Seminar Convener

2015-2016 “Society and Spectacle” seminar series, Centre for Russian, Soviet, Central and East  European Studies at St Andrews. See

Invited Lectures and Presentations

2017 “Combat in and with the Desert: Three Russian Travelogues about Turkmenia and Their Environmental Significance.” Delivered at New York University’s Jordan Center. May 12, 2017.

2016 Sensing the Great ‘Yellow Space’ of Soviet Central Asia: Depictions of the Kara-Kum Desert in the Early 1930s.” Lecture delivered at the University of Cambridge, as part of the  Department of Slavonic Studies’ biennial public lecture series for 2015-16, entitled “A Sense of Place.” February 4, 2016

2014 “Writing the Soviet Subject in the Stalinist Desert: Narratives of Turkmenia in the
1930s.” Lecture delivered at the Yale University Slavic Colloquium, April 23, 2014.

2012 “Field Notes from Moscow: Retraining on the Ground.” Remarks delivered at the roundtable “Literary Fact and Literary Life,” at the University of Pennsylvania, October 8, 2012. Hand-out available here.

2012 “Translating Pussy Riot.” Remarks delivered at the roundtable “Pussy Riot: Performance, Politics, and Protest,” at New York University’s Jordan Russia Center, September 14, 2012. Presentation text available here.

2011 “Kul’turnoe stroitel’stvo Srednei Azii, 1921–1939.” [“The Cultural Construction of Central Asia, 1921-1939.”] Lecture delivered to the Andrei Platonov archivists at the Institute of World Literature, Russian Academy of Sciences, December 14, 2011.

Papers at Specialized Conferences and Workshops

2015 “A Place of Devastation: The Desert in the Russian Silver Age,” at theinterdisciplinary conference “Topographies: Places to Find Something,” University of Bristol, 14 May, 2015.

2015 “Mature Literary Ambassadors: Tikhonov and Skosyrev in the Post-War Era.” Presented at the workshop “Transnational Contacts in the Socialist World,” at Tufts
University, on March 27, 2015.

2014 “Nationality Performance as and in Translation: Embodying Central Asian Literature in the 1930s.” Presented at the international conference “Translation in Russian Contexts: Transcultural, Translingual and Transdisciplinary Points of Departure,” held at Uppsala University June 3-7, 2014.

2011 “Collective Authorship and Platonov’s Socialist Realism.” Presented at the conference “Platonov Revisited. Past and Present Views on the Land of the Philosophers,” hosted by Ghent University, May 26, 2011.

2010 “Respatializing Identity in Stalinist Central Asia: The Almanac for the 10th Anniversary of Turkmenistan, 1924–1934.” Presented at the Central Asian Workshop for Junior Scholars, Summer Research Laboratory, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana,
June 14–16, 2010.

2010 “Fixing Turkmenistan in Space.” Presented at the annual graduate student conference of the Organization for the Advancement of Studies of Inner Asian Societies
(OASIES), April 10, 2010.

Papers at National Conventions

2017 “The Kara-Kum Canal in the Russian Imaginary: Writing Out Possibilities of Rust and Resistance.” Presented at the Association for Study of Literature and Environment  (ASLE) biennial conference, June 21, 2017.

2015 “Embodying East-West Translation: Tikhonov, Krachkovskii, and Naimy.” Presented at the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES)  annual convention, November 20, 2015.

2014 Petr Skosyrev as a Russian Literary Ambassador of the Soviet “East.” Presented at the ASEEES annual convention, November 22, 2014.

2013 “Platonov’s Turkmenistan and the Practice of ‘Insider Iconography.’” Presented in
absentia at the ASEEES annual convention, November 21, 2013.

2013 “Emissaries to Moscow: Representing Soviet Central Asian Literature, 1933–1937.”
Presented at the annual Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN) convention,
April 18, 2013.

2012 “Abul’kasim Lakhuti and the Cultural Construction of Soviet Central Asia.” Presented at the ASEEES annual convention, November 17, 2012.

2011 “Nikolai Tikhonov, Soviet Kiplingism, and Central Asia.” Presented at the ASEEES
annual convention, November 18, 2011.

2011 “The Soviet ‘Spatial Turn’ to Central Asia, 1921–1928.” Presented at the biennial
conference of the European Society for Central Asian Studies (ESCAS),
September 20, 2011.

2011 “The ‘Spatial Turn’ to Asia in Vsevolod Ivanov’s The Return of the Buddha.”
Presented at the annual Columbia-Princeton student Slavic conference, March 25, 2011.

2009 “The Gavriliada as Gossip.” Presented at the American Association for the
Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS) annual convention, November 13, 2009.

2008 “Alice in Cyberpunk Land: Igor Voloshin’s Nirvana and the Return of the 1990s.”
Presented at the AAASS annual convention, November 22, 2008.

2008 “Teaching Pushkin’s Biography.” Presented at the “Teaching Pushkin” roundtable at the AAASS annual convention, November 21, 2008.

2008 “Enumeration in Danilo Kiš’s Hourglass.” Presented at the annual Mid-Atlantic Slavic Conference (MASC), March 29, 2008.

2007 “An Oasis of Socialism Becomes a Poor, Flat Space: Similes and the Desert in Andrei
Platonov’s ‘Takyr’ and Dzhan.” Presented at the annual American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (AATSEEL) conference, December 28, 2007.

Conference Organization

2011 “Places and Perceptions: Space and Identity in Inner Eurasia” (with the other board members of the Organization for the Advancement of Studies of Inner Eurasian Societies). Graduate student conference, Columbia University, April 9, 2011.

2011  “Healing Paradigms and the Politics of Health in Central Asia” (with Professor Valentina Izmirlieva and her assistants). International interdisciplinary conference, Columbia University Global Health Research Center of Central Asia and the Harriman Institute, April 8, 2011.

2011 “Andrei Platonov: Style, Context, Meaning” (with assistance from Margo Rosen). International conference, Columbia University and the Harriman Institute, February 10–12, 2011. Conference description and program available online at:

Panel Chairing and Moderation

2014 Chair, “Culture and Activism in the 2011–13 Russian Protest Movements,” Modern Language Association (MLA) annual conference, January 10, 2014.

2013 Chair, “Social Movements and Neoliberalism in the Postsocialist World #4: Utopias,” at the at the annual conference of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES), November 23, 2013.

2012 Chair, “Cross-Border Imaginings in the Far East: Russia-China-Japan,” at the ASEEES annual conference, November 15, 2012.

2011 Chair, “Textual Encounters Across Eurasia,” annual graduate student conference of the Organization for the Advancement of Studies of Inner Eurasian Societies (OASIES), April 9, 2011.

2009 Chair/Discussant, “Contemporary Literary Relations,” Mid-Atlantic Slavic Conference (MASC), April 4, 2009.

Additional Intellectual Programming

2015-2016 Co-creator and co-organizer of the “Byre World” public engagement program at the Byre Theatre, St Andrews.

2013 “It’s No Good.” Reading and book presentation by Kirill Medvedev and Keith Gessen, author and translator of It’s No Good: Poems, Essays, and Actions (Ugly Duckling Presse and n+1 Books, 2013). Columbia University, April 24, 2013.

2013 “The Learning Film Group and the Lessons of History.” A Russian-language lecture and film screening by historian and activist Ilya Budraitskis. Columbia University, March 27, 2013.

2013 “Pussy Riot-The Sequel.” A Russian-language witness theater production by Varvara Faer (Teatr.doc, Moscow) about the performance group Pussy Riot, Columbia University, March 13, 2013.

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