Alyssa Dinega Gillespie

Associate Professor of Russian, Chair of Russian Department

Teaching this semester

GSWS 2249/RUS 2245. Rebels, Workers, Mothers, Dreamers: Women in Russian Art and Literature since the Age of Revolution

Although the Russian cultural tradition has long been male-dominated, this paradigm began to shift with the advent of brilliant women writers and artists prior to the Russian Revolution. Since the collapse of the USSR, women have again emerged as leaders in the tumultuous post-Soviet cultural scene, even overshadowing their male counterparts. Explores the work of female Russian writers, artists, and filmmakers against a backdrop of revolutionary change, from the turn of the twentieth century to the present. Themes include representations of masculinity and femininity in extremis; artistic responses to social, political, and moral questions; and women’s artistry as cultural subversion.

RUS 1101. Elementary Russian I

Introduction to the Cyrillic alphabet and pronunciation system and to the case and verbal systems of Russian. Emphasis on the acquisition of language skills through imitation and repetition of basic language patterns and through interactive dialogues. The course includes multimedia (video and audio) materials. Conversation hour with native speaker.

RUS 3245. Rebels, Workers, Mothers, Dreamers: Women in Russian Art and Literature Since the Age of Revolution

Although the Russian cultural tradition has long been male-dominated, this paradigm began to shift with the advent of brilliant women writers and artists prior to the Russian Revolution. Since the collapse of the USSR, women have again emerged as leaders in the tumultuous post-Soviet cultural scene, even overshadowing their male counterparts. This course explores the work of female Russian writers, artists, and filmmakers against a backdrop of revolutionary change, from the turn of the 20th century to the present. Themes include representations of masculinity and femininity in extremis; artistic responses to social, political and moral questions; and women's artistry as cultural subversion.

RUS 3405. Advanced Russian I

Uses a four-skill approach (reading, writing, listening, speaking), emphasizing these skills' equal importance for free communication in the target language. Course materials focus on topics in nineteenth-century Russian history, advanced grammar concepts, and vocabulary development. While the content of the readings is historical, their language is modern and authentic. Course requirements include oral presentations, written compositions, and oral and written exams. Delivered from Yale University using the telepresence room.

Professor Gillespie is the author of A Russian Psyche: The Poetic Mind of Marina Tsvetaeva (2001), which was published in a revised and updated Russian-language edition in 2015 as Marina Tsvetaeva: po kanatu poezii (Marina Tsvetaeva: Along the Poetic Tightrope). She is the editor of Russian Literature in the Age of Realism (2003) and Taboo Pushkin: Topics, Texts, Interpretations (2012) and the author of articles on Tolstoy, Gorky, Pushkin, Mandelstam, Tsvetaeva, Brodsky, Pawlikowska, and Sep-Szarzynski. She is also an award-winning translator of Russian poetry, having received first prize in the 2012 Compass Awards, second prize in the 2011 Compass Awards, and joint third place in the 2011 inaugural Joseph Brodsky/Stephen Spender translation competition; her translations and original poems have been published in several anthologies and in journals such as the New England Review, the Atlanta Review, and ​Cardinal Points Journal. Her current major project is a study of the role of crime and conscience in the poetics of Alexander Pushkin, tentatively titled Dangerous Verses: Alexander Pushkin and the Ethics of Inspiration. Most broadly, Professor Gillespie's research and teaching interests include Russian and Polish poetry, gender issues in literature, the poetry of exile, the psychology of poetic genius, Russian film and artistic culture, poetic translation, and Russian language at all levels. She lived in Moscow and taught English literature in Russian high schools for three years before completing her graduate education. She comes to Bowdoin after 17 years of teaching at the University of Notre Dame, where she was co-director of the program in Russian and East European Studies.

Education

  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • B.A., Brandeis University

PDF Curriculum Vitae

Recent Publications

Books

2015
Marina Tsvetaeva: Po kanatu poezii [Marina Tsvetaeva: Along the Poetic Tightrope], translated into Russian by M. E. Malikova, edited by A. E. Barzakh, in the series Sovremennaia rusistika [Contemporary Russian Studies] of the Institute of Russian Literature/Pushkin House, Russian Academy of Sciences (St. Petersburg: Nestor-Istoriia, 2015)(480 pp.) [a revised and updated Russian-language version of A Russian Psyche: The Poetic Mind of Marina Tsvetaeva]

2001
A Russian Psyche: The Poetic Mind of Marina Tsvetaeva (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press) (xvii + 285 pp.) [named a Choice magazine “Outstanding Academic Title” for 2001]

Marina Tsvetaeva: Po kanatu poezii [Marina Tsvetaeva: Along the Poetic Tightrope] A Russian Psyche: The Poetic Mind of Marina Tsvetaeva Taboo Pushkin: Topics, Texts, Interpretations, in the Publications of the Wisconsin Center for Pushkin Studies book series (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press) (xx + 482 pp.) Russian Literature in the Age of Realism, vol. 277 in the series Dictionary of Literary Biography (Detroit: Gale Group) (xxi + 498 pp.)

