Leah Feldman

Assistant Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature
Foster 401
Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles B.A. University of Texas, Austin
Teaching at UChicago since 2015
Research Interests: Translation Theory, Poetics, Semiotics and Ethnology, Affect Theory, Orientalism and Secular Criticism, Global Souths, Theatre and Performance, Soviet Film Aesthetics, Russophone and Turkic Literatures of the Caucasus and Central Asia, Cuban Marxist Aesth

Research interests

Translation Theory, Poetics, Marxist Aesthetics, Affect Theory, Orientalism and Secular Criticism, Global Souths, Theatre and Performance, Post-Soviet Nationalisms, Russophone and Turkic Literatures, Theater and Film of the Caucasus and Central Asia

My research explores the poetics and the politics of global literary and cultural entanglements, focusing critical approaches to translation theory, semiotics, Marxist aesthetics and postcolonial theory, which traverse the Caucasus and Central Asia. My forthcoming book On the Threshold of Eurasia: Orientalism and Revolutionary Aesthetics in the Caucasus (Cornell UP, October 2018) 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. My current research interests include affect in late-Soviet film and theatre from Central Asia and the Caucasus, as well as the rise of the New Right in Post-Soviet Eastern Europe and Eurasia.


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

Postcolonial Theory and the Cold War

Media Aesthetics