Re-imagining Class: Recent Russian Cinema
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Erin AlpertErin Alpert

Erin Alpert is a PhD candidate in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh. . She received her BA in Russian Studies from the College of William and Mary and MA from the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests include documentary cinema, GULAG studies and Holocaust studies and she is currently writing her dissertation on Perestroika and Post-Soviet documentary cinema.


Irina Anisimova Irina Anisimova

Irina is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Pittsburgh, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.  She received her BA Degree in European and American Literature from Saratov State University in 2001 and PhD in Comparative Literature (with the emphasis on African American literature) from the University of South Carolina in 2008. She has published in such journals as The Comparatist, Slavic and East European Journal, and Kinokultura.  At the University of Pittsburgh, she has taught courses on Russian literature and culture. She has also taught courses in Women’s Studies and World Literature at the University of South Carolina. Her current research interests include Russian Postmodernism, gothic/fantastic in Russian literature and culture, utopias, Russian empire, postcolonial theory, and African American literature.


Jay Boehmer Boehmer

Jay Boehmer is finishing his third year of undergraduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh, with plans to receive a degree from the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and a certificate from the Center for Russian and East European Studies. His interests include post-revolution Russian literature as well as culture, identity and language use on the internet.  


Drew ChapmanDrew 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). 

This spring, Drew will defend his dissertation, “Queuetopia: Second World Modernity and the Soviet Culture of Allocation.”  The dissertation looks at the post-Stalinist period, exploring how narratives broke down discourses of abundance and allocation, and instead promoted tactics on how to operate and create new cultural meaning amongst conditions of scarcity.  His research interests include Soviet and contemporary Russian cinema, theories of urbanity and everyday life, Russian and Soviet satire, and the relationship between camp and kitsch in Russo-Soviet visual culture. 

Next fall, Drew will teach in the Russian Department at Dartmouth College as a Mellon postdoctoral fellow in the Leslie Center for the Humanities. 


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 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. He has published articles and reviews dealing with Soviet, Russian, and Ukrainian theatre and cinema in KinoKultura, Performing Arts Resources, Slavic and East European Journal, Text and Presentation, Theatre Journal and Theatre Survey. He is presently writing his dissertation on the relationship of the Blue Blouse amateur theatre movement to spatial practices in the early Soviet Union.


Greg DolgopolovGreg Dolgopolov

Dr. Greg Dolgopolov teaches and researches at University of New South Wales (in Sydney Australia) in video production, film and television theory.  Greg's research interests include post-Soviet cinema and the crime genre.  Greg has written on historical television detective serials, reality game shows, contemporary cinema, Soviet films stars, Australian and Russian vampire films, documentary films, international horror and mafia representations and, most recently, the industry of film festivals. His research has been published in a number of edited collections and Social Semiotics, Senses of Cinema, Metro Magazine, Lumina, Real Time and Kinokultura where he now is a member of the editorial board.  Greg co-edited Studies in Australasia Cinema. Greg has worked in the film industry for a number of years as an actor and theatre director. His specialty is acting in documentary films.  Greg is the curator and associate director of the Russian Resurrection Film Festival.


Natascha DrubekDrubek

Natascha Drubek is Heisenberg Fellow at the University of Regensburg. She completed her MA and PhD in Slavic Studies & History of Eastern Europe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (Munich) where she also received her habilitation. She was awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship at the Film School FAMU in Prague with the project „Hypertextual Film Presentation” ( Since 2003 she has been the editor of the Film & Screen Media section of Natascha is the author/co-editor of several books on Russian and Czech literature, culture and film: Gogol’s eloquentia corporis (1998), Juden und Judentum in Literatur und Film des slavischen Sprachraums. Die geniale Epoche (1999), Apparatur und Rhapsodie. Zu den Filmen Dziga Vertovs (2000), Das Zeit-Bild im osteuropäischen Film nach 1945 (2010).  Her last book  which is about early Russian cinema, mainly Evgenii Bauer’s films, was published under the title Russisches LichtVon der Ikone zum frühen sowjetischen Kino (2012). Currently she is researching anti-religious films of the first two Soviet decades (cf. the database and the films shot in the ghetto Theresienstadt 1942-45. Recent and forthcoming publications: the "thing" in silent cinema, Eisenstein's "visual music", A Doppelgänger in Prague: The Novel Otchaianie by Nabokov (1932) and Hackenschmied's "Aimless Walk" (1930), Dostoevskii's notebooks, the Gosfil'mofond festival in Belye Stolby (in: Film Festival Yearbook 5: Archival Film Festivals), Gender in Russian national habitus (about the films Rusalka, Ovsianki & Krai) and "The Timing of Russian Film Premieres: Sacralizing National History and Nationalizing Religion in Russia" (in: Iconic Turns. Nation and Religion in Eastern European Cinema since 1989).


