Irina is currently a fourth-year graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. She received her BA Degree in European and American Literature from Saratov State University in 2001 and PhD in Comparative Literature (with the emphasis on African American literature) from the University of South Carolina in 2008. She has published in such journals as The Comparatist, Slavic and East European Journal, and Kinokultura. At the University of Pittsburgh, she has taught courses on Russian literature and culture. She has also taught courses in Women’s Studies and World Literature at the University of South Carolina. Her current research interests include Russian Postmodernism, gothic/fantastic in Russian literature and culture, utopias, Russian empire, postcolonial theory, and African American literature.