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Conference: "Editing the Soviet Underground"

University of Toronto, November 20-21, 2019


Catherine Ciepiela, Amherst College

Catherine Ciepiela is a scholar and translator of Russian poetry who teaches at Amherst College. She is the author of The Same Solitude (Cornell 2006), a study of Marina Tsvetaeva's epistolary romance with Boris Pasternak; co-editor, with Honor Moore, of The Stray Dog Cabaret (NYRB 2007), an anthology of poems by the Russian modernists in Paul Schmidt's translations; and editor of the anthology Relocations: 3 contemporary Russian women poets (Zephyr 2013), featuring translations of Polina Barskova, Anna Glazova and Maria Stepanova.  She recently finished translating a book of Polina Barskova’s poetic prose and is at work on a book about Tsvetaeva’s émigré career.

Margaryta Golovchenko, University of Toronto

Margaryta Golovchenko is a poet, critic, and recent graduate of the University of Toronto (HBA, Specialist in Art History and Major in Literature & Critical Theory).  In 2017-2018, she worked as a Research Assistant preparing presentations of Samizdat Art Periodicals and the Samizdat artists Ry Nikonova and Serge Segay for the Project for the Study of Dissidence and Samizdat. She has written about art for Canadian Art, Cornelia, Peripheral Review, and Public Parking and is currently a book reviewer for The Town Crier and Anomaly. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks and is currently completing an MA in art history with a curatorial studies diploma at York University. Her research is supported by the Susan Crocker and John Hunkin Award in Fine Arts from York University and a Joseph Armand Bombardier CGS-M Scholarship (SSHRC).

Yelena Kalinsky, Michigan State University

Yelena Kalinsky is Assistant Professor of Art History at Michigan State University and Associate Director for Research & Publications at H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online. She is the co-editor and co-translator (with Brian Droitcour) of the forthcoming Andrei Monastyrski: Elementary Poetry (Ugly Duckling Presse) and is working on a book provisionally titled Collective Actions and the Moscow Conceptualist Art World.

Martha M. F. Kelly, University of Missouri

Martha Kelly is Associate Professor of Russian Studies in the Department of German and Russian Studies at the University of Missouri. She is the author of Unorthodox Beauty: Russian Modernism and Its New Religious Aesthetic, published by Northwestern University Press in 2016, and the co-editor, with Sibelan Forrester, of Russian Silver Age Poetry: Texts and Contexts (Academic Studies Press, 2015). Her current book manuscript, tentatively entitled “How to Be a Russian Poet: The Public Life of Olga Sedakova,” traces the evolution of one poet’s literary activity and public presence from the late Soviet period into the Putin era.

Ostap Kin, The Zimmerli Museum at Rutgers University

Ostap Kin is archivist/librarian/research center coordinator at Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University. He is the editor of New York Elegies: Ukrainian Poems on the City (Academic Studies Press, 2019) and translator, with Vitaly Chernetsky, of Yuri Andrukhovych’s collection Songs for a Dead Rooster (Lost Horse Press, 2018).

Yasha Klots, Hunter College

Yasha Klots received his Ph.D. in Russian literature from Yale University in 2011 and M.A. from Boston College in 2005. Before joining Hunter College in 2016, he taught at Georgia Institute of Technology, Williams College and Yale. In 2014-2016, he was a Humboldt Foundation Fellow at the Research Center for East European Studies at the University of Bremen, Germany. His research interests include Russian and East European émigré literature and print culture, contemporary Russian poetry, linguistic anthropology, bilingualism and literary translation, Gulag narratives (in particular, Shalamov), urbanism, the mythology of St. Petersburg and representation of other cities in Russian literature. He is the author of articles on Varlam Shalamov, Boris Pasternak, Joseph Brodsky, Lev Loseff, Vladimir Nabokov, Marina Tsvetaeva, Ivan Bunin and Nina Berberova, Russian children's poetry and New York City in Russian literature. In 2010, he published Joseph Brodsky in Lithuania (St. Petersburg: Perlov Design Center; in Russian), and co-translated, with Ross Ufberg, Tamara Petkevich’s Memoir of a Gulag Actress (DeKalb: Northern Illinois UP). His most recent book is Poets in New York: On City, Language, Diaspora (Moscow: NLO, 2016; in Russian), which includes his introduction and annotated interviews with 16 Russian and East European poets. He is currently working on a monograph Tamizdat, the Cold War and Contraband Russian Literature (1960-1970s) devoted to the circulation, reception and first publications of manuscripts from the Soviet Union in the West.