Lucy FischerLucy Fischer

Lucy Fischer is Distinguished Professor of English and Film Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the author or editor of nine books: Jacques Tati; Shot/Countershot: Film Tradition and Women's Cinema; Imitation of Life; Cinematernity: Film, Motherhood, Genre; Sunrise;  Designing Women: Art Deco, Cinema and the Female Form;  Stars: The Film Reader, Teaching Film and Body Double: The Author Incarnate in the Cinema.


Beach GrayBeach Gray

Beach Gray is a PhD student in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh. He holds an MA in Russian Literature from the University of Pittsburgh (2011) and a BA in Russian Studies from Williams College (2007). His research interests include advertising and consumer culture in contemporary Russian visual media, object perspective, and documentary cinema. In 2013, Beach's true class origins were revealed during a lengthy trial in which it came to light that his name derives from the Russian abbreviation B.I.Ch. (*byvshii intelligentnyi chelovek* or former member of the intelligentsia). Until recently, he had claimed a working class background. He is now serving a life sentence in academia for intellectualism, cosmopolitanism, and petty hooliganism.


Kiun Hwang

Kiun Hwang holids a B.A. in Russian language and literature from Yonsei University in Seoul(2005) and an M.A. in Russian language and literature from Yonsei University in Seoul
(2008). She is currently a second year student at University of Pittsburgh in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. Her research interests include Russian empire and imperialism in post-soviet culture, contemporary literature, museums and urban construction.


Inesa KhatkovskayaInesa Khatkovskaya

Inesa Khatkovskaya is a lecturer at the Department of Media at the European Humanities University (Vilnius) where she teaches courses on Film History and Film Analysis. She received her BA in Cultural Studies from the Belarusian State University and MA in Cultural Studies with a specialization in Gender Studies from the European Humanities University. Her current research focuses on the production of “national” in Soviet and Post-Soviet Belarusian cinema.


Olga KlimovaOlga Klimova

Olga Klimova is a PhD candidate at the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh. She also has PhD Certificates in Cultural Studies and Russian and East European Studies, and has completed all the requirements for the PhD Certificate in Film Studies. Olga received her Specialist Degree in Cultural Studies from Belarusian State University in Minsk, Belarus, her MA in Popular Culture from Brock University in Canada, and 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 language, literature, and culture courses at the University of Pittsburgh’s Slavic Department. She is currently finishing her PhD dissertation on Aesopian language and Soviet youth films under Brezhnev. Her other research interests include Stagnation cinema and literature, Russian youth culture, post-Soviet popular culture and popular cinema, Belarusian cinema, Polish cinema, censorship and screenwriting, cultural representations of trauma, and Chernobyl culture.


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.


Olga MukhortovaOlga Mukhortova

Olga Mukhortova is a first-year graduate student in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh. Olga received her first Specialist degree in Slavic Philology from the Samara Academy for the Humanities in Samara, Russia and the second Specialist degree in European Culture Studies from the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow, Russia. Her research interests include post-colonialism and trauma in contemporary Russian literature and cinema.


Ana Olenina Ana Olenina

Ana Olenina received her Ph.D. from Harvard University and her M.Phil. from Cambridge University. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, where she teaches courses on Russian film history, international silent cinema, and film theory. Though her main research focus is the Soviet avant-garde, her broader interests lie at the juncture of early film history and media theory, with an emphasis on historical configurations of sensory experience, emotional response, embodiment, and immersive environments. She is currently working on a book manuscript, tentatively entitled Psychomotor Aesthetics: Conceptions of Gesture and Affect in Russian and American Modernity, 1910s-1920s. Together with colleague Maxim Pozdorovkin, Ana Olenina has co-curated two DVD releases of restored Soviet silents (Miss Mend and Early Landmarks of Soviet Film) by Flicker Alley, Inc.


Vladimir Padunov Vladimir Padunov

Associate Professor, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
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.


Alexander ProkhorovAlexander Prokhorov

Alexander Prokhorov teaches Russian culture and film at College of William and Mary. His research interests include Russian visual culture, genre theory, and film history. He is the author of Inherited Discourse: Paradigms of Stalinist Culture in Literature and Cinema of the Thaw(Akademicheskii proekt, 2007) and the editor of Springtime for Soviet Cinema: Re/viewing the 1960s (Pittsburgh Film Symposium, 2001). His articles and reviews have been published in KinokulturaSlavic ReviewStudies in Russian and Soviet CinemaArt of Cinema (Iskusstvo kino).


Elena ProkhorovaElena Prokhorova

Elena Prokhorova is Associate Professor of Russian at the College of William and Mary, where she also teaches in the Film and Cultural Studies program. Her research focuses on identity discourses in late Soviet and post-Soviet film and television. Elena's publications have appeared in Slavic Review, Slavic and East European Journal, Kinokultura, Russian Journal of Communication, and in edited volumes.


