Assistant Professor of Russian
Elena Monastireva-Ansdell hails from an ethnically and religiously diverse region in southern Russia, the beautiful Adyghei Republic in the Caucasus Mountains. She holds a B.A. in English from Piatigorsk State Institute of Foreign Languages, an M.A. in Russian from University of Iowa, and a Ph. D. from Indiana University in Slavic Languages and Literatures. She has published on both Thaw and contemporary Russian cinema with a focus on national mythology and media constructions of ethnicity and interethnic relations. Her investigations into Russia’s imperial identity and the image of the Caucasian/ Chechen Other have appeared in The Russian Review, Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema, and Kinokultura. Her work on Soviet cinema is published in Directory of World Cinema: Russia (Bristol, UK 2015), The Russian Cinema Reader (Boston 2013), and Modern Jewish Experiences in World Cinema (Brandeis 2011). Most currently, she has been researching ethnic migration and identity in Soviet and contemporary Eurasian cinema. Elena has previously taught at Oberlin and Bowdoin colleges. At Colby, she teaches Russian language as well as courses on twentieth- and twenty-first-century Russian literature, cinema and culture. She contributes courses to the Cinema and Global Studies Programs as well as to the Colby Writing Program and supervises Colby’s JanPlan in St. Petersburg. Her additional areas of expertise include Eastern European (especially Polish) cinema and Central Asian cinema and culture.
Assistant Professor of Russian
Luke Parker joins Colby this fall from Oberlin College. Originally from London, he received his education at the University of Oxford (B.A., Modern Languages) and Stanford University (Ph.D., Slavic). His published work includes an article in The Russian Review on Vladimir Nabokov’s novel The Luzhin Defense and professional chess of the 1920s and ’30s, and a translation in The Times Literary Supplement of a Russian talk Nabokov gave on history while in exile in 1920s Berlin. He is currently at work on a book about the relation of Russian émigré writers in Berlin and Paris and the international cinema industry. Having trained in St. Petersburg as an actor, he also researches the contemporary Russian theater. During 2017-2018, he will be teaching Russian language (including Intensive Russian during Jan Plan) and a course on visual culture in nineteenth century Russian literature (RU 231).
Evgeniia (Zhenia) Eliseeva
Office: Lovejoy 452
Zhenia Eliseeva is a Russian language assistant for 2019/20. Hailing from St. Petersburg, Russia, Zhenia is a graduate of the Classical Gymnazium in St. Petersburg where all students learn two ancient languages (Greek and Latin) and one or two modern languages in addition to Russian. Pursuing her longtime interest in liberal arts Zhenia earned her BA in comparative history from the Higher School of Economics. She then decided to change her field of study and enrolled in a Master’s program in Language Theory, from which she successfully graduated in 2019 with a specialty in the verb system of Indo-European languages. One of Zhenia’s hobbies is archaeology. She likes going on archaeological expeditions as a volunteer during her summer holidays and has just returned from a trip to the Black Sea coast where she helped unearth an ancient Greek settlement. Theater and amateur theatrical productions is another passion that Zhenia acquired at the Classical Gymnazium with its tradition of annual theater festivals. She acted in every school play while at the Gymnazium as well as serving as an assistant director for school productions during her last two years in the school. At Colby Zhenia teaches two Russian courses and a conversation class, and takes courses in Classics and Women and Gender Studies.
Professor of Russian History
Paul Josephson, Colby’s Russian and Soviet history professor, is a specialist in the history of twentieth century science and technology. He has written 11 books and a large number of articles and chapters on science and technology in Russia and the former Soviet Union; on science cities; nuclear power; recreational machines; Arctic conquest; and other subjects. The study of large scale technological systems and their potential extensive human and environmental costs have led Josephson into environmental history. With students at Colby, he studies Soviet and Russian history, Science, Race and Gender, Luddism, and Environmental History. His research takes him to Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, Norway, Jamaica, and elsewhere.
Associate Professor of Music
Natalie Zelensky graduated with honors from Northwestern University with a Ph.D. in Music Studies. Fusing ethnomusicology, historical musicology, and critical studies, Natalie’s research focuses on Russian music, diasporas, nostalgia, American popular music and culture, and Cold War politics. She has published articles and presented conference papers on Russian popular and sacred music in New York City, Russian-American summer camps, underground sacred music in the Soviet Union, and racial representation, gender, and marketing in the Classic Blues. Her work on Russian sacred music in New York is published in The Oxford Handbook of Music and World Christianities (Oxford 2012) and in conference proceedings (Russkii Put’ 2011). She co-authored the instructor’s manual for Rock and Roll: Its History and Stylistic Development (Prentice-Hall 2008, 2012) and helped translate and write the footnotes for W.W. Norton’s 2011 edition of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. Currently, she is working on a monograph that looks at the intersection of politics and performance in the aesthetic, commercial, and diasporic space of Russian music as it emerged in New York’s nightclubs, ethnic concerts, radio waves, and sheet music. Natalie teaches courses in ethnomusicology, American popular music, and offers a specialized course on Eastern European music that combines a sociocultural study of music with its performance.