Ann Komaromi, University of Toronto

Ann Komaromi is Associate Professor and Acting Director of the Centre for Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto. Her research has focused particularly on late Soviet culture and the public communities of dissidence. She has published articles on uncensored literature and theory of samizdat textual culture, and she is interested in the return of modernism and avant-garde in nonconformist and oppositional literary and art practices of the post-War period. She created and edits the Project for the Study of Dissidence and Samizdat, which features electronic editions of selected Samizdat journals - (launched 2015). Komaromi’s first book was Uncensored: Samizdat Novels and the Quest for Autonomy in Soviet Dissidence(Northwestern UP, 2015); and she edited and introduced “We Are Jews Again”: The Jewish Movement in the Soviet Union, by Yuli Kosharovsky (Syracuse UP, 2017).  She is currently working on another book about Samizdat journals and dissident publics, and she is co-authoring a book on unofficial Jewish life in Leningrad with Dr. Michael Beizer of Hebrew University.

Veronika Korchagina, University of Toronto

Veronika Korchagina is a fourth year student at the University of Toronto majoring in Art History and Literature and Critical Theory and minoring in Digital Humanities. She is planning on pursuing an academic career in the field of art history doing research, teaching, as well as curatorial work. In her third year, she acted as a research assistant, as part of her Northrop Frye Undergraduate Fellowship, for Professor Ann Komaromi’s research project on the Moscow Archive of New Art (MANA) and the Moscow Conceptual Art Group. 

Ilja Kukuj, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

Ilja Kukuj (PhD) is the coordinator of Russian Language Studies at the Institute for Slavic Philology (Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich, Germany) and visiting curator at The Amherst Center for Russian Culture (Amherst College, USA). He is the editor of several volumes of Soviet unofficial poetry and prose (Leonid Aronzon, Alexei Khvostenko, Anri Volokhonsky, Pavel Zal'tsman etc.) and is a member of the Project for the Study of Dissidence and Samizdat at the University of Toronto, Canada (journal “Transponans”, online annotated edition). Ilja Kukuj is the author of many articles and co-editor of several academic anthologies and catalogues on Soviet literary samizdat and unofficial art. Among them are Rückkehr ins Paradies: Leonid Aronzon ([Return to Paradise: Leonid Aronzon]; Munich, 2008); Ot avangarda do coz-arta: kul'tura sovetskogo vremeni ([From Avant-garde to Soz-art: The Culture of Soviet Time]; Belgrade, 2016); Tranfurizm: Katalog k vystavke v muzee nonkonformistskogo iskusstva "Pushkinskaya-10" ([Transfurizm: Catalogue of then Exhibition in Museum for Non-Conformist Art "Pushkinskaya-10"]; St.Petersburg, 2018).

Paolo Mancosu, University of California at Berkeley

Paolo Mancosu is Willis S. and Marion Slusser Professor of Philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of numerous articles and books in logic and philosophy of mathematics. He is also the author of Inside the Zhivago Storm. The editorial adventures of Pasternak's masterpiece (Feltrinelli, Milan, 2013), Zhivago's Secret Journey: from typescript to book (Hoover Press, Stanford, 2016), and Moscow Has Ears Everywhere. New Investigations on Pasternak and Ivinskaya (Hoover Press, Stanford, 2019). During his career he has taught at Stanford, Oxford, and Yale. He has been a fellow of the Humboldt Stiftung, of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and of the Institut d'Études Avancées in Paris. He has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NSF, and the CNRS.

