Department of Comparative Literature
1050 E. 59th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
Professor Solovieva works on Russo-Japanese cultural relations. Her current book project, The Russian Kurosawa, will offer a new historical and thematic perspective on the work of the renowned Japanese director Akira Kurosawa through a detailed discussion of the films he made on the basis of Russian sources. The book’s major goal is to show that Kurosawa’s Russian output deals with the most politically sensitive topics of postwar Japan. The book will challenge prevalent views of Akira Kurosawa as an apolitical art house director or a conformist studio filmmaker by offering a much more complicated picture of the director’s participation in the post-war cultural and political debate.
Olga V. Solovieva’s interest in methodology of East-West comparison resulted in the volume on Russian-Japanese intellectual relations Japan’s Russia: Challenging the East-West Paradigm, co-edited with historian of modern Japan Sho Konishi (Cambria Press, 2021). She also teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on Russian-Japanese intellectual relations, for example, “Kurosawa and his Russian Sources,” and “Russian Anarchists, Revolutionary Samurai: Introduction to Russian-Japanese Intellectual Relations.” Her articles on Kurosawa's Russian films appeared in the Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema and were reprinted in Chinese in Zhongguo xueshu (China Scholarship). She also wrote on Russian and Japanese nuclear experience in “Chernobyl, the Unheard Prayer: Svetlana Aleksievich and the Little Voices of Fukushima,” boundary 2, 45:4 (2018): 223-241, and most recently on the reflection of the Japanese nuclear experience in Japanese cinema. Her article “Horror Old and New: Nakata Hideo’s Ringu (1998) between J-Horror and Hibakusha Cinema,“ is forthcoming in A Companion to Japanese Cinema, ed. David Desser, New York: Wiley-Blackwell. For more information, please visit her faculty page.