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Vera ProskurinaAssociate Teaching Professor


I received my Ph.D. in Russian Literature from Moscow State University.  From 1989-1995 I worked in the Institute of World Literature (IMLI) of the Russian Academy of Science. Since 1995 I have taught Russian Language and Literature at Cornell University, Middlebury College, and Wesleyan University.

I published 4 books, several book editions, and about 70 articles in Russian, American, British, German, and French journals, and collections. My book Mikhail Gershenzon: His Life and Myth (1998) was the first monograph devoted to the Jewish writer and thinker who fostered Russian Modernism and headed intellectual movements of the first decades of the 20th century.

In 2001-2002 I was awarded a Regional Fellowship of the Davis Center of Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. In 2006 I published my second book Myths of Empire: Literature and Power in time of Catherine II (Moscow.) In 2011 I published my book (in English) Creating the Empress:  Politics and Poetry in the Age of Catherine II (grant: Mellon Foundation & National Endowment for the humanities for open assess) where I investigated the interactions of politics, poetry, royal ceremonies, and the arts. The book was "highly recommended" by the Choice and entered the list of required reading in many universities. My recent book Catherine II’s Empire of Letters: Literature as Politics (Moscow: Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie) appeared in 2017.

Courses Taught

  • RUSS 402 WR 20th Century Russian Literature in the Original
  • RUSS 313R Topics in Russian Literature
  • RUSS 311 Fiction and Nonfiction in Russian
  • RUSS 301 Advanced Conversation and Composition
  • RUSS 101-102 Elementary Russian