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I approach literature from more of a cultural-historical perspective than exclusively literary. In my courses, we study texts within their socio-historical contexts and draw connections within the spheres of visual arts and music as well. Russian/Soviet literature and cinema may seem intimidating; but with the right attitude and the right guide, anyone can find these subjects approachable and meaningful. I also work with cross-disciplinary studies, especially visual-verbal texts, such as between the writer Viktor Pelevin and the artist Erik Bulatov. I recently lectured on Prokofiev’s operatic adaptation of Tolstoy’s novel War and Peace. Currently, I’m researching the impact of Putin’s Stalin-esque policies on Russian cultural life in comparison to the silencing injustices of the Soviet era.
I teach two “boot camp” writing courses: “Punctuation and Grammar” focuses on learning the standards to produce error-free writing at the micro-level; “Editing and Style” emphasizes the art of revision, in order to create polished, eloquent prose. I believe strongly that no matter a writer’s intention, the audience’s perception remains judge and jury – and you might not have a second shot at a first impression! Your writing must be correct, concise, and elegant in order to succeed in today’s competitive job market.
Current and Recent Courses: 19th-century Russian Literature; Soviet Russian Literature; Tolstoy & Dostoevsky; Russian and Soviet Satire; Punctuation and Grammar; Writing: Editing and Style; and Russian & Soviet Cinema
Dream or Future Courses: Russian Drama (especially Chekhov), Flaubert & Turgenev, Russian Art, Dostoevsky's St. Petersburg (Study Abroad)
I’m also the administrator for the Seattle University Institutional Review Board, which reviews and approves all research conducted by SU faculty, staff, and students that involves human subject participants. I oversee daily IRB operations, write policies and procedures, meet with primary investigators to assist with their protocol submissions, and ensure compliance with federal regulations.
With three young children (plus three cats and five fish), I have little room for extras, but I try to find time for fun reading (science fiction, urban fantasy, etc.), addictive series (House of Cards, Downton Abbey), and Bollywood films.