Natalia RyabchikovaNatalia Ryabchikova

Natalia Ryabchikova is a third-year graduate student in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh, working towards a PhD in Film Studies. She received her BA in Film Studies from the Russian State University of Cinematography (VGIK, Moscow) in 2008 and her MA in Slavic Languages and Literatures from the University of Pittsburgh in 2012. In 2003-2008 she wrote weekly film reviews for the Russian Internet newspaper, and she has served as an interpreter for the Moscow International Film Festival since 2005. She has published articles on Soviet film history in Kinovedcheskie zapiski and Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema. She likes to think of herself as middle-class as well as a member of the intelligentsia and a rootless cosmopolitan.


Masha SalazkinaMasha Salazkina

Masha Salazkina is Concordia Research Chair in Transnational Media Arts and Culture and director of PhD program in Film and Moving Image Studies at Concordia University, Montreal.  Her work incorporates transnational approaches to film theory and cultural history with a focus on early Soviet Union, Latin America, and Italy. Her recent book In Excess: Sergei Eisenstein's Mexico positions Eisenstein's unfinished Mexican project and theoretical writings within the wider context of post-revolutionary Mexico and global cultures of modernity.  She has published in Cinema Journal, October, Screen, KinoKultura, and in several edited collections, and has won fellowships at the American Council of Learned Societies, Stanford University Humanities Center, and The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.  Masha is currently co-editing (with Lilya Kaganovsky) a volume on Sound in Soviet and Russian Cinema.


Daria ShembelDaria Shembel

Daria Shembel earned her Ph.D in Slavic Studies and Film from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles in 2009. Since 2005 she has been teaching European Studies, New Media and Film at San Diego State University. Her primary academic interests lie in Soviet and European film theories and histories, new media/old media historiography, Russian Modernism with an emphasis on poetry and visual culture, global, European and Eastern European media.


Terry SmithTerry Smith

Terry Smith, FAHA, CIHA, is Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh, and Distinguished Visiting Professor, National Institute for Experimental Arts, College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales. In 2010 he was named Australia Council Visual Arts Laureate by the Australian Government, and won the Mather Award for art criticism conferred by the College Art Association (USA). He is the author of Making the Modern: Industry, Art and Design in America (University of Chicago Press, 1993; inaugural Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Book Prize 2009); Transformations in Australian Art, volume 1, The Nineteenth Century: Landscape, Colony and Nation, and volume 2, The Twentieth Century: Modernism and Aboriginality (Craftsman House, Sydney, 2002); The Architecture of Aftermath (University of Chicago Press, 2006), What is Contemporary Art? (University of Chicago Press, 2009), Contemporary Art: World Currents (Laurence King and Pearson/Prentice-Hall, 2011), and Thinking Contemporary Curating (Independent Curators International, 2012).


Elise ThorsenElise Thorsen

Elise Thorsen graduated with a B.A. in Russian Studies from the College of William & Mary in 2006 and began studies in the PhD program in Slavic Languages & Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh in 2007, acquiring an M.A. in Russian Literature in 2009. Her dissertation research deals with the imperial trace in early Soviet poetic representations of Soviet territory and geographic diversity. Additional research interests include other areas of Russian and Soviet poetry, particularly Nekrasov and the New Peasant School; silent and Stalinist Russian cinema; and questions of aesthetics and intertextualities in Russian culture.



Theodora Kelly TrimbleTheodora Kelly Trimble

Theodora Kelly Trimble completed a double B.A. in Russian and Slavic & East European Studies at West Virginia University (2009). She received her M.A. in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies from University of Michigan (2011). She is a second year student at University of Pittsburgh in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.  Her interests include culture of the revolution, Russian popular culture, the Russian music video, and film & television. 

Trevor WilsonTrevor Wilson

Trevor Wilson is a first-year graduate student in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh. He received his BA in Russian and French literatures from the University of Pittsburgh. His research interests include contemporary Russian novels, modernist poetry and aesthetics, science fiction, and queer theory. 


Barbara WurmBarbara Wurm

Barbara Wurm teaches Russian literature and film at the Slavic Department of the Humboldt University Berlin.  She received her M.A. from Vienna University and is currently writing her dissertation on Early Soviet Kulturfilm.  Former teaching assignments and research fellowships in Basel, Berlin, Vienna, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Leipzig, Munich and Warsaw.  Her main interests include the literary, visual, and political culture of Soviet Avantgarde, media theory, (Russian) film history, and documentary film.  She has co-edited and co-written two publications on Dziga Vertov, a booklet on Gerbert Rappaport, and has published several articles (in German mainly).  She works as programmer for the goEast film festival in Wiesbaden and consultant for Dok Leipzig.  Her film reviews and festival reports appear in journals and newspapers like Senses of Cinema, Sight and Sound, Ray, Kolik Film, Kinokultura, Filmdienst, EPD Film, Berliner Zeitung, die Tageszeitung.  In the photo she is wearing her Ferroni brigade uniform.