Lidia Zhigunova holds a PhD from Tulane University (2016) and a master’s degree in Comparative Literature from Louisiana State University (2002). Her dissertation “From Harem to Feminocracy: De-Orientalizing the Circassian National Imaginary in Literature and Art From the Early Modern to the Post-Soviet Periods” explores the politics of representation and continuous identity formation of Circassians, the indigenous people of the North Caucasus. Her main areas of academic interest include the study of 19th century literary and artistic traditions (German and Russian Romanticism and Realism), travel literature, as well as postcolonial and feminist literary theories and indigenous studies.
In addition to the language (Russian and German) courses, taught at Tulane and LSU, she has taught seminars on “Imperial Visions in Russian Literature and Art,” “Tolstoy & Dostoevsky,” “The Images of Women in the 19th Russian Literature, ”The Representations of the Caucasus in Russian Literature and Film,” “German Language and Culture II: From the Enlightenment to the Weimar Republic,” “German Language and Culture III: From the Weimar Republic to the Unification of Germany,” and “Exploring Russia.”
“Women, Patriarchy, and Tradition in Adil-Girei Keshev’s Scarecrow (1860) and Zarina Kanukova’s The Bridge (2006).” Journal of Caucasian Studies (JOCAS), vol. 6, no. 12 (May 2021): 233-258. https://dergipark.org.tr/en/pub/jocas/issue/62636
“Under the Holy Tree: Circassian Activism, Indigenous Cosmologies and Decolonizing Practices” (in collaboration with Raymond Taras, Tulane U). Christofer Berglund et al, Language and Society in the Caucasus: Understanding the Past, Navigating the Present. Malmö: University Academic Press, 2021. http://mau.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1557390/FULLTEXT01.pdf
“Circassian Trajectories Between Post-Soviet Neocolonialism, Indigeneity and Diasporic Dispersions.” In Postcolonial and Postsocialist Dialogues: Intersections, Opacities, Challenges in Feminist Theorizing and Practice, ed. by Redi Koobak, Suruchi Thapar-Björkert and Madina Tlostanova. Routledge Series: Advances in Feminist Studies and Intersectionality. London and New York: Routledge, 2021. https://www.routledge.com/Postcolonial-and-Postsocialist-Dialogues-Intersections-Opacities-Challenges/Koobak-Tlostanova-Thapar-Bjorkert/p/book/9780367434403
“Empire’s Erotic Conquests: Circassian Women in Russian Romantic Literature.” Gorizonty Gumanitarnogo Znaniya. The Journal of the Moscow University for the Humanities no.6 (2018): 178-203. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/331719551_Empire's_Erotic_Conquests_Circassian_Women_in_Russian_Romantic_Literature
“Torn between the Dream and Reality: Searching for Home in Dina Arma’s Novel The Road Home” (publ. in Russian: V razorvannom prostranstve mezhdu snom i real’nostyu). Vestnik (Bulletin) of the Kabardino-Balkarian Research Institute in Humanities, 2, no. 33 (2017): 95-102. http://www.kbigi.ru/fmedia/Вестник-233.pdf
"Memory, History, and the Construction of Self in Dina Arma’s The Road Home.” Journal of Caucasian Studies (JOCAS), vol. 1, no. 2 (March 2016): 75-100. https://dergipark.org.tr/en/pub/jocas/issue/18620/196575
- “Re-writing the Canon: Liberating Bela in Dina Damian’s I Am a Stranger in Your World.” Lichnost, Kultura, Obshestvo, vol. 17, no. 3-4 (2015): 348-370. Stefan Zweig and Soviet Russia: The Reception of Stefan Zweig in Soviet Russia. (VDM Verlag Dr. Muller). https://www.amazon.com/Stefan-Zweig-Soviet-Russia-Reception/dp/3639162846
Workshops / Exhibitions
This summer, she organized an Educational Workshop “Under the Tree” on Indigenous Communities and Knowledges, North Caucasus, Russia ( Jul. 20-27, 2017).
In addition, she helped to organize and launch two exhibitions:
- Exhibit “The Circassians: A Legendary Nation Is Rediscovered.“ Museum für Volkerkunde, Hamburg (May, 2014)
- Exhibit “Caucasus Morpheus,” in conjunction with the Russian Center for Science and Culture (Palazzo Santa Croce) and the Officine Fotografiche Roma. Rome, Italy (July, 2012)