I first found myself in Russia in 1987. As it was then the Soviet Union and I was merely 17, I was simultaneously terrified and ecstatic to be traveling to such a mysterious country. It is this experience that started me on the path to becoming a Russianist. I graduated with a BA in psychology and Russian literature and then went on to an MA in Russian literature. While living in Moscow during my MA studies, it became obvious that as much as I enjoyed Russian literature, I was enthralled with Russian art. So, after receiving the MA in literature, I began hatching my plans for defection. There were a few bumps along the way, but I finally returned to graduate school to pursue a PhD in Russian art history in 2001.
I am very excited to be returning to Russia after a 10-year absence. I am grateful to have been awarded a Fulbright to complete my dissertation research on fairy tales in late-nineteenth-century Russian art.
When not roaming the halls of a museum or gallery or reading about art, I can usually be found knitting, cooking, or gardening.