Elise Thorsen

BA, Russian Studies, College of William and Mary, 2006

MA, Slavic Languages and Literatures (Russian Literature), University of Pittsburgh, 2009

PhD, Slavic Languages and Literatures "Territory and Empire in Early Soviet Poetry," 2016


University of Pittsburgh Cultural Studies Fellowship, 2013-14

University of Pittsburgh Andrew Mellon Pre-Doctoral Fellowship for the Humanities, 2012-13.

American Councils Title VIII Combined Research and Language Training Fellowship (Moscow, Russia). Sept.-Dec. 2011.

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship, Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian. University of Pittsburgh, 2009-10.

Courses Taught

Forbidden Love on Page and Screen

Russian Short Story in Context

Intermediate Russian

20th Century Masterpieces of Russian Literature

Madness and Madmen in Russian Culture


[Under Review] “Translations of Cultural Capital: The Persian Motifs and Esenin as National Poet.”

[Under Review] “Blurring the Boundaries: Nikolai Gumilev’s Africa and Russian Empire.”

Review of Nariman Skakov’s The Cinema of Tarkovsky: Labyrinths of Space and Time. In Slavic and East European Journal 57.1 (Spring 2013): 127-128.

Review of Jamie Miller’s Soviet Cinema: Politics and Persuasion under Stalin. In Slavic and East European Journal 55.1 (Spring 2011): 125-27.

Research Interests

Empire and Postcolonial Theory

Aesthetics of the Soviet Periphery

Schools of Peasant Poetry and Nekrasov

Contemporary Russian Cinema

Computational Methods and Verse Norms

Representative Conference Presentations

“The Sixties and Its Understanding of ‘Constructivist’ Poetry.” Princeton Conjunction, “Illusions Killed by Life: Afterlives of Soviet Constructivism.” Princeton. 10 May 2013.

“Algorithmic Derivation of Russian Prosodic Characteristics in Anna Akhmatova’s Verse.” Midwest Slavic Conference. Columbus. 6 April 2013.

“Aleksei Surkov and Territorial Consciousness in the Soviet Interwar Period.” AATSEEL Annual Conference. Boston. 5 January 2013.

“Boundaries in Soviet Lyric Geographies: Literalization of the Romantic Desert in Early Soviet Poetry.” ASEEES National Convention. New Orleans. 17 November 2012.

“‘All That Remains of the Old World’: Maiakovskii and the Challenge of Recuperating the Advertising Jingle.” AATSEEL Annual Conference. Bellevue, WA. 6 January 2012.

Dissertation Title and Year

Territory and Empire in Early Soviet Poetry (in progress)