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The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures has an excellent placement record in tenure-line, or tenure-line equivalent positions in academia.  Our graduates also have gone on to distinguished careers in academic administration, publishing, business and federal policy.  See our Career Paths page.

Polina Maksimovich, Ph.D. 2020

Dr. Polina Maksimovich completed her PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures in August.  Her dissertation, “Performing Suicide: Transformation of the Superfluous Man in Soviet Drama,” analyzes the use of fake suicide as a dramatic and theatrical device for character development, in which the character’s self-identity is rerouted through the author’s perception of the self.  Her research focuses on three distinctive 20th-century plays by Iurii Olesha, Nikolai Erdman and Aleksandr Vampilov to develop a more comprehensive concept of the dramatic protagonist in Soviet drama based on Olesha’s metaphor of the beggar.  Her publication in AvtobiografiЯ journal examines the trajectory of Olesha’s presentation of the self in the context of the stylistic evolution of his ‘beggar character’ in drama.  She is a Part-time Instructor of Russian at Loyola University Chicago, where she has taught Russian language and literature since 2017.  From Fall 2021 Dr. Polina Maksimovich will assume the position of Teaching Assistant Professor of Russian at Denver University, where she will work closely with colleagues within the Center for World Languages and Cultures to further develop and promote the Russian program. Polina will teach primarily first-year Russian language sequences, as well as contribute at the intermediate and advanced Russian courses toward the undergraduate common curriculum.

max rosochinsky, Ph.D. 2018

Max Rosochinsky received his PhD from Northwestern in June 2018.  His academic work focused on twentieth century Russian poetry, especially Marina Tsvetaeva and Osip Mandelshtam. He also writes and translates poetry. His poems have been nominated for the PEN International New Voices Award in 2015. With Oksana Maksymchuk, he won first place in the 2014 Brodsky-Spender competition, and co-edited a NEH-funded anthology, Words for War: New Poems from Ukraine (Academic Studies Press, 2017). His writing has appeared in the Best European Fiction series (Dalkey Archive Press), Modern Poetry in TranslationWords Without BordersPoetry InternationalLos Angeles Review of BooksTranslation Review, Poem, The Common, and elsewhere.

Andy zhang, Ph.D. 2016

Andy Zhang received his PhD from Northwestern University in 2016.  He received his B. A. from Peking University, Beijing, in Russian language and literature with a minor in French.  In 2017, as Visiting Assistant Professor at Northwestern, he taught The Influence of Russian Literature on Chinese Writers and 200 Years of Russian Drama.  Andy returned to China in fall 2017; he is now Lecturer at Shanghai International Studies University, teaching couses on the history of Russian literature (20th century), reading Russian literature in the original (20th century), and Slavic sci-fi. 

Amanda Allan, Ph.D. 2015

Amanda Allan completed her PhD in September 2015. Her dissertation, “Orphans in Soviet and Post-Soviet Cultural Imagination,” considers the relationships between the tradition of fictionalized storytelling about orphans and real-life identity politics, nationalism, and historical circumstances for children in the Soviet Union and contemporary Russia. This project grew out of her work on Viktor Shklovsky and formalism, as well as her background in comparative literature; she received a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley in 2007. At Northwestern, she led courses for undergraduate and graduate students that focus on the development of writing and research skills through the lenses of 19th- through 21st-century literature, culture, and theory. In 2016, she taught Soviet history at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

jennifer croft, ph.D 2013

Since receiving her PhD in Comparative Literary Studies and Slavic from Northwestern in 2013, Jennifer Croft has become an accomplished author, critic and translator of Polish, Ukrainian and Argentine Spanish literature.  She and author Olga Tokarczuk, received the 2018 Man Booker International Prize for her translation of Flights Croft studied Polish at the University of Iowa, where she earned an MFA in literary translation, and lived in Poland for two years on a Fulbright scholarship.  She received the Michael Henry Heim Prize for Translation and a Tin House Workshop Scholarship for her novel Homesick, originally written in Spanish. She is a founding editor of The Buenos Aires Review and has published her own work and many translations in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Review of Books, VICE, n+1, Electric Literature, Lit Hub, BOMB, Guernica, The New Republic, The Guardian, The Chicago Tribune and other publications.  Croft translated Romina Paula's August for The Feminist Press in April 2017.  Her translation of Flights from Polish was published by Fitzcarraldo Editions in May 2017. She is now translating Tokarczuk's novel Księgi jakubowe (The Books of Jacob), which won the Nike Award in 2015.

Stanley Bill, Ph.D. 2013

Stanley Bill completed his PhD in Comparative Literary Studies and Slavic at Northwestern in 2013.  He is now Lecturer in Polish Studies in the Department of Slavonic Studies at the University of Cambridge in the UK.  Before coming to Cambridge, Stanley worked at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow.  He focuses on 20th Century Polish literature and culture, with particular interests in religion, secularization theory and postcolonial interpretations of Polish cultural history.  He has written on Czesław Miłosz, Bruno Schulz, and postcolonial theory in the Polish context, as well as religious issues in the novels of Fyodor Dostoevsky.  He is originally from Perth, Australia.

