Project network

The main national and international contacts are presented briefly in the following. This list only includes researchers who have provided written consent to take part in the scholarly network of the project.


Ph.D., Professor Elena Hellberg-Hirn,
University of Helsinki, Finland

A central authority on St. Petersburg in Finnish research, whose recently published book Imperial Imprints: Post-Soviet St. Petersburg is a broad interdisciplinary study on the development of the city’s culture and its sign systems. Professor Hellberg-Hirn will act in the project as academic supervisor and international liaison in cooperation with the project leader.
E-mail: elena.hellberg-hirn@helsinki.fi


Ph.D. , Docent Ben Hellman,
University of Helsinki, Finland

A prominent specialist on Russian modernism, children’s literature, contemporary literature and Finnish-Russian cultural contacts, especially those related to St. Petersburg. Docent Hellman will supervise academic works in cooperation with the project leader. They have collaborated for more than twenty years at the Department of Slavonic and Baltic Languages and Literatures, University of Helsinki.
E-mail: ben.hellman@helsinki.fi
Website: www.helsinki.fi/~bhellman/


Ph.D., Professor Peeter Torop,
University of Tartu, Estonia

Professor at one of the world’s most renowned departments of semiotics, Peeter Torop received his PhD from the University of Helsinki in 1995. His dissertation Totalnyi perevod dealt with the translation of various cultural texts (see Publications). The Department of Slavonic and Baltic Languages and Literatures enjoys a long period of cooperation with the University of Tartu and its Departments of Russian Literature and Semiotics, and Peeter Torop has been an important part of the earlier projects mentioned above. The joint seminars which have been organised since 1987 and their publications are internationally renowned. These seminars will in the future be included in the project “St. Petersburg/Leningrad” and with the joint forces of Professor Torop and the project leader Professor Pesonen, the tradition of cooperation with researchers in Tartu will continue. Professor Torop is widely experienced in supervising Finnish MA and PhD theses resulting from his years in Helsinki as a visiting lecturer. He has also acted as opponent for Finnish dissertations.
E-mail: torop@ut.ee
Website: www.ut.ee/SOSE/ptorop/


Professor Aleksandr Dolinin,
University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

Born in St. Petersburg, Professor of Russian Literature Aleksandr Dolinin is one of the most important scholars on Pushkin and Nabokov in the world. His interests encompass the Petersburg elements in the works of the aforementioned authors, but also of others, for instance the poet Joseph Brodsky. Professor Dolinin’s cooperation with the project has been going on for several years. He has supervised, evaluated and acted as opponent to Finnish Ph.D. theses. He has also been invited to Helsinki to chair a workshop organised by the Finnish Postgraduate School of Literary Studies. Professor Dolinin has given lectures on the Petersburg Text in Russian literature and is soon to publish various articles on the subject.
E-mail: dolinin@facstaff.wisc.edu


Professor Andrei Zorin,
Russia State Humanitarian University (RGGU), Moscow, Russia

One of the internationally renowned Russian scholars of literature and culture, who, in addition to Moscow University, is currently teaching regularly in universities around the world. Professor Zorin has given a series of lectures at the University of Helsinki on several occasions, supervised and proofread academic works, acted as opponent and given statements on filling academic posts. His most important area of research is, however, not the contemporary culture of St. Petersburg, but the history of ideas in Russia during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. On the other hand, he has written extensively on various subjects related to Russian contemporary culture, is himself a member of the former underground and contemporary culture of Moscow, and has given lectures in St. Petersburg on several occasions. He brings a comparative approach to the dualism inherent in the Moscow / St. Petersburg axis.
E-mail: azorin@wesleyan.edu
Website: www.rsuh.ru/win/whoiswho/8/zorin.html


