Participants
Olga Klimova
Aleksandr Kolbovskiy
David MacFadyen
Victor Matizen
Gerald McCausland
Elena Monastireva-Ansdell
Daniel Morgan
Stephen Norris
Vladimir Padunov
Alexander Prokhorov
Elena Prokhorova
Sasha Razor
Dawn Seckler
Oleg Sulkin
Natasha Sumetsky
Elise Thorsen

Erin Alpert

Graduate Student
Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
University of Pittsburgh


Erin received her BA in Global Studies (concentration in Russian Studies) from the College of William and Mary in 2007. She is currently a first year graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh.

Birgit Beumers

Birgit Beumers is Reader in Russian at the University of Bristol. She completed her D.Phil at St Antony's College, Oxford and specialises on contemporary Russian culture, especially cinema and theatre. Her publications include Burnt by the Sun (2000), Nikita Mikhalkov: Between Nostalgia and Nationalism (2005), PopCulture: Russia! (2005) and, as editor, Russia on Reels: The Russian Idea in Post-Soviet Cinema (1999) and 24 Frames: Russia and the Soviet Union (2007). She is editor of the online journal KinoKultura and of the journal Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema (published by intellect books). She is currently working on post-Soviet cinema and on the history of Russian animation.

Hillary Brevig

Graduate Student
Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
University of Pittsburgh

Hillary received a B.A. in Russian from Reed College in 2006. She is currently in her first year of graduate study at the University of Pittsburgh.

Andrew Chapman

Graduate Student
Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
University of Pittsburgh


Andrew Chapman received his B.A. in Russian from University of Rochester in 2004 and his M.A. in Russian Literature from University of Pittsburgh in 2007. He is currently in his third year of graduate study at University of Pittsburgh, researching Soviet queue culture in literature and film.

Ian Christie

Ian Christie is Anniversary Professor of Film and Media History, at Birkbeck College University of London, having previously taught at the universities of Oxford (1995-98) and Kent (1997-9), and is a Fellow of the British Academy. At the British Film Institute from 1976-96, he was responsible for directing distribution and exhibition, and launched video publishing. In 1999 he co-founded the new review Film Studies, now published by Manchester University Press. He is the author and editor of many books on Russian, British and American cinema, including The Film Factory (with Richard Taylor), Scorsese on Scorsese (with David Thompson), and is Vice President of Europa Cinemas, an EU funded organisation which supports exhibitors throughout Europe who show European films. He is currently director of the AHRB Centre for British Film and Television Studies, based at Birkbeck.

Nikolai Condee-Padunov

Nikolai Condee-Padunov is an undergraduate sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh, focusing on Political Science and Philosophy with a certificate in Global Studies. He also serves as the Public Relations Chair of the University of Pittsburgh Student Government Board and is the former Political Action Chair for the University of Pittsburgh Rainbow Alliance. He has worked as the intern for the Russian Film Symposium for the past two years.

Nancy Condee

Publications include Soviet Hieroglyphics: Visual Culture in Late 20c. Russia (BFI/Indiana UP, 1995); Endquote: Sots-Art Literature and Soviet Grand Style , with Marina Balina and Evgeny Dobrenko (Northwestern UP, 2000); and Antimonies of Art and Culture: Modernity, Postmodernity, Contemporaneity, with Terry Smith and Okwui Enwezor (Duke, 2008), and The Imperial Trace: Recent Russian Cinema (Oxford, forthcoming).  She is Executive Director of the CD-rom on Thaw cinema, Kino ottepeli (Moscow: Artima Studio, 2002. 

Her work, with Vladimir Padunov and separately, has appeared in The Nation, The Washington Post, October, New Left Review, Sight and Sound, as well as major Russian cultural journals ( Znamia, Voprosy literatury, Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, Iskusstvo kino ). She has worked as a consultant for the Edinburgh Film Festival, the Library of Congress, and Public Broadcasting for several Frontline documentaries. 

Chip Crane

Chip Crane Received a B.A. in Theatre Studies form Georgia State University in 2001 and an M.A. in theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Pittsburgh in 2005. He is currently in his fifth year of graduate study at the University of Pittsburgh.

Alyssa DeBlasio

Alyssa DeBlasio holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Villanova University (2003) and an M.A. in Russian Literature from the University of Pittsburgh (2006). She is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh, beginning a dissertation on the late-perestroika and early post-Soviet historical pivot in Russian philosophical thought. Her film publications include articles on the cinematic aesthetics of Evgenii Bauer (The Russian Review, Oct. 2007) and the post-war genre of the novogodnii fil'm (Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema, Jan. 2008), as well as several film reviews in KinoKultura (Sergei Karandashov’s The Wanderer; Vera Storozheva’s Greek Holidays; Tania Detkina’s The Rascal).

