Ellina Sattarova

Ellina Sattarova is Assistant Professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Southern California. She is a scholar of late and post-Soviet visual culture. Her research investigates the relationship between human life and political power in late Soviet and post-Soviet Russia as it is conceived (both visually and narratively) in the cinematic texts of the two periods. She is currently working on a book manuscript, titled Biopolitics in Contemporary Russian Cinema.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D. Slavic Languages and Literatures, Film Studies, University of Pittsburgh, 2020
  • M.A. Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Pittsburgh (December 2015)
  • M.A. Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures with a concentration in German, University of Montana (May 2013)
  • BA, Linguistics; Teaching Foreign Languages and Cultures. Moscow State Linguistic University, 2009

Courses Taught

  • Russian Film: Stalin to Putin
  • Introduction to Film
  • Art and Protest in Russia from Perestroika to Putin
  • Soviet Science and Techno-Utopia
  • Masterpieces of Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature 
  • Dostoevsky and the Russian Idea
  • Madness and Madmen in Russian Culture
  • Indo-European Folktales
  • Russian Fairy Tales
  • Elementary Russian
  • Intermediate Russian
  • Advanced Russian
  • Fourth-Year Russian
  • Elementary German

Representative Publications

“The Non-Final Cut: The Biopolitics of Necrorealist Cinema.” Russian Literature. Special issue on cultural biopolitics in modern Russia. Ed. Maksim Hanukai. (In press.)

“Russia’s Quiet Other: Dmitrii Mamuliia’s Another Sky and Aleksandr Kott’s The Test.” Cinemasaurus: Recent Russian Film in its Contemporary Context. Eds. Nancy Condee, Aleksandr Prokhorov, Elena Prokhorova. Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2020.

Review of Vlad Strukov, Vera Zvereva, eds.: Ot tsentral'nogo k tsifrovomu: Televidenie v Rossii. Slavic and East European Journal 60.2 (2016): 379-80.

Review of Jeremi Szaniawski’s The Cinema of Alexander Sokurov: Figures of Paradox. Slavic and East European Journal 59.2 (2015): 322-24.

Research Interests

  • Contemporary Russian Cinema

  • Late Soviet Cinema

  • Necrorealism

  • Biopolitics

  • Central Asian Cinema

Representative Conference Presentations

November 2021. Yale University’s Colloquium Series: Emerging Voices in REEES. “The Non-Final Cut: The Biopolitics of Necrorealist Cinema.”

November 2019. ASEEES. “Andrei Zviagintsev’s Narrative Games: Leviathan and Loveless as ‘Puzzle’ Films.” San Francisco.

June 2019. NECS. “Now You See It, Now You Don’t: Andrei Zviagintsev’s Leviathan as a Database Narrative.” Gdansk.

December 2018. ASEEES. “Church, State, and the Body: Biopolitics of Religion in the Cinema of Andrei Zviagintsev and Kirill Serebrennikov.” Boston.

June 2018. NECS. “Filming the Death Agony of the Soviet Union: Necrorealism, Chernukha, and the Afterlife of Socialist Realism.” Amsterdam.

May 2018. CSA. “Policing the Body: The Biopolitics of Contemporary Russian Cinema.” Pittsburgh.