Connor Doak, Ph.D. 2013

Connor Doak graduated from the Northwestern PhD program in 2013 and is now Lecturer in Russian at the University of Bristol (UK). His research focuses on gender and sexuality in Russian literature and culture, particularly masculinity and its relationship to political change and war. He has published articles on Pushkin and Byron, Petrushevskaia, and Maiakovskii, and is working on a monograph on Maiakovskii's changing representations of masculinity.

Tatiana Filimonova, Ph.D. 2013

Tatiana Filimonova is Assistant Professor in Russian Studies at The College of Wooster, in Wooster, Ohio.  In 2013, she began an Andrew W. Mellon Visiting Assistant Professorship at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.  She has also taught at Herzen University and Bard College, as well as Northwestern.  A native of St. Petersburg, Tatiana's research focuses on literature, history and contemporary Russian literature.  Her research examines Eurasianist trends in the literature of the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries. She is working on her monograph that analyzes instances of both criticism and propagation of Eurasianism in the work of contemporary Russian writers such as Sorokin, Krusanov and Pelevin. 

Katherine Bowers, Ph.D. 2011

Since January 2015, Katherine Bowers has been an Assistant Professor of Slavic Studies at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. She teaches Russian, Slavic and comparative literature and culture courses. Katherine is working on a monograph on the influence of eighteenth-century gothic writing on Russian realism. Her research stretches across the nineteenth century, and she has published a number of articles on nineteenth-century Russian literature and culture. From 2012-2014, Katherine was a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge (UK), where she was also a Research Fellow of Darwin College.  Her new book, Russian Writers and the Fin de Siècle: The Twilight of Realism, (Cambridge University Press, 2015) includes chapters by several other Slavic Department alumni!

Nina Wieda, Ph.D. 2010

Nina Wieda became an Assistant Professor of Russian at Middlebury College in the fall of 2012. Her article “Cultural Kenosis in Chekhov’s The Wife” is in the collection Chekhov in the 21st Century with Slavica. Her book projects include a manuscript on secular kenosis in Russian literature and culture and a new book project, The Ethical Other: Internal Minorities in Soviet Russia, which delineates the tradition of axiological exchange between center and periphery in the Soviet Union. At ASEEES 2012, she presented on the relationship between Ukrainian literary diaspora and the linguistic situation in post-Soviet Ukraine. At AATSEEL 2013, she co-presented with Dr. Elisabeth Elliott on the relationship between language proficiency and heritage speakers' identity. Nina is now an Assitant Professor of Instruction for Northwestern's Chicago Field Studies program.

Olga Livshin, Ph.D. 2010

Olga Livshin is an independent researcher, poet and translator with  She served as lecturer of Russian and Head of the Russian Language Program at Boston University, and before that, as Assistant Professor of Russian at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. Her current project is "Alternative Masculinities in Late Soviet Nonconformist Literature, 1958-1991." Her expertise centers on Russian modernism and postmodernism, Russian poetry, theory and practice of literary translation, and intersections between literature and the visual arts. Recent articles concern contemporary Russian poetry, performance studies, and writing during Perestroika. Her poetry has appeared in The Mad Hatters' Review and other journals, in the Persian Anthology of World Poetry (trans. Mohsen Emadi), and on WFMT Radio.

masha kisel, Ph.D. 2008

Masha Kisel is currently the Slavic Program Coordinator at the University of Dayton in the Department of Global Languages and Cultures. Masha also teaches courses in creative writing and film. Prior to this, she held visiting positions at University of Victoria and Lawrence University. Masha's article "Feuilletons Don't Burn: Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita and the Imagined Soviet Reader" was published in 2009 in Slavic Review. Her short stories, essays and flash fiction have been published in Gulf Coast, Prime Number Magazine, Columbia Journal, Tahoma Literary Review, ASU's TransformationsMcNeese Review, Brooklyn Review and in the flash fiction anthologies  And if That Mocking Bird Don't Sing: Parenting Gone Speculativefrom Alternating Current Press and Short Vigorous Roots from Ooligan Press.

Peter Thomas, Ph.D. 2008

Peter John Thomas is Associate Professor of Russian Studies at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, where he has been teaching since 2006.  Before coming to Lawrence, he taught courses in comparative literature, Russian language, culture, and film at Northwestern, Beloit College, and St. Olaf College.  He received the Young Teacher Award (2013) and the Freshman Studies Teaching Award (2015).  In August 2016, he will lead his sixth summer seminar at the Björklunden Seminars in Door County Wisconsin, where he will be presenting on Putin’s Russia: Culture and Politics.  His research interests include Russia, poetry, translation, philosophy and contemporary composers.

Jenny Kaminer, Ph.D. 2006

Jenny Kaminer is Associate Professor of Russian at UC-Davis, where she has been teaching since 2009.  She teaches courses on Russian literature and culture, conducted in both Russian and English. She also teaches a large-enrollment lecture course for the Humanities program on the topic of motherhood in Western culture. Prior to Davis, Jenny had two visiting assistant professor positions: first at Oberlin College for 1.5 years, and then at the University of Sheffield (UK) for 1 year. Her book, Women With a Thirst for Destruction: The Bad Mother in Russian Culture, was published by Northwestern UP in 2014, and received the Heldt Prize for Best Book in Slavic/East European/Eurasian Studies from the Association of Women in Slavic Studies. In addition to gender and Russian culture, Jenny's research interests include Russian theater, drama and post-Soviet culture. Her forthcoming publications include “Vasilii Sigarev’s Post-Soviet Dramas of the Provincial Grotesque,” which will appear in The Russian Review in July 2016.

Michal Oklot, Ph.D. 2005

Michal Oklot is a Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Brown University. Prior to coming to Brown, Michal taught at University of Wisconsin-Madison and American University in Cairo. He has taught courses on Russian, Polish, and English literatures from the early modern period through the twentieth-century. His scholarly interests include Nikolai Gogol and his 20th century continuators, Russian and Polish modernism, comparative Slavic history of ideas, especially Neoplatonic currents in Slavic thought, and literary theory. He has published articles on Schulz, Gombrowicz, Wittlin, Vincenz, and others. His book, Phantasms of Matter in Gogol (and Gombrowicz), was published by Dalkey Archive Press in 2008.

Angelina Ilieva, Ph.D. 2005

Angelina Ilieva is a lecturer in Balkan and South Slavic literature at the University of Chicago, where she teaches courses on Balkan history folklore, literature, and film. Her general interests include the relation between representation and identity, anthropological approaches to culture, and contemporary critical theory. In particular, she is working on the role of trauma and sublimity in the emotional power of national identity. 

Patricia Zody, Ph.D. 2002

Since August 2010, Patricia Zody has worked for American Councils as manager of the Russian and Persian Overseas Flagship Program. In January 2012, she took on the management of the Swahili Overseas Flagship and African Languages Initiative Programs. Prior to this, she was the Director for the Center for Language Studies at Beloit College. She has also served on the Board of Directors for American Council of Teachers of Russian (ACTR), as the Executive Director for the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and Eastern European Languages (2006-2011), and as the Chairperson of the Annual National Post-Secondary Russian Essay Contest for ACTR (2002-2011).

Alexander Burry, Ph.D. 2001 

Alexander Burry is Associate Professor and Grad Studies Chair at the Ohio State University Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures, where he has taught since 2004. His book, Multi-Mediated Dostoevsky: Transposing Novels into Opera, Film, and Drama, was published by Northwestern University Press in 2011.  He has written articles on Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Prokofiev, Venedikt Erofeev, and other cultural figures, and is doing research for a book on the Don Juan legend in Russian culture. He recalls many wonderful experiences as a graduate student at NU, including the excitement and relief after teaching his first class of Russian in Fall 1996, and realizing how much he enjoyed interacting with students. He gave his master's talk on Prokofiev's opera The Gambler to the department a year later, sensing that this first public discussion of his ideas was an important step in becoming a scholar.

Simon Greenwold, Ph.D. 2001

Simon Greenwold is former Associate Dean of Administration, Finance, & Planning in WCAS at Northwestern University.  His responsibilities included oversight of strategic planning, admissions, financial aid, research and analysis, training grant support, and information technology.  He also was involved in various aspects of the TGS enterprise — academic and student affairs, alumni relations, and postdoctoral affairs.  He lives in Evanston with his wife Jennifer and daughter Josephine and is pleased to remain friends with alums of the Slavic program. 

Michael Denner, Ph.D. 2001

Michael Denner is an Associate Professor of Russian Studies at Stetson University, a 125-year-old liberal arts college in central Florida, where he directs the Russian Studies program as well as the University's Honor Program. For many years he has edited the Tolstoy Studies Journal, the only academic periodical devoted to Tolstoy. He also pursues an active research agenda, and is at work on a book entitled Resistance is Futile but No-Resistance Might Work: The Antistatist Politics of Leo Tolstoy. He feels that he received a marvelous education at Northwestern, with remarkable faculty support that continues to this day. His "first readers" for new research are Andrew Wachtel and Saul Morson.

Timothy Langen, Ph.D. 1998

Timothy Langen is Associate Professor of Russian and Department Chair of the Department of German and Russian Studies at the University of Missouri. 

 His books include The Stony Dance: Unity and Gesture in Andrey Bely's Petersburg (Northwestern UP, 2005) and Eight Twentieth-Century Russian Plays, Timothy Langen and Justin Weir, eds. (Northwestern UP, 2000).

Justin Weir, Ph.D. 1997

Justin Weir is Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Comparative Literature at Harvard University, where he also has served as Department Chair. His publications include Eight Twentieth-Century Russian Plays, co-edited and co-translated with Timothy Langen; The Author as Hero: Self and Tradition in Bulgakov, Pasternak, and Nabokov; and Leo Tolstoy and the Alibi of Narrative. He is currently working on projects concerning early Soviet film, cultural politics, and Russian Formalism.