Photography in Russia and the Soviet Union panel

Biographies of speakers and moderators

Nataliya Mazur is professor at the faculty of history of arts at the European University at Saint-Petersburg, specialist in visual studies, author of the first Russian reader in visual culture. Her interests also include history of Russian culture in the Eighteenth – Twentieth centuries regarded in connection with history of ideas; history of Russian national ideology. She authored 70 academic publications in Russian. French, Italian and German and organized many international conferences on history of Russian culture (Lotmanovskie Chteniya, RGGU) and history and theory of photography (After Postphotography, European University at Saint-Petersburg).

Alina Novik
is a Ph. D. candidate at European University at St. Petersburg (EUSP), trained at European Humanities University (Vilnius, Lithuania) as a media researcher and at EUSP as an art historian. The combination of these two fields inspired her doctoral research of the nineteenth century’s optical devices and public performances conducted with the use of them (panorama-related spectacles, magic lantern demonstrations, transparencies et cetera). She is working within the framework of such disciplines as visual studies, cultural history, and media archaeology.


Dr. Tatiana Saburova is a visiting Professor at Indiana University, Professor at the Department of History and a Research Fellow at Higher School of Economics (Moscow).  Her first book was on the social and cultural representations of Russian intellectuals (Mythologies of the Russian Intellectual World: Socio-Cultural Representations of the Russian Intelligentsia in the Nineteenth Century, 2005). The second book Friendship, Family, Revolution: Nikolai Charushin and the Populist Generation of the 1870s, 2016) was co-authored with Ben Eklof (Indiana University). Tatiana was a Fulbright visiting scholar at Indiana University (2011), DAAD visiting scholar at Freiburg University (2010), a visiting scholar at Tüebingen University (2013) and Munich University (2016). Her current research focuses on the history of photography in the Late Imperial Russia, collective biography, autobiography, and memory.

Anna Zelikova studied Cultural Studies at St. Petersburg State University and Art History at European University at St. Petersburg. Graduated in 2015 with a master thesis focusing on reception of pictorial photography in Russia. Currently is an independent researcher.

Jessica Werneke received her PhD in History from the University of Texas at Austin in May of 2015. Her dissertation, “The Boundaries of Art: Soviet Photography from 1956 to 1970” which demonstrated that Stalinist cultural policies did not put a decisive end to avant-garde aesthetics in photographic media and that the unique political and cultural context of the “Thaw” provided photojournalists and amateur photographers the opportunity to renew classic discourses about photography’s artistic, aesthetic and documentary properties. She is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the International Centre for the History and Sociology of World War II and its Consequences at the NRU Higher School of Economics, Moscow. Her latest article, “Reimagining the History of the Avant-garde: Photography and the Journal Sovetskoe foto in the 1950s and Early 1960s” explores how photojournalists and photography critics (re)interpreted Soviet avant-garde aesthetics and the history of 1920s Russian avant-garde photography movements. Her current projects focus on interpretations of Soviet photography theory and amateur photography clubs in the late Soviet period. Dr. Werneke’s other research interests include Soviet amateur culture and gender and sexuality in modern Russian visual culture.

Maria Vashchuk is photo editor, curator, historian of photography, dean of Photography department at the Institute for the Humanities and Information Technologies. She was born in Moscow. In 2004 she graduated from the History department of the Moscow State University (specialization: visual anthropology). From 2004 to 2007 she worked as an analyst of the photojournalists network at the photo department of TASS News Agency. In 2006 she started photography studies lead by Alexander Lapin and participated in the School of Lapin exhibition that took place in Moscow in the centre of contemporary art Winzavod and in St Petersburg (2009). From 2007 to 2013 she worked for the news agency RIA Novosti as a chief of the photojournalism department. Since 2015 – the Dean of Photography department at the Institute for the Humanities and Information Technologies ( She is a member of the National association of Mass Media Researchers. She wrote articles on history of photography and photojournalism. She is the Vice-Chair of Photofest Uglich organizing committee (