Faculty Profile

Alyssa DeBlasio

Associate Professor of Russian (2010)

Contact Information


Bosler Hall Room 115


Her teaching and research interests fall primarily along the intersections of philosophy, Russian literature, and Russo-Soviet cinema. She is also interested in language learning through film and media, as well as practical translation skills for advanced language courses. Before coming to Dickinson, Prof. DeBlasio taught in the Department of Philosophy at the Higher School of Economics (Moscow, Russia). In 2014 she published a book titled The End of Russian Philosophy (Palgrave), which looks at the transition of the discipline of philosophy in Russia from the 1990s through the 2000s. Her second book, The Filmmaker's Philosopher: Merab Mamardashvili and Russian Cinema, is forthcoming with Edinburgh University Press in 2019. At Dickinson she also contributes to the Philosophy Department and the Film Studies Program.


  • M.A., University of Pittsburgh, 2006
  • Ph.D., 2010

2018-2019 Academic Year

Fall 2018

RUSS 201 Intermediate Russian
Advanced grammar review incorporating controlled reading and composition. Emphasis on speaking competence continued through oral reports and conversational topics. Prerequisite: 102 or the equivalent. This course fulfills the language graduation requirement.

RUSS 231 Russian for Discussion
Practice in the techniques and patterns of everyday conversation, especially as these reflect different cultural orientation. Reading and discussion of short works by well-known Russian authors. Prerequisite: 202 or the equivalent.

RUSS 335 Popular Culture and New Media
This course will examine one or several elements and/or genres in Russian popular culture, including folk tales, detective novels, anecdotes, film, television, music, the Internet, and new media. Students will practice close reading and analysis of authentic texts through the study of analytic genres specific to these fields in Russia and the US. Prerequisite: 231, 232 or equivalent.

RUSS 500 Independent Study

Spring 2019

RUSS 202 Intermediate Russian II
Emphasis on the development of reading, speaking, and writing skills. Reading of simple texts to acquaint the student with a variety of styles of the Russian language, concentration on some of the more difficult problems in the Russian grammar, translation, written composition, vocabulary building, and intonation. Prerequisite: 201 or equivalent.

ENGL 222 Philosophy and Literature
Cross-listed with PHIL 270-01 and RUSS 270-01. Dostoevsky's characters lie, steal, scheme, and murder. What is it about Dostoevsky's depictions of their lying, cheating ways that makes his novels not just literary but philosophical? And what is it about philosophical works like Kierkegaard's and Nietzsche's that makes them literary? More generally, where do the overlapping realms of literature and philosophy begin and end? This course investigates the intersections of philosophy and literature across different schools of thought, paying special attention to the work of Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Leibniz, Plato, Tolstoy, Voltaire, and others. We will pair the treatment of philosophical issues in fiction with their treatment in more traditional philosophical genres, thereby raising and discussing the contentious question of whether philosophy can achieve things that literature cannot, and vice versa.

PHIL 270 Philosophy and Literature
Cross-listed with ENGL 222-01 and RUSS 270-01.

RUSS 270 Philosophy and Literature
Cross-listed with ENGL 222-01 and PHIL 270-01. Taught in English.

RUSS 334 Workshop in Translation
This course focuses on specific techniques for translating various kinds of texts (business, journalistic, scholarly, epistolary, and literary) from Russian into English, and from English into Russian. Concentrating on the practical matter of reading and writing, the course will also include special grammatical topics which present particular difficulties in translation, discussion of theories of translation, and introduction to technological tools of translation. The goal of the course is to further students' language ability and provide them with useful linguistic skills. Prerequisite: 231, 232 or equivalent. Offered every two years.

RUSS 500 Independent Study