Rebecca Stanton

Assistant Professor of Russian

Rebecca Stanton, assistant professor of Russian, joined the faculty of Barnard College in 2003. Her primary research focus is Russian literature of the Soviet period, in particular the 1920s-50s, although she has also published on Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Lermontov, and Gogol.  She is especially interested in the fate of texts as they cross boundaries between genres, generations, languages, historical eras, or national entities, and between performer and audience. Her first book, Isaac Babel and the Self-Invention of Odessan Modernism (Northwestern University Press, 2012) examines how the city of Odessa—as a canonical literary image and as a kaleidoscopic cultural milieu—shaped the narrative strategies developed by Isaac Babel and his contemporaries of the Revolutionary generation; and argues that these strategies, borrowed from the tricksters and rogues of Odessa lore, both reflected and resisted the aesthetics of Socialist Realism. 

Professor Stanton's teaching and research interests include the intersection of fiction and politics; narratives of the self; the politics of literacy and the literature of national/ethnic minorities in the Russian Empire and Soviet Union; and literary efforts to reshape reality (including Socialist Realism, mendacity, and magic). Secondary interests include popular and mass culture, Slavic-Jewish cultural relations, Russian and German modernism, and music. At Barnard, Professor Stanton teaches the following courses:

  • Russian V3221: Literature & Revolution 
  • Comp.Lit. and Society W4080: Magic and Modernity 
  • Comp.Lit./Russian W4190: Race, Ethnicity, Narrative in the Russian/Soviet Empire 
  • Comp.Lit. and Society V3235: Imagining the Self 
  • Russian V3595: Senior Seminar for Russian Majors 
  • First-Year Seminar BC1617: Reacting to the Past

as well as graduate seminars on the first 17 years of Soviet literature (1917-1934); literature, politics and tradition after Stalin; the discourse of self in Russia & the West; and Legacies of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union (Harriman Institute Core Colloquium).

Currently, Professor Stanton is working on an article about Isaac Babel's use of Shakespeare, a book chapter on self-narrative in Lermontov's A Hero of Our Time, and a full-length book project on magic and modersity in Soviet literature (1917- 58).

Academic Focus: 

Twentieth-century Russian literature
Non-Russian Soviet literature
Magic in literature
Narratives of the city
Popular and mass culture

Professional Affiliations: 

MLA (Slavic Division Executive Committee member, 2012-2017)

AATSEEL (Vice-President 2012-2015)


NESEEES (Board member, 2010-2013)




Isaac Babel and the Self-Invention of Odessan Modernism.  Northwestern University Press, 2012 

Selected articles and book chapters:

"'A Monstrous Staircase': Inscribing the Revolution of 1905 On Odessa." In Rites of Place: Public Commemoration and Celebration in Russia and Beyond, ed. Julie Buckler and Emily D. Johnson.  Northwestern University Press, 2013 (forthcoming).

"Feminine Resurrections: Gendering Redemption in the Last Novels of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky." In Mapping the Feminine: Russian Women and Cultural Difference, ed. Hilde Hoogenboom, Catharine Theimer Nepomnyashchy, and Irina Reyfman. Slavica, 2008.
"From 'Underground' to 'In the Basement': How Odessa Replaced Petersburg as Capital of the Russian Literary Imagination."  American Contributions to the 14th International Congress of Slavists. Vol. 2: Literature, ed. David M. Bethea.  Slavica, 2008.
"Talking Back to Nabokov: A Commentary on a Commentary." Ulbandus, the Slavic Review of Columbia University 10 (2007).
"Identity Crisis: The Literary Cult and Culture of Odessa in the Early Twentieth Century."  Symposium: A Quarterly Journal in Modern Foreign Literatures, Vol. 57 (2003).
"Chichikov Dis-Coursed: Discursive Dominance and Narrative Momentum in Gogol’s Dead Souls."  The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review 28:1 (2001, printed 2002).
"Isaak Babel’s Great Credibility Caper."  Australian Slavonic and East European Studies 15:1-2 (2001).



(212) 854-3133


B.A., M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D., Columbia University