Marina Balina is Isaac Funk Professor and Professor of Russian Studies at Illinois Wesleyan University, USA. She is the author, editor and co-editor of numerous volumes, including most recently Russian Children’s Literature and Culture (with Larissa Rudova, 2008), Petrified Utopia: Happiness Soviet Style (with Evgeny Dobrenko, 2009,)  The Cambridge Companion to Twentieth Century Russian Literature (with Evgeny Dobrenko, 2011,) Constructing Childhood: Literature, History, Anthropology (2011, in Russian,) and To Kill Charskaia: Politics and Aesthetics in Soviet Children’s Literature of the 1920s and 1930s (2013, in Russian.) Her main area of investigation is children’s literature in Soviet Russia, its historical development, and its theoretical originality. In addition to her work in children’s literature, her scholarly interests include studies in the hybrid nature of life-writing in soviet and post-soviet Russia (autobiography, memoir, diary, and travelogue,) and she has published widely on this subject.

Eliot Borenstein is a Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies and Collegiate Professer at New York University. Educated at Oberlin College (B.A., 1988) and the University of Wisconsin, Madison (M.A., 1989, Ph.D., 1993), Mr. Borenstein was an Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia (1993-95) before taking an appointment at NYU in 1995. His early publications dealt largely with issues of sexuality and masculinity in Slavic literature. Men Without Women: Masculinity and Revolution in Russian Fiction, 1917-1929 (Duke UP, 2000), which was an outgrowth of his dissertation, won the 2001 award for best book in literature or cultural scholarship from the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages. Mr. Borenstein’s current research on popular culture is a natural outgrowth of his earlier studies, and his publications are often a melding of the two. Overkill: Sex and Violence in Contemporary Russian Popular Culture (Cornell UP, 2008), which won the award for best book in women’s studies or gender studies from the Association of Women in Slavic Studies, and “Iteration through Innovation: Russian Popular Culture Today,” which he edited with Mark Lipovetsy and Elena Baraban and published in Slavic and East European Journal (48, No. 1 [2004]), are but two examples.   He is currently at work on two projects:  Russia’s Alien Nations: Imagining the Other after Socialism, and Catastrophe of the Week: Apocalyptic Entertainment in Post-Soviet Russia

Catherine Ciepiela  is a professor of Russian at Amherst College, and the author of The Same Solitude, a study of the letters and poems exchanged by Marina Tsvetaeva and Boris Pasternak during their epistolary romance in the 1920s.

Evgeny Dobrenko is a Professor of Russian Studies at the University of Sheffield. Born in Odessa, Ukraine, Mr. Dobrenko received his B.A. (1984) and Ph.D. (1987) in Russian literature from the Odessa State University, and then taught there from 1987 to 1991. In 1992, Mr. Dobrenko moved to the United States to take up a position as Associate Professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Duke University, a post he held for five years. He then spent a year (1997-98) as a Visiting Professor and Fellow of the Stanford Humanities Center, followed by a year (1998-99) as Karl Loewenstein Faculty Fellow in Political Science and Jurisprudence at Amherst College, and yet another year (1999-2000) as Visiting Professor at the University of California, Irvine. In 2000 he moved to Great Britain, taking up an appointment as Professor at the University of Nottingham’s Institute of Film Studies and its departments of Critical Theory and Cultural Studies and of Russian and Slavonic Studies. Since 2007 he has been a Professor in the Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies at the University of Sheffield.

Alexander Etkind is Mikhail M. Bakhtin Professor of History of Russia-Europe Relations at European University Institute, Florence (Italy). Alexander Etkind has PhD in Psychology from Bekhterev Institute, Leningrad, and another in Slavonic Literatures from the University of Helsinki. Before coming to Cambridge, he taught at the European University at St. Petersburg, with which he continues to collaborate. He was a visiting professor at New York University and Georgetown University, and a resident fellow at Harvard, Princeton, the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington D.C., Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin, and University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Research interests are internal colonization in the Russian Empire, comparative studies of cultural memory, and the dynamics of the protest movement in Russia. In 2010-2013, he is directing the European research project, Memory at War: Cultural Dynamics in Poland, Russia, and Ukraine.

Ilya Kalinin is Associate Professor in the Department of Liberal Arts and Sciences (Smolny College) at St Petersburg State University. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the journal Neprikosnovennyi Zapas: Debaty o politike i kul’ture (NZ: Debates on Politics and Culture). His current research deals with problems of collective memory in post-Soviet Russia.

Ilya Kukulin is Associate Professor in the Department of Cultural Projects at Higher School of Economics (Moscow). He is a literary critic, poet, and a linguistic scholar. He graduated from Moscow State University with a degree in psychology, and pursued an advanced degree in Language and Literature at Russian State University for the Humanities, writing a dissertation on the work of Danil Kharms. He is the editor of an on-line literary journal, TextOnly and was the editor of the book series New Poetry (Novaya Poezia) of the New Literary Observer Press (Novoye Literaturnoye Obozrenie)  2007–2009. He has worked as a school teacher and guest lecturer at the Russian State University for the Humanities, and contributed to the radio station Echo of Moscow and the Radio Russia program on literature, “Our Literary Museum.” In 2002, Kukulin was awarded a grant from the Academy of Russian Contemporary Language Arts for young writers. Since 1997, he has been a frequent jury member for literary prizes around Russia. Kukulin’s poems have been widely published in Russian magazines and literary journals, as well as in the collections Vavilon and Okrestnosti, and the anthology Chernym po Byelomu. They have been translated into Albanian, Georgian, and Italian. His prose has been published in the anthology Ochen Korotkiye Teksti, and his articles have appeared in the journals Novoye Literaturnoye Obozrenie, Znamya, Novii Mir, Russkaya Literatura, and others. He frequently publishes articles about Russian poets of the 20th Century including Marina Tsvetaeva and Boris Pasternak, and about Russian memoir-writing.

