I joined the OSU Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures in 2009 to pursue a doctorate in Russian linguistics, literature and film. In my dissertation entitled “Semiotic analysis of Russian prose fiction in modern Russian film adaptations”, I analyzed signs and signifiers that constitute structural composition of Alexander Pushkin’s historical works Boris Godunov and The Captain’s Daughter and compared them with their Soviet and post-Soviet screen adaptations. I argued that the popularity of these literary works with filmmakers is based on their inexhaustible topicality for Russian society of the Soviet and post-Soviet periods, and therefore reassessment of their film adaptations guides us towards developing a better understanding of the sociopolitical complexities in contemporary Russia.
My research interests lie in the areas of Russian literature and culture of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, Russian film and media, gender studies, and Russian linguistics. Currently, I have been investigating the development of the Gulag theme in Russian prose, especially in recently published Gulag survivors’ memoirs and newly written novels by contemporary Russian authors such as Oleg Volkov, Anatoly Rybakov, Zakhar Prilepin and others.
I have extensive experience of teaching in different schools in the USA and Russia. Prior to the OSU, I taught a variety of courses in world literature and international studies at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado. Before immigrating to USA, I taught Russian language, literature, and economics in one of the oldest and largest Russian cities, Tver, that in medieval times competed with Moscow state for the title of the capital of Russia.
After completion of my PhD studies, I continue teaching at the OSU courses in Russian language, Russian Film, Sci-Fi literature and film, Russian Culture, and others. My favorite way to teach language is the communicative method when the context of the lesson is closely modeled after real life situations. When teaching content courses, I work to stimulate students’ engagement with in-depth discussions and small groups that prompt them to inspect each topic more carefully. Technology also makes a big part of my teaching style in the forms of multi-media presentations, smart boards, video clips, TV and radio shows, creating Wiki sites and utilizing discussion forums.
As a teacher of Russian language and culture, I strive to prepare my students to be able to collaborate beyond interpersonal, ethnic and political boundaries. To accomplish this, I treat my time as a teacher as opportunity to engender critical thinkers and leaders guided by responsibility for global processes; ones acutely aware of the interconnectedness of social and political decisions.
I believe myself to be a facilitator of learning, not simply a deliverer of knowledge, and therefore I place a special focus on creating the environment of
mutual respect in the classroom, where students feel safe and stimulated to contribute their ideas and achievements.