Nicole Monnier

monnier photo
Teaching Professor of Russian, Director of Undergraduate Studies (Russian), and Associate Chair (German & Russian)
Strickland Hall
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Ph.D., 2000, Princeton University;
BA, 1991, Russian, Mount Holyoke College 

Research Interests: 

My primary area of specialization is mid-19th century Russian prose and criticism. Specific projects include a reception study of the critical and cultural legacy of Russia’s first “professional” literary critic, Vissarion Belinsky, as well as the underexplored period of the “mrachnoe semiletie,” seven years of cultural repression bookended by the European revolutions of 1848 and the death of Tsar Nicholas I in 1855. More recently, I’ve become fascinated with the “Chekhovian ending,” both as a structural dominant and thematic marker in the author’s stories and plays.

Since my arrival at MU in 2000, I have taught a range of courses, from elementary Russian to graduate seminars, and many others in between. While there are perennial favorites (first-year Russian; literature of the first half of the 19th century; Russian modernism in literature and culture; Russian women and film), I am as happy to teach courses on new topics as I am the more familiar. A common thread through all of my non-language courses is the intersection of literature, culture, and history; many emphasize student writing as well. In language courses, I try to balance an insistence on grammatical competency with meaningful language production. 

As Director of Undergraduate Studies, I advise for the Russian major and minor and work with the International Studies advisor for those students concentrating in Russian within the IS major. I also advise students on study abroad (summer, semester, and year), and for intensive language summer programs in the US.

Frequently Taught Courses: 
  • RUSS 1100 & 1200: Elementary Russian (coordinator and co-instructor)
  • RUSS 2100: Classics and Iconoclasts: An Introduction to Russian Literature
  • RUSS 2320: The Arts of Survival: Soviet Civilization (writing intensive)
  • RUSS 3390: True Fictions: 20th-Century Russian Prose (writing intensive)
  • RUSS 4430/7430: Russian Drama (undergraduate/graduate seminar)
  • GH2113H: The Early Modern World (Honors College humanities sequence)