Greg Dolgopolov

Greg Dolgopolov is a lecturer in Film at the University of New South Wales, Australia having previously taught at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, Murdoch, Melbourne and Curtin Universities. He completed his PhD on the transformations of post-Soviet television culture at Murdoch University in 2003. He has worked as an actor, director, and a "spin doctor." His primary areas of interest are: Australian cinema, Russian cinema, screen theory, video production, short films, mobile devices, and documentary. Greg now runs a small production entity called "BadDad," which is focused on hybrid documentary and cinema theory put into practice.

Julie Draskoczy

Julie graduated from New York University in 2002 with a BA in Comparative Literature and Russian and Slavic Studies. She began a PhD program at the University of Pittsburgh in 2004, and her dissertation will focus on creativity and labor at Stalin's White Sea Canal.  Her research interests include: Gulag culture, criminality, Maksim Gor'kii, Yiddish and Jewish studies, life-writing, animation and samizdat literature.

Marina Drozdova

Marina Drozdova is a graduate of the Department of Journalism at Moscow State University. She is Research Assistant in the State Institute of Cultural Studies (Moscow) in the Department of Art Theory. She is a regular columnist for the journal Film and a regular contributor to Iskusstvo kino. She was a member of the editorial board of Seans and participated in the Noveishaia entsyklopediia otechestvennogo kino (1985-2000). She has written screenplays for and directed a dozen documentary films, and is currently a producer and chief commission editor of the documentary department at the "Culture" television channel.

Arlene Forman

Arlene Forman teaches Russian language, literature, and film at Oberlin College. She chairs the Russian and East European Studies Curricular Committee and is pictured here with her doggedly devoted assistant, Benya Krik.

Seth Graham

Seth received his PhD in Russian literature at the University of Pittsburgh in 2003. The title of his thesis was A Cultural Analysis of the Russo-Soviet Anekdot. He subsequently taught at the University of Washington, Seattle (2003-2004) and held a post-doctoral Humanities Fellowship at Stanford University (2004-2006) before accepting a position at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at University College London in September 2006.

He has published articles and chapters on literature, film, and humour in Russian Review, The Dictionary of Literary Biography, Studia Filmoznawcze, and in several essay collections. His monograph, Russkii anekdot v kontekste, will be published in 2007 by O.G.I. Press in Moscow. He is co-editor (with Olga Mesropova) of Uncensored? Reinventing Humor and Satire in Post-Soviet Russia (Slavica, 2007, forthcoming). He has also done quite a bit of translating from Russian, including Valeria Narbikova's experimental novel Day Equals Night (Ardis, 1999) and subtitles for Nikita Mikhalkov's 2007 film Twelve.

Mikhail Iampolski

Mikhail Iampolski is a Professor in the Departments of Comparative Literature and Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University. He moved to the United States from Russia in 1991, first as a researcher at the Getty Center and then as a faculty member at NYU. His interests include Slavic literatures and cinema, theories of representation, and the body in culture. He is the author of 300 articles in several languages, has written ten books, and has edited or translated as many others. His most recent book is a study of the films of Kira Muratova.

Lilya Kaganovsky

Lilya Kaganovsky is Assistant Professor of Slavic, Comparative Literature, and Cinema Studies at the University of Illinois. Her major interests include Soviet and post-Soviet cinema; film and critical theory; gender studies; and studies in the novel. Her book, How the Soviet Man Was Unmade (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008) focuses on the construction of masculinity in Stalinist culture. Other recent publications include: "The Voice of Technology and the End of Soviet Silent Film: Grigorii Kozintsev and Leonid Trauber's Alone" in Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema 1.3; "Men Wanted: Female Masculinity in Sergei Livnev's Hammer and Sickle" in the Slavic and East European Journal 51. 2; and "Solaris and the White, White Screen" in The Russian Visual Documents Reader (ed. Joan Neuberger and Valerie Kivelson, Yale UP, 2008). She is currently working on Soviet cinema's transition to sound, 1928-1932.

Aleksandr Kiselev

Aleksandr Kiselev graduated from the Department of Journalism at Moscow State University. Since 1984 he has signed his film reviews "Sasha Kiselev." He has published articles in Russian critics on the cinema of Glasnost (ed. Michael Brashinsky and Anrew Horton, 1984) and Kinoglobus. His reviews have been published in Sovetskii film, Iskusstvo kino, Seans, Sovetskii ekran, Stolitsa, Stereo, Kino (Riga), Pluto (Belgium), Bref (France), as well as in the newspapers Dom kino, Literaturnaia gazeta, Vek, and others. He is a regular contributor to Film and Kinobiznes. He has written screenplays for and directed a dozen documentary films, and is currently a producer of a series of documentary films. He is also the Artistic Director of the film production company "TeleKinoForum."