Edited Volumes

2012
Taboo Pushkin: Topics, Texts, Interpretations, in the Publications of the Wisconsin Center for Pushkin Studies book series (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press) (xx + 482 pp.)

2003
Russian Literature in the Age of Realism, vol. 277 in the series Dictionary of Literary Biography (Detroit: Gale Group) (xxi + 498 pp.)

Journal Articles

2009
“Through a Glass Darkly: Doubling and Poetic Self-Image in Pushkin’s ‘The Gypsies,’” Russian Review 68.3 (July 2009): 451-76

2004
“Between Myth and History: An Interpretation of Osip Mandel’shtam’s Poem ‘V Peterburge my sojdemsja snova,’” Russian Literature 56.4 (fall 2004): 363-95

2004
“Side-Stepping Silence, Ventriloquizing Death: A Reconsideration of Pushkin’s Stone Island Cycle,” Pushkin Review 6/7 (2003-2004): 39-83

2003
“Poem as Performance: A New Interpretation of Sep-Szarzynski’s Sonnet V ‘On the Impermanent Love for Things of This World,’” Slavic and East European Journal, 47.4 (winter 2003): 569-88

Book Chapters

2015
“The Last Stump and the Forgotten Leaf: Images of Trees in Marina Tsvetaeva’s Poetry of Identity and Alienation,” in “A Convenient Territory”: Russian Literature at the Edge of Modernity. Essays in Honor of Barry Scherr, ed. John M. Kopper and Michael Wachtel (Bloomington, IN: Slavica), 105-37

2014
“Taboo and Transcendence: The Role of Secrecy in Pushkin’s Mythopoetics,” in Poetry and Poetics: A Centennial Tribute to Kiril Taranovsky, ed. Barry P. Scherr, James Bailey, and Vida T. Johnson (Bloomington, IN: Slavica), 39-60

2012
“Beyond Pushkin as Dogma,” introduction to Taboo Pushkin: Topics, Texts, Interpretations, ed. Alyssa Dinega Gillespie (University of Wisconsin Press), 3-38

2012
“Bawdy and Soul: Pushkin’s Poetics of Obscenity,” in Taboo Pushkin: Topics, Texts, Interpretations, ed. Alyssa Dinega Gillespie (University of Wisconsin Press), 185-223

2008
“Murderous Mirror Magic: Pushkin’s Mythopoetic Reflections on Transgression and the Artistic Impulse,” Russian Literature and the West: A Tribute for David M. Bethea, edited by Alexander Dolinin, Lazar Fleishman, and Leonid Livak, 2 vols. (Stanford: Stanford Slavic Studies), 1:41-65

2005
“‘Ten trakt daleki, ten smutek.’ Kreacja wygnania w wierszach Marii Pawlikowskiej-Jasnorzewskiej i Mariny Cwietajewej” in Polonistyka po amerykańsku: Badania nad literaturą polską w Ameryce Północnej (1990-2005), edited by Halina Filipowicz, Andrzej Karcz, and Tamara Trojanowska (Warsaw: Instytut Badań Literackich Polskiej Akademii Nauk Wydawnictwo), 206-28 [Polish translation of next entry]

2004
“That Distant Road, That Sadness: The Creation of Exile in Poems by Maria Pawlikowska-Jasnorzewska and Marina Tsvetaeva,” in Russkaia emigratsiia. Literatura. Istoriia. Kinoletopis’, edited by V. Khazan, I. Belobrovtseva, and S. Dotsenko (Jerusalem: Gesharim & Moscow: Mosty kul’tury), 88-108

Encyclopedia Articles

2007
“Joseph Brodsky,” in Nobel Prize Laureates in Literature, Part 1: Agnon-Eucken, ed. Bruccoli Clark, vol. 329 in the series Dictionary of Literary Biography (Detroit: Gale Group), 184-202 [expanded version of 2003 article]

