Colleen Lucey, Ph.D., is assistant professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at the University of Arizona. She earned a B.A. in Russian from Barnard College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A specialist in Russian literature of the long nineteenth century, Dr. Lucey publishes on works by both canonical writers (Fyodor Dostoevsky, Lev Tolstoy) and the texts of their lesser-known contemporaries. In addition to the representation of femininity and debates on “the woman question,” her research and teaching interests include the history of Russian theatre and performance (from the nineteenth century to the present), and Russian language instruction.
Dr. Lucey’s forthcoming book, Love for Sale: Representing Prostitution in Imperial Russia (Cornell University Press, Sept. 2021) examines how a variety of writers and their contemporaries working in the visual arts utilized the theme of prostitution to tackle issues of public hygiene, fidelity, and the commodification of sex. As Russians eagerly discussed the nature of sex work, they witnessed the debate expanding beyond the realm of the brothel to include other types of transactional relations haunting the institution of the family. What began as an attack on state-sanctioned prostitution broadened to encompass a huge swath of the female population that survived, and in many cases thrived, by harnessing sexual labor in Russia’s nascent capitalist market. Streetwalkers, demimondaines (elite prostitutes), kept women, dowerless brides and procuresses all lived and profited by mobilizing sex for financial benefit. While scholars have long been interested in these themes, Love for Sale is the first study to consider commercial sex holistically, as a cultural phenomenon in imperial Russia that dominated discussions related to women’s autonomy.
Dr. Lucey’s research has been supported by the Title VIII Research Scholar Program, the U.S.-Russia Peer-to-Peer Dialogue Program, and the Foreign Language & Area Studies Program. She is an active member of the profession and currently serves as Vice President to the Executive Council of AATSEEL (American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages, 2020-2022) and is a member of the ACTR Board of Directors (American Council of Teachers of Russian, 2020-2023).
"Oral History in the Russian Language Curriculum: A Transformative Experience." Chapter co-authored with Benjamin Rifkin and Benjamin Jens, The Art of Teaching Russian, eds. Evgeny Dengub, Irina Dubinina, and Jason Merrill, 211-230. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2020.
"Fallen but Charming Creatures: The Demimondaine in Russian Literature and Visual Culture of the 1860s." The Russian Review 78, no. 1 (Jan. 2019): 103-121.
"Borscht, Bliny, and Burritos: The Benefits of Peer-to-Peer Experiential Learning through Food." Article co-written with Naomi Caffee, Russian Language Journal 68 (Dec. 2018): 33-54.
"The Hunt for an Eternal Legacy: Putin and the Vampire Legend in Modern Russia." Article co-written with Melissa Miller, Folklorica 22 (2018): 25-56.
"Violence, Murder, and Fallen Women: Prostitution in the Works of Vsevolod Garshin." Canadian Slavonic Papers 58, no. 4 (Dec. 2016): 362-85.
Russian Folktales: A Reader for Students of Russian, 2nd Edition, co-authored with Jason Merrill. Hackett Publishing, 2016. 190 pages.
About That, Which Did Not Happen: An Annotated Russian Reader, co-authored with Evgeny Dengub and Petia Alexieva. iLearnRussian Publishers, 2015. 73 pages.
"Oral History Projects for Language Students" interview for the podcast We Teach Languages (Oct. 2018).
Interview and Q&A with Pussy Riot's Nadya Tolokonnikova, University of Arizona Humanities Festival (Oct. 3, 2017).