Dr. Alexandra Smith,
Senior Lecturer, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Born in St. Petersburg, Dr. Alexandra Smith has lectured in various universities around the world. She specialises in classical Russian literature, especially in Pushkin’s influence on subsequent literature, but also in contemporary Russian literature and postmodernism. She will supervise especially the works to be completed on women’s literature within the project, sharing her knowledge and erudition on the classical St. Petersburg literature and its present-day tradition.
E-mail: alexandra.smith@canterbury.ac.nz


Professor Evgenii Bershtein,
Reed College, USA

Born in St. Petersburg, Prof. Bershtein received his MA from the University of Tartu as a student of Yuri Lotman, and represents a younger generation of scholars. He is well known as a specialist on Russian gay literature. He has approached the subject from a broad cultural and societal perspective, with the focus on Russian modernism and St. Petersburg culture.
E-mail: zhenya@reed.edu
Website: http://academic.reed.edu/russian/faculty.html


Professor Sven Spieker,
University of Southern California, Santa Barbara, USA

A scholar of literature and the visual arts, also from a younger generation of scholars. His renowned dissertation was on Andrei Bitov, a contemporary St. Petersburg writer and postmodernist. Spieker has later been known for Art Margins, an excellent internet publication focussing on the interdisciplinarity of arts, uniting the description, critique and scholarship of the most contemporary art forms and literature.
E-mail: spieker@gss.ucsb.edu
Website: www.gss.ucsb.edu/faculty/spieker/


Dr. Sergei Daniel,
Institute of Art History, European University, St. Petersburg, Russia

An art historian, a scholar of semiotics and an artist from St. Petersburg, he has been a central factor in its cultural life since the 1960's. A former researcher of the underground, he is an artist who is recently known as a mentor for a new generation of artists and researchers in St. Petersburg as well as in Italy and the USA. Dr. Daniel has visited both the University of Helsinki and the International Summer School of Semiotics in Imatra several times.


Ph.D., Docent Marina Maguidovich,
Centre for the Sociology of Art, St. Petersburg, Russia

One of the leading sociologists of art from the younger generation, Dr. Maguidovich has studied the relations between different art forms in their societal context. She specialises in the contemporary art of St. Petersburg, but has also supervised academic works on contemporary literature and popular music. In spite of her relative youth, she has a vast network of international contacts and has been invited to several universities as visiting lecturer.


Ph.D., writer and critic Mikhail Berg,
European University, St. Petersburg, Russia

Dr. Berg defended his dissertation on the sociology of the Russian contemporary culture at the University of Helsinki in 2001 (See Publications, no. 4). He has been active in the literary life of St. Petersburg ever since the 1970's. He founded and edited the journal Vestnik novoi literatury, which was for the time of its publication (1990–1996) a first rank representative of the city’s contemporary culture. Dr. Berg is known as a prolific writer and critic with vast international contacts. In the project he will act as a central link to the contemporary culture of St. Petersburg and as a supervisor of the works relating to it.


Senior Researcher Albin Konechnyi,
European University, St. Petersburg, Russia

A specialist on the city of St. Petersburg, its architecture, its monuments, its culture and everyday life, whose studies over the past 30 years cover many aspects of the city and its mythology.


Dr. Ilia Utekhin,
European University, St. Petersburg, Russia

A specialist on St. Petersburg’s contemporary culture and its tradition, a sociologist and a semiotician. Dr. Utekhin’s main objects of research are the kommunalka apartments of the city perceived in their cultural and social context. The theme of his own future research is the city’s 300th anniversary perceived through its cultural models and signs.
E-mail: ilia@eu.spb.ru


Dr. Sofia Tchouikina,
European University, St. Petersburg, Russia

A sociologist from a younger generation of scholars, Dr. Tchouikina has focussed in her research on women’s status and femininity in Russian culture. She has participated in several interdisciplinary Finnish-led projects and seminars.


Dr. Katerina Gerasimova,
European University, St. Petersburg, Russia

Also a sociologist from a younger generation of scholars, Dr. Gerasimova’s studies focus on everyday St. Petersburg life, more precisely, on the role and meaning of the kommunalka in the Soviet era.