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Dustin Condren


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theater and film
Russian formalism

Dustin Condren

Ph.D. candidate 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.

Upcoming conference presentations

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

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

Recent conference presentations

"'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.



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.