthologies on Italian cinema, British cinema from the 1930s through the 1960s, history in and of film, film genres (the western, the biopic, comedy, and melodrama), fascism and film, popular culture and television, and the writings of Antonio Gramsci. She is on the editorial boards of Italian Culture, boundary 2, Quarterly Review of Film and Television.
Neepa Majumdar Neepa Majumdar

Neepa Majumdar is Associate Professor of Film Studies in the English Department at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests include star studies, film sound, South Asian early cinema, and documentary film. Her book Wanted Cultured Ladies Only! Female Stardom and Cinema in India, 1930s to 1950s (University of Illinois Press) was published in 2009. As an undergraduate in India and a graduate student in the US, Majumdar studied Russian for four years and hopes to get back to it again. Currently she is working on a history of sound technology during the transition to sound in Indian cinema.
Gerald McCausland Gerald McCausland

University of Pittsburgh
Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures

Gerald McCausland teaches at the University of Pittsburgh, where he directs the Russian language program. He holds degrees from the University of Pittsburgh (Ph.D., Russian), Middlebury College (BA, Political Science; MA Russian) and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (MA, German). His publications include articles on Vladimir Sorokin, Viktor Pelevin, and Andrei Platonov as well as translations and film reviews. His current research focuses on post-Soviet Russian identity in contemporary literature and film, particularly on the question of how a psychoanalytically informed study of literature and cinema can illuminate the dynamic relationship between a social collective and its cultural production.
Vladimir Padunov Vladimir Padunov

Associate Professor, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
Associate Director, Film Studies Program
Director, Russian Film Symposium
University of Pittsburgh

Padunov received his B.A. from Brooklyn College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at Cornell University. He has taught at the University of Iowa and Hunter College, as well as in Germany and Russia.
Together with Nancy Condee, he directed the Working Group on Contemporary Russian Culture (1990-93), supported by the American Council of Learned Societies and the Social Science Research Council. His work has been published in the US (The Nation, October, WideAngle), the UK (Framework, New Left Review, New Formations), and Russia (Voprosy literatury, Znamia, Iskusstvo kino, Novaia gazeta). His areas of research include Russian visual culture, narrative history and theory, film history.

Natalia Ryabchikova Natalia Ryabchikova

Natalia Ryabchikova is a first-year graduate student in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh. She received her BA in Film Studies from the Russian State University of Cinematography (VGIK, Moscow) in 2008. In 2003-2008 she worked as a film critic for the Russian Internet newspaper and since 2005 she has worked as an interpreter for the Moscow International Film Festival. Natalia has published articles on Soviet film history in Kinovedcheskie zapiski (Film Scholars’ Notes, Moscow) and Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema. Her research interests include Soviet film production in the 1920s, and theory and practice of Sergei Eisenstein.


Sasha Senderovich

Sasha Senderovich is a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for the Humanities at Tufts University. His dissertation, “The Red Promised Land: Narratives of Jewish Mobility in Early Soviet Culture” (Harvard, Slavic Languages and Literatures, 2010) focused on texts and films which, while seeming to conform to the vision of the USSR as a kind of “Promised Land” for the Jews, use narratives and tropes of mobility to suggest lingering displacement and the instability of an apparently firm ideology. While currently revising his dissertation, Sasha is also beginning a series of projects concerned with the dialogue of post-Soviet films with Soviet-era cinema, focusing on the moving image as both a unit of historical transmission and an instrument in the construction of cultural concepts (such as “the friendship of the peoples”) that are repeated and restaged in radically different historical contexts. Having been recently liberated from the task of writing his dissertation, Sasha has also taken up writing shorter reviews and essays on aspects of post-Soviet culture some of which, to date, have been published in KinoKultura and Tablet Magazine. A native, due to calamities of Soviet history, of Russia's provinces, Sasha is particularly excited about this year's symposium's focus on the Russian periphery and Russia’s “others.”

Oleg Sulkin Oleg Sulkin

Film critic, journalist, publisher. Graduated from Moscow State University (history and theory of arts). U.S. correspondent of a Russian weekly magazine Itogi. Writes for TV7, KinoKultura, the Russian Service of the Voice of America website. For 14 years worked as a staff film critic and writer at Novoye Russkoye Slovo, a Russian-American newspaper published in New York. Member of the Filmmakers Union of Russia, member of Film Critics Guild of Russia. In 1999-2004 hosted a weekly radio show on film on a Russian-American radio People’s Wave.


Elise Thorsen Elise Thorsen

Elise Thorsen holds a B.A. in Russian Studies from the College of William & Mary (2006) and an M.A. in Russian Literature from the University of Pittsburgh (2009). This is her fourth year of graduate study at the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures. Her research interests include interwar Soviet civic poetry, the symbolic organization of Soviet and post-Soviet geography, and the Soviet and contemporary Russian iterations of empire.