• Visiting Assistant Professor of Russian


  • University of Sofia, Bulgaria, 1996-1998
  • Bachelor of Arts, Smith College, 2001
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of California, Berkeley, 2010


Polina Dimova is a scholar of Russian literature, music, and visual art, and specializes in European Inter-Art Modernism. She has recently published articles on Russian Symbolism, Alexander Scriabin, Evgenii Zamiatin, Oscar Wilde, and Richard Strauss in the volumes Hearing Texts: The Auditory in Slavic Literatures, Ulbandus, 2015; Shapes of Apocalypse: Arts and Philosophy in Russian Thought, Academic Studies Press, 2013; and Performing Salome, Revealing Stories, Ashgate, 2013. Nearing completion, her book The Synaesthetic Metaphor studies how Modernist Inter-Art experiments stemmed from a fascination with synaesthesia, the figurative or neurological mixing of the senses, for instance, in the perception sound as color. Her second book project explores the literary appropriations of Scriabin’s music and ideas in twentieth-century Russian culture.

Dimova originally joined Oberlin as a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor of Russian and Comparative Literature in 2011. She comes from Varna, Bulgaria and is a violinist and a composer. For samples of her creative work and that of her students, visit soundcloud.com/polina-dimova and polyscholart.tumblr.com.


Dimova teaches all levels of Russian language, including seminars in Russian on Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita, Bely’s Petersburg, “Contemporary Russian Literature,” and “Russian Poetry and Music,” as well as a range of literature courses in translation: “Russian Fantasy and Science Fiction,” “Adultery and Art in the Russian Novel,” “Synaesthetic Utopias: Russian Modernism Across the Arts,” and the First-Year Seminar “Magic and Metamorphosis.” Dimova’s courses always engage students in creative, performing, research, and translation projects, which students have presented at her Modernist Salons or her 2015 Synaesthesia Symposium, organized in collaboration with Neuroscience, the Allen Memorial Art Museum, and the Oberlin Conservatory.


  • Polina Dimova 2015-16 Academic Year Update

    May 16, 2016

    Visiting Assistant Professor of Russian Polina Dimova published an article on Russian Modernist literature and music entitled “The Frozen Desert and the Crystal City: Figurations of Aleksandr Scriabin’s Music in Evgenii Zamiatin’s We and ‘The Cave’” in the current 2015 Ulbandus issue, Hearing Texts: The Auditory in Slavic Literatures. She earlier presented this work at the 2015 conference of the American Association for Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (AATSEEL) in Vancouver. Dimova also contributed an encyclopedic entry on "Synaesthesia" to the digital Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism (REM), edited by Stephen Ross, which came live at www.rem.routledge.com on May 9, 2016.

    Over the past academic year, Dimova also gave two talks on the perils of the visual in Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, a topic related to her Spring course Adultery and Art in the Russian Novel. She presented “The Artist’s Unmediated Vision: Art and Morality in Mikhailov’s Portrait of Anna Karenina” at the 2015 convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) in Philadelphia and "Semiotics of Laughter and the Smile in Dostoevsky’s The Idiot” at the Midwest Slavic Conference at Ohio State University in April 2016.