Mary A. Nicholas

Williams Hall, Room 406
PhD, University of Pennsylvania


Soviet and post-Soviet art and literature


An award-winning teacher, Mary Nicholas is 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) and the forthcoming monograph Moscow Conceptualism: Words and Deeds of a Radical Art Movement, as well as numerous articles on Soviet and post-Soviet art, prose, and poetry. 

Courses Taught:

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

Global Studies course on Global Work


Recent Publications:

“Co-authorship, collaboration, and other ‘counter-archival’ gestures in late-Soviet Moscow conceptualism.” (Counter-) Archive: Memorial Practices of the Soviet Underground. Edited by Klavdia Smola and Ilya Kukulin. Forthcoming London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2023.


“Metaphor and the Material Object in Moscow Conceptualism,” special issue on Slavic and Eastern-European Visuality: Modernity and Tradition, Arts 2022, 11(3), 52,


“Reassessing Moscow Conceptualism: The View from the Nest,” Art Margins, 2022, 11.1-2: 171-200.


“Moscow Conceptualism, Post-Soviet Suprematism, and Beyond: Reimagining the Russian Avant-Garde.” The Poetics of Avant-garde in Literature, Arts, and Philosophy. Edited by Slav Gratchev. New York: Lexington Books, 2020.


“Resurrecting the Avant-Garde: Post-modernist Tactics in Moscow Conceptualism.” The Stedelijk Museum and the Khardzhiev Foundation. The Many Lives of the Russian Avant-Garde. Nikolai Khardzhiev's Legacy: New Contexts. Edited by Dennis Ioffe and Frederick H. White. Pegasus Oost-Europese Studies Vol. 32. Uitgeverij Pegasus, Amsterdam 2019: 455-474.


“Rereading Moscow Conceptualism.” Slavic Review, Spring 2016, 75, 1: 22-51.