Department of Germanic
and Slavic Studies

Newcomb Hall 305
Tulane University
New Orleans, LA 70118

Phone: 504-865-5276
Fax: 504-865-5277

Photos thanks to
Professor Brumfield
and A. Carr.

Lidia Zhigunova | e-mail
Newcomb 309 B | 504-865-5276

Interdisciplinary Graduate Student;
Adjunct Lecturer of Russian and German

lidia with dancersLidia Zhigunova holds a masters degree in Comparative Literature from Louisiana State University. She has taught introductory German at Tulane and is an interdisciplinary graduate student.

In addition to her graduate work, beginning in 1996, the year she received her bachelor's in German, she accepted an appointment to work as an instructor of German language at the International Linguistics Center in her hometown of Nalchik, Russia. From 1996-1999, she taught German to a variety of different age groups — from young children to adults — and took part in several pedagogy seminars organized by the Goethe Institut and its representatives.

In 1999, Lidia came to the United States to work on an advanced degree at Louisiana State University.  While there, she also taught introductory German as a teaching assistant for two years.

She received a master's degree in Comparative Literature from LSU in 2002, and her thesis drew upon influences from each of her three major languages — German, Russian, and English. Research for her thesis centered on 20th-century Austrian writer Stefan Zweig and Russia, focusing on Zweig's life and work, including his immense popularity in Russia, his reception in Russia, and his perception of Russia. In fact, an article based upon her thesis research has been published on the website of the Internationale Stefan Zweig Gesellschaft.  Her master thesis has been published as a book Stefan Zweig and Soviet Russia (VDM Verlag, 2009). At present, she is as Ph. D candidate in Comparative Literature working on a dissertation: "Creating Cultural Identity and Myth: The Representation(s) of Circassian Women in Literature and Art."  She has been conducting research in the libraries, archives, and museums of Russia, in the North Caucasus region.  Her research has led her to interact with many Circassian women, writers, artists, and social activists (seen with Circassian dancers at a wedding in profile picture). Such interactions will allow her "to incorporate the multiplicity of perspectives needed for (her) study, which deals with the issue of representations of indigenous women in the Western/Russian imperial, (post)Soviet, and (post)colonial discourses."

In addition, she has presented a paper titled (Re)Writing Circassian Women's (Hi)Stories at the 2012 World Convention of the Association for the Study of Nationalities held at The Harriman Institute in New York (Panel Title: Understanding Political and ideological Processes in the North Caucasus, a Comparative Study of Nationalism and Religion).

During this summer, she helped to organize and launch the Caucasus Morpheus Project ( and the Caucasus Morpheus multimedia exhibition held in Rome (Italy), July 20-27, 2012. The exhibition took place at the Russian Center for Science and Culture (Palazzo Santa Croce) and at the Officine Fotografiche Roma (Rome, Italy).

Her other main areas of academic interest include the study of 19th century literary and artistic traditions (German and Russian Romanticism), travel literature, as well as postcolonial and feminist literary theories.  And through Lidia's engagement with teaching, she has developed a keen interest in the methods and techniques of language acquisition and pedagogical development.

Lidia has also spent time studying in Germany. In 1996, she received a DAAD scholarship that allowed her to take part in summer courses in Germanistics held at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität in Jena, Germany.

Although she enjoys traveling and being able to spend time working and studying abroad, her heart will always belong to Nalchik. Located in the Caucasus region of Russia, Lidia describes her hometown and its surrounding environs in the southern part of Russia as "beautiful" and with "magnificent mountains."

Tulane U., Dept. of Germanic & Slavic Studies, Newcomb Hall 305, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5276