Polina Dimova holds a doctorate in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley and is a scholar of Russian and European literature, music, and visual art. Nearing completion, her book At the Crossroads of the Senses studies how Modernist multimedia experiments stemmed from a fascination with synaesthesia, the figurative or neurological mixing of the senses—for instance, in the perception of sound as color. Dimova has published on electricity in Russian Symbolism and Alexander Scriabin’s music, on Evgenii Zamiatin’s literary appropriation of Scriabin’s musical ideas, on Sergei Prokofiev’s early ballets and songs, and on Oscar Wilde and Richard Strauss’s adaptations of the Salome legend. As an NEH Fellow at the 2018 Cold War Cultures Summer Institute, she began work on a new book: Cold War Fantasies in the Soviet Union, East Germany, and Bulgaria. Dimova joined Vanderbilt as a Lecturer of Russian in 2017-18, and has taught a wide variety of courses in Russian and Comparative Literature at UC Berkeley, Oberlin College, and Vanderbilt University. She is currently a W. T. Bandy Research Fellow in Baudelaire Studies and an instructor at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
modernism, Russian and German literature and music, literature and visual art, sensory studies, literature and science, theory of adaptation, fairy tales and science fiction, translation theory
At the Crossroads of the Senses: The Synaesthetic Metaphor Across the Arts in European Modernism (book manuscript in preparation)
“The Power of Light and Electric Shock: How Soviet Children Unraveled the Electric Plot Line” (in revision for The Slavic Review)
“The Sun-Sounding Scythian: Prokofiev’s Musical Interpretations of Russian Poetry.” In Rethinking Prokofiev. Eds. McAllister, Rita and Ch. Guillaumier. Oxford UP. Forthcoming.
“The Frozen Desert and the Crystal City: Figurations of Aleksandr Scriabin’s Music in Evgenii Zamiatin’s We and ‘The Cave’,” Ulbandus 16 (2015). Special Issue Hearing Texts: The Auditory in Slavic Literatures. 48-70.
“Decadent Senses: The Dissemination of Oscar Wilde’s ‘Salomé’ Across the Arts.” In Performing Salome, Revealing Stories. Ed. Clair Rowden. Ashgate, Interdisciplinary Studies in Opera. 2013. 15-47.
“The Apocalyptic Dispersion of Light into Poetry and Music: Aleksandr Skriabin in the Russian Religious Imagination.” In Shapes of Apocalypse: Arts and Philosophy in Russian Thought. Ed. Andrea Oppo. Academic Studies Press, Myths and Taboos in Russian Culture. 2013. 175-202.
“The Poet of Fire: Aleksandr Skriabin’s Synaesthetic Symphony ‘Prometheus’ and the Russian Symbolist Poetics of Light.” BPS Working Paper Series. ISEEES Award Essay. ISEEES, Berkeley. 2009. 1-54. <www.escholarship.org/uc/item/25b624gd>.