Elise Thorsen holds a B.A. in Russian Studies from the College of William & Mary (2006) and an M.A. in Russian Literature from the University of Pittsburgh (2009). This is her fifth year of graduate study at the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures. Her dissertation will focus on the evolution of poetic representation of space in the early Soviet Union and its relationship to the Russian experience of empire. Her research interests also include Stalinist cinema and neo-imperial discourses and aesthetics in contemporary Russia.