Jillian Porter
Associate Professor • Director of Russian Graduate Studies
Russian Program

McKenna 228


Jillian Porter holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Sarah Lawrence College. Her research explores intersections between Russian economic history and cultural production from the late 18th century to the present. At CU, she teaches courses on Russian literature and Russian/Soviet cinema.


Porter’s first book, Economies of Feeling: Russian Literature under Nicholas I (Northwestern UP, 2017), offers new explanations for the fantastical plots of mad or blocked ambition that helped set the 19th-century Russian prose tradition in motion. It compares the conceptual history of social ambition in post-Napoleonic France and post-Decembrist Russia and argues that the dissonance between foreign and domestic understandings of this economic passion shaped the literature of Nicholas I’s reign (1825–1855). A Russian translation of Economies of Feeling is forthcoming from Academic Studies Press in 2020.


Porter is currently at work on a second book, entitled The Art of the Queue: From the Revolution to the Putin Era. This book explores standing in line as a paradigmatic experience of Soviet everyday life and a generator of aesthetic forms. Porter was awarded a 2015-16 Postdoctoral Fellowship at Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies in support of this project, and she was interviewed about it on the Davis Center's podcast, “The Eurasian Enigma.” 


Porter is also presently conducting research on the rise of the women’s emancipation movement and the emerging science of energy in late nineteenth-century Russia. 



Economies of Feeling: Russian Literature under Nicholas I (Northwestern University Press, 2017).


Articles and book chapters:

“Dostoevsky’s Narrative Economy: Rainbow Bills in The Brothers Karamazov.” Dostoevsky Studies, New Series 22 (2019): 71-86. Russian translation: “Povestvovatel’naia ekonomika Dostoevskogo: Raduzhnye kreditnye bilety v romane “Brat’ia Karamazovy.”” Trans. Margarita Vaysman. In Russian Realism: Politics, Economics, Natural Sciences, and Mimesis (1830s-80s) [Russkii realizm: politika, ekonomika, estestvennye nauki, mimesis (1830-1880-e)]. Ilya Kliger, Kirill Ospovat, Margarita Vaysman, and Aleksei Vdovin, eds. Forthcoming from Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, 2020.

“Commemorative Queues: Bread, Lenin, ‘Requiem’.” The Slavic and East European Journal 61.3 (Fall 2017): 495-518.

“100 Years of the Queue.” Introduction to a thematic cluster on Soviet queue culture. The Slavic and East European Journal 61.3 (Fall 2017): 490-94.

“Alien Commodities: Aelita, Solaris, and Kin-dza-dza!” In Simultaneous Worlds: Global Science Fiction Cinema. Jennifer L. Feeley and Sarah Ann Wells, eds. Minneapolis: University of Minnestoa Press, 2015. 243-56.

“The Double, the Ruble, the Real: Counterfeit Money in Dostoevsky's Dvoinik,” The Slavic and East European Journal 58.3 (Fall 2014): 378-93. 


Podcast Interview

“The Eurasian Enigma: Standing in Line with Jillian Porter.” Released July 1, 2016. http://daviscenter.fas.harvard.edu/news/eurasian-enigma-standing-line-jillian-porter