Svetlana Boym

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Svetlana Boym (Russian: Светла́на Ю́рьевна Бо́йм; (1959[1]– August 5, 2015)[2] was the Curt Hugo Reisinger Professor of Slavic and Comparative Literatures at Harvard University, and a media artist, playwright and novelist.[3] She was an associate of the Graduate School of Design and Architecture at Harvard University. Much of her work focused on developing the new theoretical concept of the off-modern.

Boym was born in Leningrad, USSR. She studied Spanish at the Herzen Pedagogical Institute in Leningrad.[4] She received an M.A. from Boston University and a Ph.D. from Harvard.[5]

Boym's written work explored relationships between utopia and kitsch, memory and modernity, and homesickness and the sickness of home.[6] Her research interests included 20th-century Russian literature, cultural studies, comparative literature and literary studies. In addition to teaching and writing, Boym also sat on the Editorial Collective of the interdisciplinary scholarly journal Public Culture. Boym was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Cabot Award for Research in Humanities, and an award from the American Council of Learned Societies. She won a Gilette Company Fellowship which provided her half a year study at the American Academy in Berlin.[7]

In 2006, Boym's media art exhibit opened in Factory Rog Art Space in Ljubljana during the City of Women Festival. She also curated the exhibit "Territories of Terror: Memories and Mythologies of Gulag in Contemporary Russian-American Art" at Boston's University Art Gallery.[8]


Boym died on August 5, 2015, aged 56, in Boston, Massachusetts, following a year-long battle with cancer.[5]

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • Another Freedom: The Alternative History of an Idea (University of Chicago Press, 2010) ISBN 978-0-226-06973-9
  • Ninotchka: A Novel (SUNY Press, 2003)
  • Kosmos: Remembrances of the Future - photographs by Adam Bartos, text by Svetlana Boym (Princeton Architectural Press, 2001)
  • The Future of Nostalgia (Basic Books, 2001)
  • Common Places: Mythologies of Everyday Life in Russia (Harvard University Press, 1994)
  • Death in Quotation Marks: Cultural Myths of the Modern Poet (Harvard University Press, 1991)

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^
  2. ^ Obituary,; accessed August 8, 2015.
  3. ^ Frank Wilczek. "The Future of Nostalgia". 
  4. ^ "Eurozine - Svetlana Boym". 
  5. ^ a b "In Memoriam: Professor Svetlana Boym". 
  6. ^ Profile,; accessed August 8, 2015.
  7. ^ "Svetlana Boym - Gillette Company Fellow, Class of Fall 2003". American Academy in Berlin. Retrieved March 10, 2012. 
  8. ^ Profile,; accessed August 8, 2015.

External links[edit]