2006
“Osip Mandel’shtam,” in Encyclopedia of Modern Europe: Europe Since 1914—Encyclopedia of the Age of War and Reconstruction, edited by John Merriman and Jay Winter, 5 vols. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons), 3:1718-21

2003
“Joseph Brodsky,” in Russian Writers Since 1980, edited by Marina Balina and Mark Lipovetsky, vol. 285 in the series Dictionary of Literary Biography (Detroit: Gale Group), 17-39

Translations

2016
Marina Tsvetaeva, “Garden,”; Zinaida Gippius, “There,” and Fedor Tiutchev, “There is, when autumn first sets in…,” in Cardinal Points Journal 6 (2016), edited by Alexandra Berlina, forthcoming

2015
6 poems (Zinaida Gippius, “She”; Nikolai Gumilev, “Giraffe”; Osip Mandelstam, “Tristia”; Marina Tsvetaeva, “Hands high—and jump…,” “Flawlessly, matchlessly life lies…,” “Dawn on the Rails”), in Russian Silver Age Poetry: Texts and Contexts, edited by Sibelan Forrester and Martha Kelly (Brighton, MA: Academic Studies Press, 2015)

2015
Polina Barskova, “Sweetness of the sweetest slumber…,” in Atlanta Review 21.2, special issue on contemporary Russian poetry edited by Alex Cigale (Spring/Summer 2015): 42

2014
Translations of ten Russian poems submitted to the Joseph Brodsky/Stephen Spender Prize competition, December 2014

2014
Marina Tsvetaeva, Poem of the End, in Cardinal Points Journal 4 (September 2014) and online excerpts at http://www.stosvet.net/compass/ThePoemOfTheEnd.htm

2014
Nikolai Gumilev, “Giraffe,” in Cardinal Points Journal 4 (September 2014) and online at http://russiapedia.rt.com/compass-award-literary-contest/

2014
Marina Tsvetaeva, “Fate does not will it that strong and strong…” (from The Two), New England Review 34.3-4 (2014): 145

2014
Alexander Pushkin, “Again I visited…,” New England Review 34.3-4 (2014): 88-89

2011
Marina Tsvetaeva, “Two Trees Desire to Come Together,” for the Joseph Brodsky/Stephen Spender Prize, http://www.stephen-spender.org/2011_brodsky_prize/ brodsky_spender.html

2010
8 poems (by Pushkin, Lermontov, Tiutchev, A. N. Tolstoi, Gippius, Tsvetaeva, and Pasternak), in Picturing Rachmaninoff: Music, Poetry, and Painting in Concert, performed by pianist Stephen Cook and published as a book plus CD

2007
Alexander Pushkin, “Mniszek’s Sonnet” (from Boris Godunov), in Pushkin Review 10 (2007): 152-53

2007
21 poems by Russian-Jewish poets (Ilya Erenburg, Afanasy Fet, Simon Frug, Vladislav Khodasevich, Leon Mandel’shtam, Nikolay Minsky, Semyon Nadson, Arkady Shteynberg, Dmitri Tsenzor), in Anthology of Russian-Jewish Literature: Two Centuries of a Dual Identity (1800-present), ed. Maxim Shrayer (New York: M. E. Sharpe)

2005
Margarita Grendze, “A Fiery Baptism,” in Echoes of War: World War II through Russian Eyes (San Diego: San Diego Association of Russian WWII Veterans), 37-39

Book Reviews

2014
Joe Peschio, The Poetics of Impudence and Intimacy in the Age of Pushkin. In Slavic and East European Journal 58.2 (summer 2014): 325-26

2013
Vasilii Kol’chenko, Dvuiazychie: Pesni i stikhi. In Poberezh’e: Literaturnyi ezhegodnik (Literaturovedenie-Kritika-Retsenzii-Esse-Interv’iu-Kul’tura-Iskusstvo) 21 (Philadelphia, 2012), 112 [published December 2013]

2013
Marina Tsvetaeva, Phaedra with New Year’s Letter and Other Poems, translated by Angela Livingstone. In Russian Review 72.3 (July 2013): 502-4

2009
Alexandra Smith, Montaging Pushkin: Pushkin and Visions of Modernity in Russian Twentieth-Century Poetry. In Canadian Slavonic Papers/Revue Canadienne des Slavistes 51.2-3 (June-September 2009): 362-63

2008
Catherine Ciepiela, The Same Solitude: Boris Pasternak and Marina Tsvetaeva. In Slavonica 14.1 (spring 2008): 72-73

2007
Ute Stock, The Ethics of the Poet: Marina Tsvetaeva’s Art in the Light of Conscience. In Slavonica 13.1 (spring 2007): 80-81

2006
Chester Dunning with Caryl Emerson, Sergei Fomichev, Lidiia Lotman, and Antony Wood, The Uncensored Boris Godunov: The Case for Pushkin’s Original Comedy, with Annotated Text and Translation. In Slavic and East European Journal  50.4 (winter 2006): 696-8

2005
Michael Wachtel, The Cambridge Introduction to Russian Poetry. In Russian Review 64.3 (July 2005): 505-6

2005
Diana Greene, Reinventing Romantic Poetry: Russian Women Poets of the Mid-Nineteenth Century. In Slavic Review 64.1 (spring 2005): 230-31

2003
Jan Kochanowski, Treny: The Laments of Kochanowski, translated by Adam Czerniawski. In Slavic and East European Journal 47.2 (summer 2003): 305-7

Grants, Honors, Awards

2014
University of Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study, Distinguished Faculty Fellow (fall semester)

2013 - present
Judge, Compass Award for translations of Russian poetry into English

2012
First prize, Compass Award, international poetry translation contest held under the auspices of Cardinal Points journal, for my translation of Marina Tsvetaeva’s Poem of the End

2011
Joint third prize, The Joseph Brodsky/Stephen Spender Translation Competition, international poetry translation contest held under the auspices of the Stephen Spender Trust, for my translation of Marina Tsvetaeva’s “Two trees desire to come together…”

2011
Second prize, Compass Award, for my translation of Nikolai Gumilev’s “Giraffe”

2005-06
National Endowment for the Humanities Faculty Fellowship

2002
Choice magazine, “Outstanding Academic Title for 2001” designation for my book A Russian Psyche: The Poetic Mind of Marina Tsvetaeva

Conference Presentations

2013
“Translating Poetic Voice,” on the roundtable “Translating Voice in Slavic Literatures,” ALTA Conference, Bloomington, Indiana, October 16-19

2013
“Being a Bilingual Translator of Russian Poetry,” on the roundtable “The Role of Bilingualism in the Process of Translation,” ALTA Conference, Bloomington, Indiana, October 16-19

2013
“Historical Distance as Poetic Laboratory: Pushkin’s Experiments in Charting the Poetic Self,” on the panel “Pushkin’s Poetics of History,” AATSEEL Conference, Boston, Massachusetts, January 3-6

2010
“Creative Camouflage in Pushkin’s ‘Egyptian Nights,’” on the panel “Pushkin’s Muses Revisited: Inspiration, Memory, Reception,” ASEEES Convention, Los Angeles, California, November 18-21

2009
“Bawdy and Soul: Functions of Genital Imagery in Pushkin’s Poetics,” on the panel “The Sacred and the Profane,” at the international working conference “Alexander Pushkin and Russian National Identity,” Notre Dame, Indiana, January 9-11

2008
“Pushkin and the Poetics of Secrecy,” on the panel “Russian Poets and Politics,” AAASS Convention, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 20-23

2008
“Teaching Gender through Pushkin,” on the roundtable “Teaching Pushkin: Gender, Difference, Race,” AAASS Convention, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 20-23

2007
“The Ethical Dimension of Pushkin’s Boris Godunov,” on the panel “Reconsiderations of Pushkin’s Boris Godunov,” AATSEEL Conference, Chicago, Illinois, December 27-30

2007
“Sex, Sin, Seduction, and the Sacred: Pushkin’s ‘Gavriiliada’ as a Meditation on the Risks and Responsibilities of Being a Poet,” on the panel “Pushkin Unsainted: Taboo Texts, Topics, Interpretations,” AAASS Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana, November 15-18

2005
“Pushkin’s Criminal Doubles,” on the panel “Art and Crime,” AAASS Convention, Salt Lake City, Utah, November 3-6

2004
“Pushkin and the Muse,” on the panel “The Darker Side of Pushkin,” AAASS Convention, Boston, Massachusetts, December 4-7

2003
“Looking Back from Beyond: The Poetics of Pushkin’s Stone Island Cycle,” on the panel “The Poetics of Closure: The End of the Poem/Poet and Death in Russian Poetry,” AAASS Convention, Toronto, Ontario, November 20-23