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MemberBrittany Roberts

Brittany Roberts is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature at University of California, Riverside, where she studies 20th- and 21st-century Russian and Anglophone literature and cinema. She is currently writing her dissertation, which undertakes a comparative analysis of Russian and Anglophone horror literature and cinema focusing on depictions of humans, animals, the environment, and the ecological and metaphysical dynamics that link them. Brittany has published articles and chapters in The Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies and the forthcoming collections Ecohorror, Plants in Science Fiction: Speculative Vegetation, and The Spaces and Places of Horror. She is especially interested in how horror disrupts the human-nonhuman binary and in how speculative fiction reconsiders, challenges, and reconceives of our relations with other species.

MemberTatiana Klepikova

Tatiana Klepikova is a Faculty of Arts & Science Postdoctoral Fellow at the Women & Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto, where she is working on her postdoctoral project about contemporary Russian queer theater and drama. She defended her Ph.D. in Slavic Literary Studies at the University of Passau, Germany, in 2019, after obtaining degrees in Teaching Foreign Languages (English and Spanish) in Yaroslavl (Russia), and Russian and East-Central European Studies in Passau. She is co-editor of several collections of interdisciplinary essays on privacy, including Outside the “Comfort Zone”: Private and Public Spheres in Late Socialist Europe (forthcoming in 2020 by De Gruyter). Tatiana’s work strives to capture and elucidate sites, experiences, and articulations of “marginality” in Russian cultural imagination, especially in literature, media, and the arts of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. A meeting point of hegemonic and alternative discourses, “marginality” as a social, political, and cultural construct fascinates her by the multiplicity of meanings and readings that may be (counter-)coded in it. It thereby has immense potential to reveal the structures of power, control, and difference that have to do not only with political oppression, but also with imaginativeness and agency, which are often overlooked in connection to (neo)authoritarian settings like Russia. Tatiana’s broader research interests include Soviet and contemporary Russian history and culture, political art, cultural privacy studies, queer studies, performance studies, and histories and cultures of LGBT communities in Eastern Europe.

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.

MemberSasha Senderovich

Sasha Senderovich’s research focuses on the figure of the Soviet Jew as a multifaceted, unstable cultural construct located at the intersection of Jewish and Russian/Soviet cultures, literatures, and cinema. He considers this process of formation in two distinct settings that represent the core foci of his two ongoing research projects. His first project focuses on Russian and Yiddish literary and cultural sources during the 1920s and the 1930s, while the second considers the intersection of Russian Jewish literature and American Jewish literature, in Russian and in English, during the Cold War and post-Soviet periods. Senderovich’s first project consists of a monograph How the Soviet Jew Was Made: Culture and Mobility After the Revolution (in progress, under advance contract with Harvard University Press); and two critical editions of translated literary texts and authorship of critical apparatus, including David Bergelson’s Judgment: A Novel, translated from the Yiddish in collaboration with Harriet Murav (Northwestern University Press, 2017). Senderovich’s second project, to date, consists of two peer-reviewed articles, including in Prooftexts, a top tier journal in comparative Jewish literary studies, as well as public scholarship in publications like the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Forward, and The New Republic.

MemberJulia Verkholantsev

I am a scholar of cultural, religious and intellectual history, early modern and medieval literary and linguistic culture. My publications and research are concerned with the cultural space of eastern, central, and southern Europe, particularly, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Bohemia, Poland, Croatia, Hungary, and Rus. In research and teaching, I deal with topics that include the history of and approaches to language, writing, and literacy; pre-modern historical writing and historical methods; Slavic (Cyrillic, Glagolitic, and Latin) and Greek paleography and cryptography; projects and theories of universal language; and Russian medieval and modern literature and culture. As a medievalist, I am convinced that the mapping of pre-modern Europe into the modern East – West divide creates unnecessary gaps between fields of knowledge that are inherently interconnected and impedes a dialogue between scholars who find themselves working in artificially bounded sub-disciplines. In my research and professional service I try to remedy this situation. In my teaching, I examine medieval literary and historical topics in the context of modern society and help students see their importance in the development of contemporary culture, politics, and social norms. I focus on the study of reading strategies of imaginative texts that leads to the advanced understanding of literature as part of cultural history.