Tamizdat Project Team

Yasha Klots (Project Director)

Yasha Klots is an Assistant Professor of Russian at Hunter College of the City University of New York. He holds a Ph.D. in Russian Literature from Yale University 2011, where he worked with Tomas Venclova on his dissertation, and M.A. from Boston College (2005). Before joining Hunter in 2016, he taught at Georgia Institute of Technology, Williams College and Yale. In 2014-2016, he was a Humboldt Foundation Fellow at the Research Center for East European Studies at the University of Bremen, Germany. His research interests include Russian and East European émigré literature and book history, contemporary Russian poetry, linguistic anthropology, bilingualism and literary translation, Gulag narratives (in particular, Shalamov), urbanism, the mythology of St. Petersburg and representation of other cities in Russian literature. He is the author of articles on Varlam Shalamov, Boris Pasternak, Joseph Brodsky, Lev Loseff, Vladimir Nabokov, Marina Tsvetaeva, Ivan Bunin and Nina Berberova, Russian children's poetry and New York City in Russian literature. In 2010, he published Joseph Brodsky in Lithuania (St. Petersburg: Perlov Design Center; in Russian), and co-translated, with Ross Ufberg, Tamara Petkevich’s Memoir of a Gulag Actress (DeKalb: Northern Illinois UP). His most recent book is Poets in New York: On City, Language, Diaspora (Moscow: NLO, 2016; in Russian), which includes his introduction and annotated interviews with 16 Russian and East European poets. He is working on a monograph Tamizdat, the Cold War and Contraband Russian Literature (1960-1970s) devoted to the circulation, reception and first publications of manuscripts from the Soviet Union in the West.

Alla Roylance (Librarian)

Alla Roylance is the Russian and Slavic Studies librarian at NYU. She came to the academy after a long spell at a public library where she curated Russian and Polish collection, and built a successful cultural series which introduced new Russian literature and film to the members of Russian-speaking audiences. Alla also received training as an archivist. Her research interests include dissident subcultures, cultural history of Russian emigration, and metadata management.


Anna Bespyatykh (Editor, Russian)

Anna Bespyatykh was born in St. Petersburg, where she graduated from the Department of Classical Philology of the St. Petersburg State University. She teaches Latin, Ancient Greek and Theory of Language. She is also a translator from French into Russian and an editor of both fiction and academic texts.

Ilaria Sicari (Researcher)

Ilaria Sicari is an Adjunct Professor of Russian Literature at the University of Florence. She earned her Ph.D. in Russian Language and Literature from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (2017), where she worked on a dissertation about the Soviet reception of Italo Calvino’s works under the supervision of prof. Donatella Possamai. In 2015 she was an Overseas fellow at the School of Philology at Higher School of Economics (Moscow), where she joined the scientific research group InterLit (Internatsional’naya literatura – International literature) under the supervision of prof. Elena Zemskova (2015-16). In 2016-18 she was a member of an international research group coordinated by profs. Claudia Pieralli (University of Florence) and Luba Jurgenson (Paris-Sorbonne University), which investigated the reception of Soviet political repression in Italy and France. Her research interests range from comparative literature to translation studies, reception studies and cultural history of Soviet Russia, with a particular attention devoted to the study of literary institutions, censorship, cultural policies and the production and dissemination of uncensored Russian literary works (samizdat and tamizdat) in the USSR and Europe during the Cold War.  She addressed the reception of foreign literature in the Soviet Union in several articles published in Italian and international scientific journals and books. Currently, she is working on the publication of her doctoral dissertation and is collaborating on the research project Cultures of Dissent of the University of Florence, investigating the reception of Soviet Dissent in Europe through the study of the main Western publishing houses involved in the production and dissemination of uncensored Soviet literature (YMCA Press, Feltrinelli, Mondadori, Posev, Sintaksis, Tovarishchestvo zarubezhnikh pisatelei) and of the editorial history of some samizdat and tamizdat publications. She is also working as translator from Russian and English for the Institute of the Italian Encyclopedia Treccani.