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MemberDenis Akhapkin

Denis Akhapkin currently teaches in the Liberal Arts and Humanities program at Saint-Petersburg State University, Russia, where also works as a head of Centre for Writing and Critical Thinking. His interests include modern Russian literature with an emphasis on poetry and poetics, literary linguistics and cognitive literature studies. He published a book of commentaries to poetry of Russian-American Nobel prize author Joseph Brodsky («Joseph Brodsky: After Russia», 2009, in Russian). His work has appeared in Toronto Slavic Quarterly, Russian Literature and other journals, he is also the author of several biographies of Russian writers in Dictionary of Literary Biography (DLB).  He was a visiting research fellow of Helsinki University Collegium (spring 2007) and The Princess Dashkova Russian Centre, University of Edinburgh (fall 2014). He holds both B.A. and PhD in Russian Language from Saint-Petersburg State University. Denis is an associate international member of the Institute for Writing and Thinking, Bard College (USA).

MemberElise Thorsen

I work as an open source/media analyst at Novetta, where my domain knowledge of Russian language and culture helps to make patterns in Russian and East European messaging meaningful and assess the contents and target audiences of adversarial messaging. In research not directly related to my job, I specialize in twentieth-century Russian poetry, especially the early Soviet avant-garde and their successive work and successors under Socialist Realism. This interest in poetry also drives a agenda of developing computational methods to facilitate the study of versification and quantitative poetics. I also enjoy the opportunity to examine other media, particularly film, as can be seen in my notes and reviews on contemporary film for the annual Pittsburgh Russian Film Symposium and Kinokultura.