Area of Study
Email Address
Christian A. Johnson 208

Yelena Severina received her Ph.D. in Slavic languages and literatures from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2018 and a master's degree in English from San José State University in 2010. She has taught courses on Russian literature, language, and theater at UCLA and UC San Diego. Her most recent publications focus on Russian imperial court culture, silent film, Crimea's history, Ukrainian and Polish theaters.

She is presently researching the history and development of tableaux vivants from their early appearances in the Russian Empire in 1795 to the present. She hopes to bring together in a single narrative a phenomenon that, if studied at all, has been so only in bits and pieces, and to write the history of this practice, tracing its origins and subsequent evolution, correlating the latter with historical and cultural events.

Recent Courses Taught

Third-Term Russian
Russian Rock Music: Red Wave and Beyond
Theaters of the Empire: Russian, Ukrainian, and Polish Drama
History of Russian Cinema

Research Interests

20th century Russian literature and culture; modernism; theater and performance; tableaux vivants; silent film; literary theory; Russian-Ukrainian literary relations.

Select Publications

  • “Lesia Ukrainka’s Crimean Cycles: a Poetic Dialogue with Adam Mickiewicz.” Kyiv-Mohyla Humanities Journal (KMHJ) No. 8 (2021): 69-83.
  • The Ukrainian Muse: An Anthology of Poetry from the Beginning until Today.” The Literary Encyclopedia. Vol. Slavic and Russian Writing and Culture: Old, Medieval and Tsarist, 700-1917, 2021.
  • “The Theater Work of Les’ Kurbas.” The Literary Encyclopedia. Vol. Post-1917 Writing and Culture in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, 1917-present, 2020.
  • “Boleslaw Lesmian: Russian Poetry.” The Literary Encyclopedia. Vol. 1.8.3: Polish Writing and Culture, 2019.
  • “Costume Dramas of the Silent Era: Repurposing Tableaux Vivants.” KinoKultura Issue 65, 2019.

Appointed to the Faculty


Educational Background

Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
M.A., University of California, Los Angeles
M.A., San José State University
B.S., San José State University

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