Professor of Russian
Julie W. de Sherbinin received degrees in Russian from Amherst College (B.A.), Yale University (M.A.), and Cornell University (Ph.D.). She teaches Russian language and literature, as well as English language courses on Chekhov and the anglophone short story, and human rights in world literature. She has written on Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Blok and female madness in Russian letters. She is the co-founder of the North American Chekhov Society. Her book Chekhov and Russian Religious Culture (Northwestern UP) came out in 1997; she is co-editor with Michael C. Finke of Chekhov the Immigrant: Translating a Cultural Icon (Slavica, 2007), a volume of proceedings that issues from a National Endowment for the Humanities symposium on Chekhov held at Colby College.
Assistant Professor of Russian
Elena Monastireva-Ansdell has 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 taught previously at Oberlin College and Bowdoin College. Her special interests include contemporary Russian cinema and literature, national mythology, ethnic and gender studies. She teaches Russian language as well as courses on twentieth- and twenty-first-century Russian literature, cinema and culture. She has written on both Thaw and contemporary Russian cinema.
Office: Lovejoy 452
Ekaterina (Katerina) Nasonkina is a Russian language assistant for 2014/15 academic year. She was born and has lived all her life in St Petersburg, graduating from the Classical Gymnazium in St. Petersburg where Colby houses its Colby-in-St. Petersburg program. She has just graduated from St. Petersburg State University with a degree in International Management. As a part of her studies, she spent a semester abroad in Montreal, Canada. Katerina has worked as a leader and tutor of English in a summer camp for kids and teenagers and as a private teacher of English to individuals. She particularly enjoyed interpreting for guests, stage services and the media at the “Stars of White Nights” Festival at the Mariinsky Theater. Always passionate about performing arts and music, she has been playing piano for as long as she can remember and is currently involved in Young Arts Theater in St. Petersburg as an actress and sound engineer. Katerina’s new academic interest is filmmaking and cinema studies. She also loves singing, photography and windsurfing. Some of her other interests include dancing, business consulting, German & French languages and all kinds of traveling and culture exploration. At Colby she teaches two Russian courses and a conversation class, and takes courses in film.
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.
Assistant 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.