Mary Nicholas

Lehigh University Modern Languages and Literature - Mary Nicholas
Associate Professor
516 Maginnes Hall


PhD, University of Pennsylvania
Soviet and post-Soviet art and literature


Mary A. Nicholas is Associate Professor of Russian in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Lehigh University. She is the author of Writers at Work: Russian Production Novels and the Construction of Soviet Culture (Bucknell University Press, 2010)., as well as numerous articles on Soviet and post-Soviet art, prose, and poetry. 

An award-winning teacher, Nicholas is currently working on a book entitled "Words Worth 1,000 Pictures: Texts in Russian Conceptualism." This project is the result of her on-going interest in the use of written texts in Russian conceptual art of the late Soviet and post-Soviet periods. Her study draws on contemporary theory, archival research, and personal experience to offer a new perspective on Russian conceptualism,  the most important Russian art movement of the late twentieth century. 


Courses Taught:

Russian language, elementary to advanced
Russian literature, in the original and in translation
Russian cultural history, medieval to modern

Selected Publications:

Writers at Work: Russian Production Novels and the Construction of Soviet Culture., Bucknell University Press, 2010.

“‘We Were Born to Make Fairytales Come True’: Reinterpreting political texts in unofficial Soviet art, 1972-1992.”  Canadian Slavonic Papers, 53, no. 2-3-4 (2011).

"In Search of the Collective Author: Fact and Fiction from the Soviet 1930s." Co-authored with Cynthia A. Ruder, Book History, 11, 2008. 221-244.

“It’s the thought that counts: Conceptualism and Art in Eastern Europe and Beyond.” American Contributions to the International Congress of Slavists. 2008.

“Artist and Words”/“Khudozhnik i ego slova.”  English/Russian essay on artist Yuri Albert. Yuri Albert, “Exhibition.” Moscow: Novosti, 2007, 2-27.