Olga Klimova

Olga graduated from Belarusian State University in Minsk with the Specialist degree in Cultural Studies in 2001. She received an MA in Popular Culture from Brock University, Canada, in 2005, and an MA in Russian Literature from the University of Pittsburgh in 2007. Olga has taught a number of film and gender courses at the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film at Brock University, and currently teaches language and culture courses at the University of Pittsburgh's Slavic Department.
Her current research interests include cultural theory, post-Soviet popular culture and popular cinema, cultural representations of trauma, Russian youth culture and cinema, Stagnation cinema, Belarusian cinema, and much more.

Aleksandr Kolbovskiy

Aleksandr Kolbovskiy graduated from the Department of Journalism at Moscow State University and for many years worked as a journalist. He began to write about cinema in the 1980s for the journal Sovetskii ekran. He started working at the NTV channel in 1988 as one of the directors of the film section and the chief editor of the Nashe kino program on NTV-Plus. In 2002 he launched Pestraia lenta, a television program for the TVS channel and later for the First Channel. He has written scripts for and directed several television programs about cinema, as well as written several books about Russian film actors. His current program on the First Channel, Dobroe utro, is one of the most popular shows devoted to cinema. He selects films to be released on DVD by Pervaia videokompaniia. He is a member Nika, the Academy of Cinema Art.

Victor Matizen

Victor Matizen is a graduate of the Physical- and Mechanical Mathematics Department of Novosibirsk University. He taught mathematics in Novosibirsk until 1981 when he moved to Moscow, where he worked as a sewer pipe technician, fern planter, melter, facade decorator, and tutor while studying in the Scriptwriting and Criticism Department at the State Institute for Filmmaking (VGIK). He has published more than 1,500 articles, reviews, and interviews on cinema in Literaturnaia gazeta, Nezavisimaia gazeta, Kul'tura, Novoye russkoe slovo, Segonia, Iskusstvo kino, Seans and many other newspapers and journals. He has published several books on geometry and edited the collection of articles and interviews in Nikita Mikhalkov (1994). He is currently the film critic for Novye izvestiia, the President of the Guild of Film Scholars and Film Critics, and a Secretary of the Russian Union of Filmmakers.

David MacFadyen

David MacFadyen is a graduate of the University of London and UCLA. He is Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at UCLA and has authored books on subjects ranging from the poetry of Joseph Brodsky (Joseph Brodsky and the Baroque, 1999; Joseph Brodsky and the Soviet Muse, 2000), to Russian popular songs (Red Stars: Personality and the Soviet Popular Song after 1955, 2001; Estrada?! Grand Narratives and the Philosophy of the Russian Popular Song 1982-2000, 2001; Songs for Fat People: Affect, Emotion and Celebrity in the Soviet Popular Song, 1900 to 1955, 2002), to animated and feature films of the Soviet Union (The Sad Comedy of El'dar Riazanov: An Introduction to Russia's Most Popular Filmmaker, 2003; Yellow Crocodiles and Blue Oranges: Russian Animated Film after World War Two, 2004). Two monographs with Routledge recently went to press: Russian Culture in Uzbekistan and Russian Television Today: Primetime Drama and Comedy. A collected edition of articles and archival materials relating to Anna Akhmatova was published late in 2006. He is currently busy with two projects: the first involves building a portal dedicated to independent musicians and songwriters from all across the former Soviet Union. The second is a book on the related notions of glamur and ponty in Russia today.

Gerald McCausland

Lecturer
University of Pittsburgh
Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures

Gerald McCausland teaches at the University of Pittsburgh, where he directs the Russian language program. He holds degrees from the University of Pittsburgh (Ph.D., Russian), Middlebury College (BA, Political Science; MA Russian) and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (MA, German). His publications include articles on Vladimir Sorokin, Viktor Pelevin, and Andrei Platonov as well as translations and film reviews. His current research focuses on post-Soviet Russian identity in contemporary literature and film, particularly on the question of how a psychoanalytically informed study of literature and cinema can illuminate the dynamic relationship between a social collective and its cultural production.

Elena Monastireva-Ansdell

Elena Monastireva-Ansdell received her Ph.D. from Indiana University. She teaches Russian culture, literature, and cinema at Bowdoin College, Maine. Her publications on contemporary Russian film and Thaw cinema have appeared in KinoKultura and The Russian Review.

Daniel Morgan

Daniel Morgan is an assistant professor of film studies in the Department of English at the University of Pittsburgh. He has published articles on André Bazin, Jean Rouch, and Jean-Luc Godard, and is working on a book on Godard's films and videos since the late 1980s.

