Photo of McQuillen, Colleen

Colleen McQuillen

Associate Professor

Slavic and Baltic Languages and Literatures


Building & Room:

1732 UH


601 S Morgan St.

Office Phone Voice:

(312) 355-0959


Areas of Specialization

  • Russian Modernism (Silver Age)
  • Cultural History
  • Visual and Material Culture

Additional Interests

  • Environmental Humanities
  • Science Fiction
  • Counterculture
  • Instructional and Learning Technologies

Selected Publications


Ecologies of Modernism. In progress. This book project takes an ecological materialist approach to works of literature commonly regarded as Neo-Realist as part of my effort to integrate them into our scholarly narrative of the Silver Age. I analyze sketches, short stories, and novellas written during the 1890s and 1900s by writers such as Maksim Gorky, Vladimir Korolenko, Aleksandr Kuprin, Aleksandr Serafimovich, and Vikenty Veresaev in terms of their engagement with material environments, and suggest that their writings establish a discourse of terrestrial decadence.

The Human Reimagined: Posthumanism in Russia. Edited and introduced by Colleen McQuillen and Julia Vaingurt (Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2018).

The Modernist Masquerade: Stylizing Life, Literature and Costumes in Russia. (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2013).

Articles and Book Chapters

  • “The Depleted Earth and Terrestrial Decadence in Fin-de-siècle Russia.” Russian Literature(in progress). Special issue “The Anthropocene in Russia” edited by Alec Brookes and Elena Fratto. In progress.
  • Deviantnoe povedenie: The Graffiti Collective Zachem‘s Social and Artistic Practices.” Russian Literature (in progress). Special issue “Russia – Culture of (Non-) Conformity: From the Late Soviet Time to the Present,” edited by Mark Lipovetsky and Klavdia Smola.
  • “Russian Modernist Theatricality and the Practice of ‘Life-Creation’.” In A Reader’s Guide to Andrei Belyi’sPetersburg, ed. Leonid Livak (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press). Forthcoming 2018.
  • “Human Adaptation in Late Soviet Environmental Science Fiction” in The Human Reimagined: Posthumanism in Russia, eds. C. McQuillen and J. Vaingurt (Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2018).
  • “Satires of Fashionable Clothing and Literature in Nineteenth-Century Russia.” Clothing Cultures 3:3 (2016). 247-263. Special issue “Dress Culture in Imperial Russia,” guest edited by Victoria Ivleva and Amanda Murphy.
  • “Avant-Garde Aesthetics of The Fairground Booth” in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism: Excerpts from Criticism of the Works of Novelists, Poets, Playwrights, Short Story Writers, & Other Creative Writers Who Died Between 1900 & 1999. Gale Cengage Publishing. Vol. 335 (2016). 137-144. [Reprint of Modernist Masquerade pp. 161-172]


Ph.D., Slavic Languages and Literatures, Columbia University (2006)
B.A., Russian, Amherst College (1994)