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Dustin Condren


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theater and film
Russian formalism

Dustin Condren

Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures

I first joined the Stanford Slavic department in 2001 to pursue my interests in Russian and Soviet modernist poetics and dramatic writing and in early Soviet cinema. I received my M.A. with a qualifying paper on Vladimir Mayakovsky’s Cloud in Trousers and advanced to dissertation stage before deciding to take a leave from Stanford to pursue creative opportunities in New York. In 2016, after almost a decade working in theater, translation, and editorial photography, I was pleased to return to Stanford to write a dissertation with Nariman Skakov and to apply the rigor of practical artistic experience to my academic endeavors. My dissertation examines a series of Sergei Eisenstein’s unfinished cinema projects. Using film ideas that were elaborated but never ultimately shot, I develop a conceptualization of Eisenstein’s cinema as a syncretic art form in which literary technique, manuscripts, notes, sketches, and attending theory hold as much compositional weight as do actual film frames.

Recent conference presentations

“Odd or Even: Eisenstein and Unfinished Work.” Eisenstein for the Twenty-first Century, Monash Centre, Prato, Italy, June, 2018.

“Notes Toward an Untimely Soviet Comedy.” Stanford Film and Media Studies Conference, Stanford University, April 2018.

"'Legends are Forgotten But Songs Remain': Montage Beyond the Frame in Eisenstein’s American Film Projects." Society for Cinema & Media Studies Annual Conference, Toronto, Canada, March 2018.

“‘Is This Reality or a Dream?’: Eisenstein’s Precariously Comedic MMM.” American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages Annual Conference, Washington DC, February 2018.

“‘Mutability is Natural’: Disney, Eisenstein, and Transcendent Form.” Presented at Pacific and Ancient Modern Language Association Annual Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, November 2017.
Published translations

Sergei Eisenstein, The Primal Phenomenon: Art. Edited by Oksana Bulgakowa and Dietmar Hochmuth. Berlin: Potemkin Press, 2017.

Sergei Eisenstein, Disney. Edited by Oksana Bulgakowa and Dietmar Hochmuth. Berlin: Potemkin Press, 2013.

Leo Tolstoy, The Gospel in Brief. New York: HarperCollins, 2011.


Foreword to The Gospel in Brief by Leo Tolstoy. New York: HarperCollins, 2011, vii–xiii.

“John Shade Shaving: Inspiration and Composition in a Selection from Pale Fire.” Nabokov Studies, v. 10, 2006.

“Tolpa/Chern’,” Crowds, eds. Jeffrey T. Schnapp and Matthew Tiews. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2006.



2018: Ph.D, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Stanford University.
2004: M.A., Slavic Languages and Literatures, Stanford University.
2001: B.A., Germanic and Slavic Languages, Theatre and Media Arts (Directing Track), Brigham Young University.