Yuri Leving

Professor, on leave 2024-2025
Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
Office Phone
229 East Pyne
  • PhD (Summa Cum Laude) in Slavic Languages and Literatures (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2002)
  • PhD (ABD) in Slavic Languages and Literatures with concentration in Film Studies (University of Southern California, 2001–2004)


My areas of specialization are contemporary Russian literature and film, Eastern European cinema, the visual arts, and digital humanities. In my scholarly works, I often examine the visual poetics of the text, anything from book covers to children’s animation and celebrity Instagram stories. In addition to experimenting in the field of digital humanities, I have published books on Vladimir Nabokov, Joseph Brodsky, and Osip Mandel’stam. I am also the founding editor of the Nabokov Online Journal

Various field practices inform and stimulate my broader artistic and academic interests: I particularly enjoy street photography and have produced several documentary films. The Roman Elegy of Joseph Brodsky (2020, 60 min.) examines the poet’s creative life in Rome. Nabokov’s Magic Lantern (2021, 60 min.), featuring archival footage and interviews, offers an iconoclastic look at the writer’s canonical biography. My forthcoming documentary will be devoted to a Russian poet and Anna Akhmatova’s literary secretary Anatoly Naiman.

Current Projects: 

In my current research I analyze the aesthetics, design, and paratextual motifs of the opening and closing title sequences of Russian movies.

My monograph in progress is based on the unpublished drawings of Joseph Brodsky and it explores the Nobel Prize laureate’s unknown legacy as a graphic artist.
My debut work of fiction in Russian, The Zeppelin Stamp. A Storyboard Novel (2022), was recently published by Perlov Design Gallery. It blends art, photography and narrative.

Finally, I compiled and edited an anthology of contemporary Russian poetry written in direct response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine (2022).


Courses Taught:

  • Eastern European Cinema: War, Love, and Revolutions
  • Vladimir Nabokov
  • Putin’s Russia Before and After the War in Ukraine
  • Akhmatova's Orphans
  • How iRead the Eye-Books: Film Adaptations of World Literature
  • Dreamers and Bandits in Russian Cinema
  • Andrei Tarkovsky: A Cinematic Legacy
  • The Worlds of Storytelling: Digital, Textual, Cinematic

Authored Books: 

Book Jacket Cover

Марка с цеппелином. Роман-сториборд

[The Zeppelin Stamp. A Storyboard Novel]

St. Petersburg: Perlov Design Gallery, 2022.

Book Jacket Cover

Nabokov in Motion. Modernity and Movement

New York: Bloomsbury, 2022.

Book Jacket Cover

Поэзия в мертвой петле. Мандельштам и авиация

[Poetry in a Dead Loop. Mandelstam and Aviation]

Moscow: Boslen, 2021.


Иосиф Бродский в Риме. Путеводитель

[Joseph Brodsky in Rome: A Literary Guide]. Vol. I.

St. Petersburg: Perlov Design Center, 2020.


Иосиф Бродский в Риме. Поэзия, проза, графика

[Joseph Brodsky in Rome: Poetry, Prose, Art]. Vol. II.

St. Petersburg: Perlov Design Center, 2020.


Иосиф Бродский в Риме. Труды и дни

[Joseph Brodsky in Rome: Life and Work]. Vol. III.

St. Petersburg: Perlov Design Center, 2020.

Images on the Retina

Революция зримого. Образы на сетчатке

[A Revolution of the Visible: Images on the Retina]

Moscow: New Literary Observer, 2018.

Book Cover Marketing Literature and Posthumous Legacies

Marketing Literature and Posthumous Legacies: The Symbolic Capital of Leonid Andreev and Vladimir Nabokov

Co-authored with Frederick H. White

New York, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books; Rowman & Littlefield, 2013.

Keys to the Gift-A Guide to Vladimir Nabokov's Novel cover

Keys to The Gift. A Guide to Vladimir Nabokov’s Novel

Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2011.

Upbringing by Optics: Book Illustration, Animation and Text book cover

Воспитание оптикой: Книжная графика, анимация, текст

[Upbringing by Optics: Book Illustration, Animation, and Text]

Moscow: New Literary Observer, 2010.

Book Cover jacket of Train Station-Garage-Hangar Vladimir Nabokov

Вокзал – Гараж – Ангар: Владимир Набоков и поэтика русского урбанизма

[Train Station – Garage – Hangar: Vladimir Nabokov and Poetics of Russian Urbanism]

St. Petersburg: Ivan Limbakh, 2004.

Short-listed for Andrey Bely Literary Prize (2004)

Edited Volumes: 

Three books with third one leaning against the other two

A Blue Brick. Festschrift in Honour of John E. Bowlt on the Occasion of his 80th Birthday 

[Синий кирпич. Сборник в честь 80-летия Джона Э. Боулта] 

Frankfurt am Main: Esterum, 2023


8.	Поэзия последнего времени

Поэзия последнего времени

[The Doomsday Poetry. Chronicles]

St. Petersburg: Ivan Limbakh, 2022.

Book Cover of Shades of Laura

Shades of Laura: Vladimir Nabokov’s Last Novel The Original of Laura

Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013.

book cover for Lolita: The Story of a Cover Girl

Lolita: The Story of a Cover Girl – Vladimir Nabokov’s Novel in Art and Design

Co-edited with John Bertram

New York: Print, 2013

Лолита book cover

Лолита — история девушки с обложки: Роман Владимира Набокова в книжной графике и дизайне

Санкт-Петербург: Крига, 2019.

book cover for Anatomy of a Short Story

Anatomy of a Short Story. Nabokov’s Puzzles, Codes, “Signs and Symbols”

New York: Continuum, 2012.


book cover for The Goalkeeper: The Nabokov Almanac

The Goalkeeper: The Nabokov Almanac

Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2010.

book cover for Empire N. Nabokov and his Heirs

Империя N. Набоков и наследники

[Empire N. Nabokov and his Heirs]

Co-edited with Evgeniy Soshkin

Moscow: New Literary Observer, 2006.

Book Cover for Шиповник. Сборник к 60-летию Романа Тименчика

Шиповник. Сборник к 60-летию Романа Тименчика

[Eglintine. Festschrift in Honor of Professor Roman Timenchik’s 60th Birthday].

Co-edited with Alexander Ospovat and Yuri Tsivian

Moscow: Vodolei Publishers, 2005.