Mark Lipovetsky is a Russian-American literary scholar and critic, Professor of Russian Studies at the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Colorado-Boulder. Since the 1990s, Russian postmodernist literature and culture remain in the center of his interests. In 1996, he defended one of the first doctoral dissertations on this subject. Тhe author of numerous articles published in the US, Russia, and Europe, eight books,  and co-editor of seven volumes on Russian literature and culture. Among his monographs are the following:  Russian Postmodernist Fiction: Dialogue with Chaos (1999), Modern Russian Literature: 1950s-1990s (co-authored with Naum Leiderman, 2001 and six subsequent reprints editions),  Paralogies: Transformation of (Post)modernist Discourse in Russian Culture of the 1920s-2000s  (Moscow: NLO, 2008),  Performing Violence: Literary and Theatrical Experiments of New Russian Drama (Bristol: Intellect Press, 2009, with Birgit Beumers; Russian version – 2012), and Charms of Cynical Reason: The Transformations of the Trickster Trope in Soviet and Post-Soviet Culture (Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2011). Volumes, co-edited by him, include Dictionary of Literary Biography: Russian Writers Since 1980 (2003), anthologies of Russian and Soviet wondertales (2005) and Russian twentieth-century short stories (2011), Jolly Little Characters: Cult Heroes of the Soviet Childhood (2008), and Non-Canonical Classic: Dmitri A. Prigov (2010). Currently, Lipovetsky works on a critical biography of Dmitry Prigov and edits his collected works. Lipovetsky’s works were nominated for Russian Little Booker Prize (1997) and short-listed for the Andrey Bely Prize (2008).  In 2009-12, worked on the jury for Russian literary prize NOS (in 2011-12 as chair).

Serguei A. Oushakine  is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Slavic Languages and Literatures at Princeton University. His research is concerned with transitional processes and situations: from the formation of newly independent national cultures after the collapse of the Soviet Union to post-traumatic identities and hybrid cultural forms. His first book The Patriotism of Despair: Loss, Nation, and War in Russia focused on communities of loss and exchanges of sacrifices in provincial post-communist Russia. His current project explores Eurasian postcoloniality as a means of affective reformatting of the past and as a form of retroactive victimhood. Oushakine’s Russian-language publications include edited volumes on trauma, family, gender and masculinity.

Kevin M. F. Platt is Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor in the Humanities, Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Graduate Chair of the Comparative Literature Program at University of Pennsylvania. He works on representations of Russian history, Russian historiography, history and memory in Russia, Russian lyric poetry, and global post-Soviet Russian culture. Platt received his B.A. from Amherst College and his Ph.D. from Stanford University and taught at Pomona College before joining the Penn faculty in 2002. He is the author of Terror and Greatness: Ivan and Peter as Russian Myths (Cornell UP, 2011) and History in a Grotesque Key: Russian Literature and the Idea of Revolution (Stanford, 1997; Russian edition 2006), and the co-editor (with David Brandenberger) of Epic Revisionism: Russian History and Literature as Stalinist Propaganda (Wisconsin UP, 2006). He also edited and contributed translations to Modernist Archaist: Selected Poems by Osip Mandelstam (Whale and Star, 2008) and edited Intimations: Selected Poetry by Anna Akhmatova, translated by James Falen (Whale and Star, 2010). His current projects include a critical historiography of Russia, a study of contemporary Russian culture in Latvia and a number of translation projects.

Stephanie Sandler is Ernest E. Monrad Professor, Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures, Harvard University. She is a scholar of Russian literature, with special interests in poetry and cinema. She has written about Pushkin and myths of Pushkin in Russian culture, and about contemporary poetry of Russia and of the United States.  Together with Genya Turovskaya, she translated Elena Fanailova, The Russian Version (2009), published by Ugly Duckling Presse. Translations of poems by Fanailova and others (including Elena Shvarts, Mara Malanova, Fedor Swarovski, and Polina Barskova) have appeared in Jacket, Poetry, World Literature Today, Boston Review, St. Petersburg Review, and Aufgabe. In 2014, a translation of Olga Sedakova, In Praise of Poetry will appear from Open Letter Press; Ksenia Golubovich and Caroline Clark are co-translators of the volume. Her published books include Distant Pleasures: Alexander Pushkin and the Writing of Exile (1989); Commemorating Pushkin: Russia’s Myth of a National Poet (2004); and three edited collections: Rereading Russian Poetry (1999); Self and Story in Russian History (2000; with Laura Engelstein); and Sexuality and the Body in Russian Culture (1993; with Jane Costlow and Judith Vowles). Sandler’s current research is on contemporary Russian poetry. She also works on a book-length manuscript, Contemporary Poetry in Russian: Breaking Down the Walls. Other work in progress includes a new History of Russian Literature for Oxford University Press, co-authored with Andrew Kahn, Mark Lipovetsky, and Irina Reyfman.

Boris Wolfson is Assistant Professor of Russian at Amherst College. He has published on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian cultural history (including a chapter in the Cambridge Companion to Twentieth-Century Russian Literature); his book Self and Theater in Stalinist Culture is forthcoming from Northwestern University Press.


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