Ainsley Morse, Dartmouth College

Ainsley Morse is a scholar, teacher and translator of Russian and former Yugoslav literatures. She teaches at Dartmouth College. Her research focuses on the literature and culture of the post-war Soviet period, particularly unofficial or "underground" poetry, as well as the avant-garde and children's literature. Additionally, she translates contemporary Russian literature.

Luiza Moshkin, University of Toronto

Luiza Moshkin is a doctoral candidate at the Program of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Toronto. Her dissertation project examines the gendered poetics of Marina Tsvetaeva and of modernist poetry more generally. In addition to research, she teaches Russian language at all levels and is an avid translator from English to Russian. Her research interests include: Twentieth-century Russian Literature, Modernist Poetry, 1960-70s Soviet Poetry, Shestidesiatniki movement, Gender and Culture at the Fin de Siècle, Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies.

Valentina Parisi, Pavia University

Valentina Parisi holds a PhD in Slavic Studies from the State University in Milan. She has received a postdoc grant from the Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane (SUM) in Florence (2009-2011). She has been an EURIAS fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Central European University, Budapest in 2012-2013 and at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg (HWK) in Delmenhorst (Germany) in 2014-2015. She is the author of the volume Il lettore eccedente. Edizioni periodiche del samizdat sovietico, 1956-1990 (Bologna, Il Mulino, 2013). She currently teaches Russian literature at Scuola per Interpreti e Traduttori "Altiero Spinelli", Milan, and holds a three-years research grant (2019-2022) at Pavia University.

As a translator from Russian, she has been awarded the “Russia-Italia attraverso i secoli” price for the translation of Pavel Sanaev’s novel Seppellitemi dietro il battiscopa (Roma, Nottetempo, 2011). Her last translations published are Jurij Lotman, Conversazioni sulla cultura russa [Conversations on Russian Culture], ed. by S. Burini, Milano, Bompiani, 2017 and Anton Cechov, L’isola di Sachalin [The island of Sachalin]. Milano, Adelphi, 2017.

Simon Schuchat, Ugly Duckling Presse

Simon Schuchat is a retired American diplomat with over twenty-five years of experience, including service in Moscow, Beijing and Tokyo. Originally trained as a sinologist, he did graduate work at Yale and Harvard, as well as the National Defense University. His translations of Chinese and Russian prose and poetry have appeared in various anthologies and magazines, as well as his own poetry, which has also been published in four collections. His translations of Moscow conceptualist poet Dmitri Prigov will appear in 2019 from Ugly Duckling Presse. 

Bela Shayevich, Ugly Duckling Presse

Bela Shayevich is a Soviet-American artist and translator from the Russian, best known for Svetlana Alexievich's Secondhand Time and Vsevolod Nekrasov's I Live I See (with Ainsley Morse).

Rebekah Smith, New York University

Rebekah Smith edits at Ugly Duckling Presse, translates, and is a Ph.D. student in the department of Comparative Literature at NYU. Her translations from Spanish and Russian have been published by Asymptote, Brooklyn Rail, Ugly Duckling Presse, and Washington Square Review. In addition to translation practice, her research focuses on 20th century experimental forms of poetry and circulation in Latin America, the Soviet Union, and the US.

Josephine von Zitzewitz, University of Cambridge

Josephine von Zitzewitz is currently Lecturer in Russian at the University of Cambridge, having previously held research and teaching appointments at Oxford and Bristol universities. A specialist in 20th century poetry, she is the author of Poetry and the Leningrad Religious-Philosophical Seminar 1976-1980: Music for a Deaf Age (Legenda/MHRA and Routledge, 2016) and numerous articles on underground literature in the late Soviet Union. Her book on unofficial institutions, The Culture of Samizdat: Literature and Underground Networks in the Late Soviet Union, is forthcoming with IB Tauris/Bloomsbury in 2020. In October, she will begin a new project on the structures supporting contemporary Russian poetry on the internet and poet/translator collaborations at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromso.