I am an Associate Professor of English. My research interests include Polish and Soviet/Russian
cinemas, gendered notions of identity, nationalism, colonial and post-colonial studies,
Orientalist discourses, as well as Polish and Russian travel to the East.
I received my MA in English Philology from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan,
Poland, where I worked on American postmodern literature. I continued my studies at
the Freie Universität Berlin, where I spent a year as a graduate student at the Kennedy
Institute. My PhD training was in comparative Slavic literature at Yale. In my doctoral
and post-doctoral work, I looked at how Poles and Russians, who were themselves perceived
as Easterners by the rest of Europe, traveled to the Romantic Orient. In Eastern journeys
near and far, to Crimea, the Caucasus and the Holy Land, both Poles and Russians tended
to assert their own Europeanness by willingly embracing Western patterns of looking
at the Orient. My analyses of literary texts, including travel descriptions, led me
to conclude that although prevalent, the temptation to follow in the footsteps of
Western travelers was not universal. Following the completion of
Between East and West: Polish and Russian Nineteenth-Century Travel to the Orient (U of Rochester Press, 2004), my interests shifted towards Polish and Russian cinemas,
where I have examined issues relating to the constructions of gender, national identity,
ways of speaking about the past, as well as the interactions and exchanges between
the two national cinemas.
My current projects branch out in two directions. I am completing a manuscript on
Polish cinema of the 1980s, while, at the same time, continuing my previous preoccupation
with Orientalism, this time within the realm of Soviet-era and post-Soviet cinema.