Dr. Alexandra Berlina



2012: PhD summa cum laude in American Studies (University of Duisburg-Essen)

2009: Magister degree (1.05) in English, American and German Studies (University of Düsseldorf)

2008: MA with distinction in Comparative Literature (University College London)

2006-2009: German National Academic Foundation (“Studienstiftung des deutschenVolkes”) scholarship



Brodsky Translating Brodsky: Poetry in Self-Translation. New York: Bloomsbury/Continuum, 2014.

Bildwörterbuch Russisch. Stuttgart: PONS, 2014.

Grundwortschatz Russisch. Stuttgart: PONS, 2008.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

“Brodsky’s Wet Dreams”, Przekładaniec: Journal of Literary Translation. Forthcoming.

“The American Brodsky: a Research Overview”. Resources for American Literary Study 37 (2014). Forthcoming.

“Surrealism as Theme and Method in Olga Grushin’s The Dream Life of Sukhanov”. ZAA: Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik 4 (2014). Forthcoming.

“Self-Creation in Self-Translation”. Translation Review 89.1 (2014): 35-48.

“Nabokov’s Ada in Brodsky’s ‘Sextet”’. Notes and Queries (2014): 129-131.

“Afterlife Beyond Translation”. Canadian Review of Comparative Literature 40.4 (2013): 370-383.

“Homosexuality in the Russian Translation of The Hours”. Sexuality and Culture 16.4 (2012): 449-466.

“Critically Ignored: Russian Magical Realism and Pelevin as its Exponent. CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture 11.4 (2009): <http://dx.doi.org/10.7771/1481-4374.1561>.

Other Publications

“Fantastic Polyvalence”. After Todorov II (working title). Ed. Clemens Ruthner. Forthcoming in 2015/2016.

“Stranger and stranger: Ostranenie, Surrealism and the Fantastic in Translation”. Translation in Russian Contexts. Eds. Susanna Witt and Julie Hansen. Forthcoming in 2015.

“Poetic Trans(l/n)ation: Joseph Brodsky, a Centaur. ”Inter-American Flows: Transnational Imaginaries and Impacts. Inter-American Studies | EstudiosInteramericanos. Eds. Josef Raab and Alexia Schemien. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier & Tempe. Forthcoming in 2015.

"Comparative Literature in Russia and in Central and East Europe", with Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek, Companion to Comparative Literature, World Literatures, and Comparative Cultural Studies. Eds. Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek and Tutun Mukherjee. New Delhi: Oxford University Press India, 2014. 337-352.

Poetry translations in journals, magazines and anthologies. Selected venues: Modern Poetry in Translation, Little Star, Ambit, The Evansville Review, The White Review, Newpoetry, Zarubezhnye Zapiski and the forthcoming Penguin Anthology of Russian Poetry (ed. Robert Chandler).

Literary and Translation Awards

2013: Compass Translation Award, 2nd

2013-14: participation in readings of poetry translations at the Pushkin House in London

2012: Stephen Spender/Joseph Brodsky Translation Prize, 3rd

2012: ALTA Fellowship to attend the 2012 ALTA conference and give a reading of poetry translations

2012: Willis Barnstone Translation Prize, shared 1st (first non-native speaker in the history of the prize)

2012: International Poetry Competition Castello di Duino, 3rd

2007: „Othmar-Seidner-Jungautorenpreis“ (award for young writers), 2nd

2006: Jugendliteraturwettbewerb der Regensburger Schriftstellergruppe (award for young writers), 4th

2002: Poetry competition of the „Unicum“-magazine, 1st

Conference Presentations

“Posthumanism, Surrealism and the Hybrid Self in Michael Cunningham’s Specimen Days”: 2014, DGfA Jahrestagung (submitted), Würzburg

“Surrealism in Translation”: 2014, Translation in Russian Contexts (confirmed), Uppsala

“Puns in Poetry Translation”: 2013, Translators’ Coven, Oxford

“Brodsky’s Sextet: the Mystery of Minor Characters”: 2013, Joseph Brodsky’s returns from history (special guest), Krakow

"Self-Translations in Close Reading: Iosif Brodskii / Joseph Brodsky": 2012, Memory, the United States, and Transnational Poetics, Bielefeld

“Transnational Identities in Joseph Brodsky’s Self-Translations”: 2010, Transnational Americas, Essen

“Problems of Cultural Transfer: the American Gay in Russian Translation”: 2009, Translating Beyond East and West, Prague

“Experimental Poetry in Translation”: 2008, The Idea of the New (graduate conference), London


American Studies, University of Duisburg-Essen

A Survey of American Literature
American and British Novels on Paper and Screen
First Novels by Young American Writers
Modern American Short Stories (several different courses)
Post-War American Novels
Russian Americans: Nabokov, Brodsky, Grushin
Surrealism in American Culture
Translation as Criticism: American Poetry through the Lens of German Translation
Two Émigré Poets: W.H. Auden and Joseph Brodsky

Summer Schools:

2012: “Close Readings in Gender Contexts”, Graz International Summer School Seggau

2014: “Borderland Studies: Leonora Carrington and Latin American Surrealism”: 2014, International CIAS Summer School in Bielefeld (Broadcasting the Americas: Academic Reflections and Media Practice on Politics and Culture)

Teaching Skills Enhancement

2009: Teachers’ workshop (“FortbildungfürLehrbeauftragte”), University of Duisburg-Essen

2010: Teachers’ workshop on cultural differences (“KulturunterschiedeimSprachunterricht“), Volkshochschule Düsseldorf

Life and Work: the Basics

2009-2014: “wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter” in American Studies, University of Duisburg-Essen

2012: a daughter

2009: a son

2008-2010: language teaching: Russian and German (Cactus Language Training, London);
English, „Cambridge Advanced“(Volkshochschule Düsseldorf)

since 2002: freelance interpreter, editor and translator for Russian, German and English

2000-2007: freelance journalist for the German-Russian newspaper "Rejnskaja Gazeta"; volunteer interpreter in a refugee center in Düsseldorf

1984: Alexandra Berlina is born in Moscow; 1996: family moves to Germany

Research Interests

  • surrealism and pre-surrealism in American literature, cinema and popular culture (such as advertising)
  • translation, particularly poetry translation, self-translation and translation of word play
  • Russian-American authors, particularly Brodsky, Nabokov and Grushin
  • late 20th and 21st century Anglophone literature
  • the role of imagery in narratives