About Elise Thorsen

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Elise Thorsen holds a Ph.D. earned in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh. Since June 2016, she has worked as an open source/media analyst at Novetta, where her domain knowledge of Russian language and culture helps to make quote-level metadata in Russian and East European messaging meaningful.

In her academic research, Elise specializes in Russian poetry, with a particular emphasis on the twentieth century. Her work currently deals with the early Soviet avant-garde and their successive work and successors under Socialist Realism.

When considering texts in a larger critical historical framework, Elise has often focused on empire and its relation to spatial aesthetics within texts. Questions of how Soviet poets made the trace and memory of imperial space productive in the Soviet context shape her dissertation, "Territory and Empire in Early Soviet Poetry." There, she examines how Soviet poets handle the semantic shadows of civic poetic genres, the global spatial implications of revolution, the legacy of imperial colonialism, and the reproduction of imperial expansionism in Soviet territorial policy.

A recent year as a Fulbright researcher in Kazan′, Tatarstan has opened up new dimensions in the examination of the relationship between empire and the cultural production of poetry.

She is currently working with computational methods to incorporate a dynamic study of versification and quantitative poetics into her overarching research agenda.

Elise has enjoyed the opportunity to examine other media, particularly film. Empire has often informed her notes and reviews on contemporary film for the annual Pittsburgh Russian Film Symposium and Kinokultura.

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Big Fish Eat Little Fish
Engraving by Pieter van der Heyden after Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1557)