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Sergey Toymentsev, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Russian


Ph.D., Comparative Literature, Rutgers University, 2014

Diploma of Specialist, Russian and English Languages and Literature, Kazan State University, Russia, 2000

Research Interests

  • Contemporary Russian Culture
  • Russian Cinema
  • Andrei Tarkovsky
  • Gilles Deleuze
  • Film-Philosophy
  • Memory Studies

Publications and Media Placements

Books in Progress

"From Matter to Thought: Towards a Deleuzian Taxonomy of Russian Film History"

"Mnemonic Hybrids in a Hybrid Regime: Remembering the Soviet Past in Putin’s Russia"

Edited Volumes

"Refocus: The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky" (Edinburgh University Press, February 2021)

"Refocus: The Films of Alexander Sokurov" (in preparation)

Selected Essays

“Introduction: Refocus on Tarkovsky” in Refocus: The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky (Edinburgh University Press, February 2021), 1-10.

“Does Tarkovsky Have a Film Theory?” in Refocus: The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky (Edinburgh University Press, February 2021), 46-63.

“Von Trier and Tarkovsky: From Antithesis to Counter-Sublime,” (co-authored with Anton Dolin) in Refocus: The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky (Edinburgh University Press, February 2021), 257-274.

“Avtoritarizm s chelovecheskim litsom: sovetsky geroi v postsovetskom baiopike” [“Authoritarianism with a Human Face: Soviet Hero in Post-Soviet Biopic”], Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, Vol. 165, 2020, 129-147.

“Retro-Future in Post-Soviet Dystopia,” CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture, Vol. 21. 4, 2019

“The Crisis of the Soviet Action-Image: Towards a Deleuzian Taxonomy of Thaw Cinema,” New Europe College Yearbook, 2017-2018 (Pontica Magna Program): 135-164.

“Legal but Criminal: the Failure of the “Russian Nuremberg” and the Paradoxes of Post-Soviet Memory,” Comparative Literature Studies, Vol. 48. 3, 2011: 296- 319.

“'It could have all turned out differently': Ideological Censorship of the Marriage Plot in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park,” The AnaChronisT: Journal of English and American Studies, Fall 2011: 18-33.

“Active/Reactive Body in Deleuze and Foucault,” Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry, Vol. 5:11, 2010: 44-56, ed. by Daniel Smith.

Book Reviews

“Review: Faire l'idiot: la politique de Deleuze by Philippe Mengue,” French Studies, Vol. 69. 2, 2015: 263-4.

“Review: Deleuze and Film: A Feminist Introduction by Teresa Rizzo,” Film Criticism, Vol. 38. 3, 2014: 75-8.

“Review Essay: Russia’s Historical Memory: Strict-Security or Hybrid?” Ab Imperio, 2/2013: 336-45.

“Review: Slovo v mire Andreya Tarkovskogo: Poėtika inoskazania by Mikhail Perepelkin,” Studies in Russian & Soviet Cinema, Vol. 7.3, 2013: 343-4.

“Review: Deleuze et le cinéma : L'armature philosophique des livres sur le cinema by Jean-Michel Pamart,” French Studies, Vol. 68.1, 2014: 127-8.

“Review: Andrei Tarkovsky’s Poetics of Cinema by Thomas Redwood,” Canadian Slavonic Papers, Vol. 56: 509-11.

“Review: New Philosophies of Film: Thinking Images by Robert Sinnerbrink,” Film Criticism, Vol. 37.1, 2012: 76-9.

“Review: Andrei Tarkovsky. Zvuchashii mir fil’ma by Natalia Kononenko,” Studies in Russian & Soviet Cinema, Vol. 6.3, 2012: 384-6.

“Review: Kinogermenevtika Tarkovskogo by Dmitrii Salynsky,” Studies in Russian & Soviet Cinema, Vol. 5.3, 2011: 413-14.

“Full-Length Portrait of Pynchon in Post-Soviet Frame,” Review of Thomas Pynchon and His America: Enigmas, Parallels, Cultural Contexts by Alexei Lalo, Pynchon Notes, 46–49 (2000–2001): 264–66.

Film Reviews

“Film Review: Johnny O’Reilly’s Moscow Never Sleeps (2015),” KinoKultura, Issue 58 (October), 2017.

“Film Review: Alena Semenova’s The Red Queen (2015),” KinoKultura, Issue 54 (October), 2016.

“Film Review: Aleksei German’s Under Electric Clouds (2015),” KinoKultura, Issue 50 (October), 2015.

“Film Review: Maria Saakyan’s Entropy (2012),” KinoKultura, Issue 43 (January), 2014.

“Film Review: Andrei Zaitsev’s The Layabouts (2011),” KinoKultura, Issue 38 (October), 2012.

“Film Review: Grigory Konstantinopolsky’s Pussycat (2009),” KinoKultura, Issue 31 (January), 2011.


“The Eighties were the Russian Sixties: An Interview on Kirill Serebrennikov’s Leto with Lilly and Michael Idov,” Film International, Vol. 19. 2, 2021 (forthcoming)

“Heroes on the Edge: An Interview with Alexei Uchitel.” Film International, Dec 18, 2018:

“Ending the War in Perpetrator’s Clothes: Robert Shwentke on The Captain Film International, Sep 12, 2018:

“Uncovering the Katyn Massacre Cover-up: An Interview with Piotr Szkopiak on The Last Witness,” Film International, Jun 5, 2018:

“The Pulse of Russian City Life: An Interview with Johnny O’Reilly on Moscow Never Sleeps,” Film International, Sep 7, 2017:

“In Need of Russian Heroes: An Interview with Alexander Nevsky on Black Rose,” Film International, May 7, 2017:

“The Uncomfortable Polyphony of Being: An Interview with Aleksei German, Jr.” Film International, Vol. 14. 3, 2016: 150-60.

Honors and Awards

Swedish Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship, Södertörn University, The Centre for Baltic and East European Studies, 2019 (declined)

Pontica Magna Fellowship at New Europe College, Institute for Advanced Study, Bucharest, 2018

Junior Fellowship at Polish Institute of Advanced Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, 2017

1st Graduate Essay Prize ($200) for the paper presented at the North East Slavic, East European & Eurasian Studies conference (NESEEES) Conference, 2011

Graduate Student Fellowship, Rutgers University, 2003 - 2007

Fulbright Research Fellowship, Washington State University, WA, 2002 – 2003

Regional Scholar Exchange Program Grant by IREX, 2002 (declined)

Junior Research Fellowship, Free University in Berlin, JFK Institute in North American and Canadian Studies, 2001

Medal awarded by the Russian Ministry of Education for the best student's essay, 2000

Professional Organizations and Associations

American Association for Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages

Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies