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Irina Mickhaylovna Denischenko
• Russian, Central and Eastern European literature (20th – 21st c.)
• Comparative literature and methodology
• Literary theory
• Visual culture
• Print culture & artists’ books
Ph.D. (expected in Spring 2018)
M.Phil. (2013) & M.A. (2012) in Slavic Languages and Comparative Literature, Columbia University
M.A. (2008) in History, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
B.A. (2007) in Comparative Literature and Philosophy, Stanford University
Avant-Garde Poetics of Language in Central and Eastern Europe
M.A. Thesis (Columbia)
The Reifying Forces of Cognition: Mikhail Bakhtin's Reflections on Violence (Spring 2012)
· Heyman Center Fellow, 2016-17
· U.S. Student Fulbright Grant to Hungary, 2015-16
Courses (taught at Columbia & Barnard)
· 1st-, 2nd- and 4th-year Russian
· Elementary Czech
Literature & Culture
· Fairy Tales Reloaded
This course examines the fairy tales of Eastern Europe against the background of Western narrative traditions and explores the role of this genre in postmodern literature. In the first half of the course we read fairy tales, paying close attention to internal structural relationships and their overall aesthetic, including their peculiar relationship to time, language, and variation. In the second half we focus on the contemporary reincarnations of these tales and discuss why these stories become a particularly powerful medium for exploring central topics in postmodern fiction, such as representations of sex and violence.
· The Archive and the Creative Writer
Archival material can give fiction the sheen of reality. When used in creative writing, materials from the historical record may appear to enhance the truth-value of literature, but are texts based on the archive any more real than purely fictional ones? This course explores the complicated relationships between archives and creative writing through the fiction of Jorge Luis Borges, Danilo Kis, Laszlo Krasznahorkai, Lyudmila Ulitskaya, and others. We trace how literary texts use archives to build a sense of reality, but also how they complicate, undermine, and completely deconstruct our notions of truth, both historical and personal. The course also exposes students to New York City's rich archival resources, and facilitates interaction with local experts in the field (current and former curators) in an effort to familiarize students with archival work and to prepare them for their final project. In a more creative take on a final paper, students are asked to produce their own piece of fiction or non-fiction based on (guided) archival explorations.
Russian, Hungarian, Czech, German
• “Beyond Reification: Mikhail Bakhtin’s Critique of Violence in Cognition and Representation." Slavic and Eastern European Journal 61.2 (2017): 255-77.
• “Photopoetry. Czech Poetism and the Photographic Index,” in Beyond Given Knowledge. European Avant-Garde and Modernism Studies Vol. 5 (De Gruyter, forthcoming).
• (with Alexander Spektor), "The Dark and Radiant Bakhtin. Wartime Notes." Slavic and Eastern European Journal 61.2 (2017): 188-310.
• (with Alexander Spektor, from Russian) Mikhail Bakhtin’s “Rhetoric to the Extent That It Lies,” “A Person at the Mirror,” and “On Questions of Self-Consciousness and Self-Evaluation.” Slavic and Eastern European Journal 61.2 (2017).
• (with Bradley Gorski, from Hungarian) László Moholy-Nagy’s “Metropolis Dynamics” in Words Without Borders (Nov 2016).
• (with Bradley Gorski, from Russian) Art film Mayakovsky Forever, The State Museum of Literature, Moscow, Russia (Mar 2014).
Works in Progress
• Selected Writings of Mikhail Bakhtin in the series The Critical Canon (Academic Studies Press, forthcoming)
• “The Rise of Hungarian Photomontage in the 1920s and the 1930s” (article in preparation)
· Institute for Comparative Literature and Society
· Heyman Center
· Harriman Institute