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Sidney Dement

Associate Professor of Russian
Chair of German and Russian Studies

Sidney DementTeaching interests

I like to design courses that showcase the interdisciplinary nature of Russian Studies. In "Moscow and Petersburg," we examine Russia's capitals through the lenses of history, architecture, urban studies, and literature. In "Slavic Folklore," students learn the folk tales, healing rituals, and archaic beliefs of the Slavs while also learning the methods of folkloristics, a discipline that draws heavily from anthropology, history, and literature. In addition to courses in Russian Studies, I also teach students to speak, understand, read, and write the Russian language—a useful skill set to have in many social and professional settings!

Research interests

Pushkin's Monument and Allusion: Poem, Statue, Performance (University of Toronto Press) unpacks the allusive history of Russia's most famous monument to her greatest poet, Alexander Pushkin. The Monument is simultaneously a poem, a statue, and a performative space. Pushkin's Monument and Allusion: Poem, Statue, PerformanceAnalyzing the interpenetration of these three dimensions tells the story of one of Russia's significant aesthetic objects while at the same time making discoveries about the works of the poets, novelists, sculptors, and theoreticians who conceptualized and transformed it. In shorter publications I explore other dimensions of the intersection of verbal and visual culture. For example, in one essay I explain why the architecture of the banya is significant for interpreting Mikhail Bulgakov's Master and Margarita. In another essay, I interpret Borislav Pekić's novel, How to Quiet a Vampire, by unravelling the visual, philosophical, and literary dimensions of what might otherwise seem like a quite ordinary umbrella.

Pushkin's Monument and Allusion has been reviewed in The Russian Review.

  • Slavic Folklore
  • Moscow and St. Petersburg
  • Russian Culture and Civilization
  • Activism in Russia
  • Stalingrad
  • Russian Language
Selected publications:
  • 2018. «Архитектура как прием: Эстетика и читательское восприятие особняка Маргариты». Творчество М. Булгакова: Pro et contra. О. А. Богданова, редактор. Санкт-Петербург: Изд-во РХГА. ["Architecture as Device: The Aesthetics and Reader Reception of Margarita's Mansion." The Works of M. Bulgakov: Pro et Contra. O. A. Bogdanova, ed. Saint Petersburg, Russia: Russian Christian Humanities Academy Press.] (in press)
  • 2016. "Architectural Details from Moscow's Sandunov Banyas in M.A. Bulgakov's Master and Margarita." Slavic and East European Journal 60.1 (Spring 2016): 87-105.
  • 2015. "The Lifelike Statues of Ovid and Pushkin's Orthodoxy." Pushkin Review 18-19 (2015-2016): 85-105. Invited for re-publication in Russian as: «Жизнеподобие статуй Овидия и православие Пушкина». Итоги и перспективы экфрастической теории. Т. Е. Автухович, редактор. Польша, Седльце: Изд-во Естественно-гуманитарного университета в Седльце, 2018: 168-190.
  • 2012. "Umbrellas, Dialectic, and Dialogue in Borislav Pekić's How to Quiet a Vampire." Slavic and East European Journal 56.2 (Summer 2012): 153-72.
  • 2011. "Piter FM" for Students of Russian. (
  • 2011. "M.A. Bulgakov's 'Future Prospects' and 'In the Café.'" Original translations and analysis, ⓒ 2011. (
  • 2011. "War and Laughter: Political Cartoons in Russia's Liberal Press, 1914-1918." Original translations and commentary, ⓒ 2011. (
Curriculum vitae:

Office: Library Tower 1414

Last Updated: 10/2/20