Leah Feldman

Associate Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and The College
Walker 309E
Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles B.A. University of Texas, Austin
Teaching at UChicago since 2015
Research Interests: Translation Theory, Poetics, Marxist Aesthetics, Orientalism and Secular Criticism, Anticolonial theory, Russophone and Turkic Literatures, Theater, Film of Caucasus and Central Asia, New right ethno-nationalisms, Collapse

Selected Publications

My research explores the poetics and the politics of global literary and cultural entanglements, focusing critical approaches to translation theory, semiotics, Marxist aesthetics and anti-colonial theory, which traverse the Caucasus and Central Asia. My book On the Threshold of Eurasia: Orientalism and Revolutionary Aesthetics in the Caucasus (Cornell 2018), winner of the Central Eurasian Studies Society Book Prize, exposes the ways in which the idea of a revolutionary Eurasia informed the interplay between orientalist and anti-imperial discourses in Russian and Azeri poetry and prose. Tracing translations and intertextual engagements across Russia, the Caucasus and western Europe, it offers an alternative vision of empire, modernity and anti-imperialism from the vantage point of cosmopolitan centers in the Russian empire and Soviet Union. I am currently writing on the rise of the New Right in late/post-Soviet Eurasia and a book tentatively titled Feeling Collapse on Soviet film, art and performance from Central Asia and the Caucasus amidst the collapsing sensorium of the Soviet Empire. My work has appeared in Slavic Review, boundary 2, Ab Imperio, and Global South and I serve on the editorial collective for boundary 2. I am also co-writing a queer anticolonial communist children's book with the artist collective Slavs & Tatars.

Work with Students

My work with graduate students has spanned a broad range of topics from affect in Turkish women’s literature to the cultural politics of Post-Soviet Central Asian nationalism. I have also worked with undergraduate art students on developing conceptual foundations for their performance related projects.


Selected Publications

On the Threshold of Eurasia: Revolutionary Poetics in the Caucasus (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, October 15, 2018).

Reading Gogol in Azeri: Parodic Genealogies and the Revolutionary Geopoetics of 1905,” Slavic Review  75.2 (2016): 256-278.

“Red Jihad: Translating Communism in the Muslim Caucasus,” boundary 2 43.3 (2016): 221-249.

 “Orientalism on the Threshold: Reorienting Heroism in Late Imperial Russia,” boundary 2 39.2

         (2012): 161-180.



Rise of the Global New Right

Islams and Modernities

Adaptation and Translation in Theatre-Making

Literatures of Eurasia

Anticolonial Theory and the Cold War

Media Aesthetics