Catharine Nepomnyashchy


Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Russian Literature and Culture
Former Chair of the Department of Slavic

Catharine Theimer Nepomnyashchy, Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Russian Literature and Culture and chair of the Slavic department, joined Barnard's faculty in 1987. In addition to her teaching duties for the Slavic department, she is affiliated with Barnard's comparative literature program and human rights studies program. She is also on the Executive Committee of the Harriman Institute at Columbia University.

Professor Nepomnyashchy's research and teaching interests include twentieth- and twenty-first-century Russian literature and popular culture (including television and dance), Russian women's studies, and the works of Alexander Pushkin, Andrei Sinyavsky, and Vladimir Nabokov.

Her books include Abram Tertz and the Poetics of Crime (Yale 1995), Strolls with Pushkin translated by Catharine Theimer Nepomnyashchy and Slava Yastremski, with introduction by Catharine Theimer Nepomnyashchy (Yale 1993),  Under the Sky of My Africa: Alexander Pushkin and Blackness edited with Nicole Svobodny and Ludmilla Trigos (Northwestern 2006) and Mapping the Feminine:  Russian Women and Cultural Difference edited with Irina Reyfman and Hilde Hoogenboom (Slavica 2008).  She has published extensively on Soviet and post-Soviet literature and popular culture, Pushkin, Russian ballet, Russian émigré literature and culture and the future of regional studies.  She is currently working on a book entitled Nabokov and His Enemies: Terms of Engagement

Professor Nepomnyashchy holds a BA and an MA in French from Brown University (1973). She received her PhD in Russian literature from Columbia University in 1987.

In addition to her academic responsibilities, Professor Nepomnyashchy has held the positions of Director of the Harriman Institute and President of the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Language (AATSEEL).  She has also served on the Advisory Council of the Kennan Institute and on the Board of Directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (now ASEEES).  She has chaired the Executive Committee of the Slavic Division of the Modern Language Association and served a number of terms on the MLA Delegate Assembly.  She currently serves on the editorial boards of Slavic Review, Novyi zhurnal, and La Revue Russe.

She is recipient of the 2011 AATSEEL (American Association of Teachers of Slavic Languages and Literature) Award for Outstanding Service to the Profession.


Academic Focus: 

Contemporary Russian literature

Russian popular culture

Russian women's studies