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Mina Magda

Dr. Mina Magda is a scholar of Russian literature, visual art, and performance spanning the long nineteenth century and early Soviet period. Her interdisciplinary research centers politics of racial representation, gendered labor, and colonial culture. Becoming Modern: Negrophilia, Russophilia, and the Making of Modernist Paris, her current book project, examines the aesthetic interplay among modernists of the Russian and Black diasporas in Paris—namely, Josephine Baker and the Ballets Russes—the visual technologies of race-making that framed their careers, and their shared imbrication in the histories of celebrity and coloniality. She demonstrates how the comparison between Baker and the Ballets Russes helps us think of racial formation as a network of political, aesthetic, and commercial negotiations through which we can examine the limits and relational contingencies of racial self-determination, and ask at what cost conceptions of modern subjecthood were afforded. Magda received her PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures at Yale University in 2023 and holds an MA in Russian and Slavic Studies from New York University. Her doctoral dissertation was supported by fellowships at the Houghton Library and Beinecke Library and the MacMillan International Dissertation Research Fellowship.

September 2023-August 2024

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