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Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures
Ph.D., Slavic Languages and Literature, University of Southern California, 2009
Fellow Candidate of Sciences, Literary Theory, National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy,” 2000
Specialist, Public Relations, Institute of Journalism, Kyiv National University, 1999
Master of Arts, Culture (Literary Theory, History and Comparative Studies), National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy,” 1998
Specialist, Teaching Russian as a Foreign Language and English, National Pedagogical University, 1996
SLAVIC 160/360: Cultural Hybridity in Central-Eastern Europe
Historically shaped by shifting borders and mixing of various cultures and languages, identities in-between have been in abundance in Central-Eastern Europe. This course offers a comprehensive study of the oeuvre of several major Central-European authors of modernity: the Ukrainian-Russian Nikolai Gogol (1809-1852), the Czech-German-Jewish Franz Kafka (1883-1924), the Austrian-Galician-Jewish Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (1836-1895), the Ukrainian-Galician Olha Kobylyans'ka (1863-1942), the Russian-German Lou Andreas-Salomé (1861-1937), the Jewish-Polish-Galician Bruno Schulz (1892-1942), and the émigré writers from Eastern Europe (Joseph Brodsky, Czesław Miłosz, Milan Kundera, and Václav Havel). Performing their selves in two or more cultures, these writers were engaged in identity games and produced hybrid texts with which they intervened into the major culture as others. In the course, we will apply post-structuralist and post-colonial concepts such as minor language, heterotopia, in-betweenness, mimicry, indeterminacy, exile, displacement, and transnationalism to the study of the writers’ oeuvres. We will also master the sociolinguistic analysis of such multi-lingual phenomena as self-translation, code-switching, and calquing to uncover the palimpsest of hybrid identities.
88N: Ukraine at a Crossroads
Literally meaning “borderland,” Ukraine has embodied in-betweeness in all possible ways. The course examines the historical permeability of Ukraine's territorial, linguistic, and ethnic borders as the cultural force that has created modern "Ukraine." The reading materials for the course include the earliest records of Herodotus about the prehistoric Ukrainian civilizations, the cultural legacy of Kyivan Rus’ and baroque, as well as artistic works created during romanticism, realism, modernism, and postmodernism. In addition to learning how to interpret literary texts and historical records, we will create cartographic projects on major Ukrainian cities and ethnic minorities with the use of GIS tools. All required texts are in English. No knowledge of Ukrainian is required.
SLAVIC 165/365: City Myth: Soviet and Post-Soviet Sites of Memory
How does memory work in Soviet and post-Soviet space? How do cities create and transform memory? This course uncovers the layers of cultural history in four Russian and Ukrainian cities: Kyiv, Odesa, Moscow, and St. Petersburg. All four cities were imagined as utopian projects and all underwent transformation and destruction in the 20th century; their earlier layers exist only in literary texts and films. Readings combine literary and critical theory (Benjamin, Foucault, Barthes, Lotman) with fiction and films (Akhmatova, Andrukhovych, Babel, Bitov, Bulgakov, Bunin, Paradzhanov, Sokurov, Trifonov, Zhabotinsky, Vertov, Zeldovich) that display the ongoing collective memory work on the Soviet legacy. Students will create cartographic projects with Google Maps, Earth and Tour Builder, and HyperCities that visualize the urban palimpsest of cities undergoing major transformations.
Slavic 179/379: Literature from Medieval Rus' and Early Modern Russia
This course offers a survey of the culture of the East Slavs from the 9th to the 17th centuries. The emphasis will be on written literature, visual arts, and religion. Most of the texts that the East Slavs had produced during the time period were influenced and borrowed from Byzantium therefore we will examine the regional variations in the adopted culture of early Rus, as well as the Rus’s response to Mongol Rule, the impact on culture of political consolidation around Moscow beginning in the 15th century, and the responses to "Westernization" in the 15th-17th centuries. We will pay special attention to stylistics, poetics, and language transformation based on the reading of the texts in the original Old Rus’ian language. Knowledge of Old-Church Slavonic is required.