Elena R. Sommers
- Russian literature, culture, and film.
- Russian graphic novel.
- Female images of death/the mermaid figure in Nabokov.
- Transnational feminism.
- The Novel
- The Short Story
- Great Authors: Dostoevsky
- Great Authors: Tolstoy
- Dangerous Texts
- Women’s Studies in Language and Literature
- Writing Seminar
SELECTED RECENT PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS
• “Nabokov and the Art of Translation: The Tale of One Sentence.” Лингвистика, лингводидактика, переводоведение: актуальные вопросы и перспективы исследования: сб. материалов Междунар. науч.-практ. конф. (20 ноября 2012) – Чебоксары: Изд-во Чуваш. ун-та, 2012. – c.219-225.
Conference Proceedings -International Conference on Linguistics and Translation Theory: Current Issues and Research Perspectives (December 2012); Cheboksary: Chuvash University Press, Russia 2012, pp. 219-225.
• "Nabokov's Mermaid: 'Spring in Fialta.'" Nabokov Studies, 2012 (forthcoming).
• "The 'Right' versus the 'Wrong' Child: Shades of Pain in Bend Sinister and Pnin" Nabokov Studies 6 (2000-2001): 35-51.
• "The 'Olgalized' Otherworld of Bend Sinister." Russian Studies in Literature 35:4 (Fall 1999): 61-94.
Work in progress:
Nabokov's Woman: Present in Her Absence -edited collection.
If we had to arrange an interview with one of Nabokov's heroines, the job would be challenging as she is rarely in one place for very long. When she is, she often falls victim to sudden circumstances and is usually assigned a particularly cruel and painful death. Always frustratingly elusive, desired by all, seemingly available, yet completely unattainable, Nabokov's woman is presented again and again through the nostalgic prism of her lyrical absence.
Hoping to draw from both well-known scholars in the field and new talent, this collection of articles aims to explore the subject of the female voice in Nabokov. The author's representation of female characters is one of the areas of Nabokov studies that has yet to receive its full share of scholarly attention. The proposed collection hopes to bring together critical response to Nabokov's art that creates a blend of non-feminist and feminist points of view.
'To Depict the New Woman is to Invoke Her': Russian Public Awareness Advertising and the Survivalist Discourse of 'Boost the Birthrate' Campaign.
The work analyzes the rhetoric and imagery employed by the Russian government in its ongoing campaign aimed at incentivizing motherhood. Current policy outlines Russia's demographic decline in apocalyptic and survivalist terms, equating inaction with ethnic and political extinction--becoming an "empty space in global terms." While government measures, such as allocation of maternity capital, are insufficient, short sighted and poorly researched, great emphasis is placed on public awarenessadvertising, which in its essence exemplifies the shortcomings of the government's pro-natalist policy. The work traces the evolution of public awareness campaigns, from the Soviet era iconic stylized posters to the present social ads, arguing that historically, during times of political upheaval, the female figure acquires unprecedented significance in the Russian visual propaganda. The current images of content mothers with triplets in their arms are not meant to be realistic, but are there to establish a connection between motherhood, patriotism, and joyous nationalistic productivity. More importantly, the social ads serve to provide a visual narrative and an incantation in hopes to invoke a new Russian woman who will yet again come to the rescue and serve the country's needs.
Symposium: From Russia with Love: Literature, Music, Art, Film
Date: Thursday, April 18th
Time: 8:30 am- 8:30 pm
Location: Campus Center Reading Room & Bamboo Room (2nd floor), SAU 1829 (1st floor)
Sponsored by: College of Liberal Arts, College of Liberal Arts Honors Program, M&T Bank, and Department of English.
Organized by Dr. Elena Sommers (Dept. of English), From Russia with Love is a multifaceted Symposium that aims to support RIT Strategic Plan which underscores the importance of creating "enhanced opportunities for cross-cultural understanding and global awareness." The Symposium hopes to facilitate new discussions on Russian politics, philosophy, and art and build lasting cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural connections.
From Russia with Love will include an array of events such as: academic papers, musical performances, a film screening, a stage production of Dostoevsky’s The Grand Inquisitor, and book & poetry readings. Conference proceedings will be published by the RIT Scholarly Publishing Studio.
For full Program, visit the Symposium website