Stephen Norris

Stephen Norris is Associate Professor of History and Director of Film Studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He is the author of A War of Images: Russian Popular Prints, Wartime Culture, and National Identity, 1812-1945 (Northern Illinois, 2006) and the co-editor of two forthcoming volumes with Indiana University Press: Preserving Petersburg: History, Memory, Nostalgia (with Helena Goscilo) and Insiders and Outsiders in Russian Cinema (with Zara Torlone). He has published film articles in The Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television (on Mikhalkov's Barber of Siberia), Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema (on post-Soviet WW2 films), KinoKultura (on Bekmambetov's Night Watch), and forthcoming in The Russian Review (on Sidorov's Old Women). He is currently working on two book projects: Blockbuster History: Post-Soviet Films and the Uses of the Past and The Visual Worlds of Communism: Boris Efimov and the Soviet Century.

Vladimir Padunov

Associate Professor, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
Associate Director, Film Studies Program
Director, Russian Film Symposium
Deputy Editor, KinoKultura
Co-Editor, Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema
University of Pittsburgh


Padunov received his B.A. from Brooklyn College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at Cornell University. He has taught at the University of Iowa and Hunter College, as well as in Germany and Russia.

Together with Nancy Condee, he directed the Working Group on Contemporary Russian Culture (1990-93), supported by the American Council of Learned Societies and the Social Science Research Council. His work has been publish d in the US (The Nation, October, WideAngle), the UK (Framework, New Left Review, New Formations), and Russia (Voprosy literatury, Znamia, Iskusstvo kino). His areas of research include Russian visual culture, narrative history and theory, film history.

Recent Publications:

"Storing and Restoring History: Gosfil'mofond and the Tenth Belye Stolby Archival Film Festival." KinoKultura 12 (April 2006).

"Swan Song: The Sad Fate of Gregory Ratoff's Song of Russia (1944)." KinoForum 1 (2006): 45-47.

"Imperial Acorn —> National Oaks: The Eighth KinoForum." Kinokultura (July 2005).

Alexander Prokhorov

Alexander Prokhorov teaches Russian culture and film at College of William and Mary. His research interests include Russian visual culture, genre theory, and film history. His articles and reviews have been published in Kinokultura, Slavic Review, Russian Review, and Slavic and East European Journal.

Elena Prokhorova

Elena Prokhorova teaches in the Russian, Film, and Cultural Studies programs at the College of William and Mary. Her research focuses on identity discourses in Soviet and post-Soviet media. Elena's publications have appeared in Kinokultura, Slavic Review, SEEJ and in edited volumes.

Sasha Razor

Sasha Razor received her BA degree in French from California State University Long Beach in 2007. She is currently a graduate student at UCLA. Her research interests include: artistic mechanisms of social transitions; contemporary film, performance arts and drama; hybrid literatures and contemporary Russian-American writers.

Dawn Seckler

Dawn Seckler holds degress from Colby College (BA, Russian Studies) and the University of Pittsburgh (MA, Russian Literature). She is currently working toward a doctorate in Russian cinema; her research focuses on contemporary Russian cinema, with particular emphasis on film genre theory and masculinity studies.

Oleg Sulkin

Film critic and journalist. Works as a staff film critic and writer at Novoye Russkoye Slovo, a Russian-American daily newspaper published in New York and as a U.S. correspondent of a Russian weekly magazine Itogi. Member of the Filmmakers Union of Russia, member of Film Critics Guild of Russia. Graduated from the Moscow State University (MGU), history and theory of art. Worked at Novosti Press Agency, Sovetskyi Ekran magazine, was an editor-in-chief of the Sovetskyi Film monthly magazine. Together with Michail Ivanov created and co-wrote the first three issues of the annual Videoguide. Wrote hundreds of articles, essays and reviews on film, arts and culture. Wrote a book about Yuri Ozerov (together with Nikolai Sumenov), and brochures on Natalia Andreichenko and Oleg Yankovsky. Writes for www.kinokultura.com.

In 1995 moved to the U.S.A. Lives in New Jersey In 1999-2004 hosted a weekly radio show Film Hour on a Russian-American radio People's Wave. Heads the film selection for the annual Russian Film Week in New York. Participated in Russian Symposiums at the Pittsburgh University for several years.

Natasha Sumetsky

Natasha Sumetsky has designed the Russian Film Symposium's website since 2005. She completed her Bachelor's degree in psychology and Slavic Studies at the University of Pittsburgh in December, 2006, and is now continuing a less formal education in faraway lands, locally, and in transit. She spends her lack of free time writing, studying music, and avoiding long walks on the beach.

Elise Thorsen

Elise Thorsen graduated with a B.A. in Russian Studies from the College of William & Mary in 2006, and is now a first-year graduate student in Slavic Languages & Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests include racial discourse in Russia and the Soviet Union, Orientalism and Russian post-imperialism.
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