Emily Johnson

Associate Professor of Russian

780 Van Vleet Oval, Norman, OK 73019

Kaufman 212

(405) 325-1546




Dr. Emily Johnson is an Associate Professor of Russian. Before coming to the University of Oklahoma, she taught at Columbia University, Hofstra University, Drew University, and Williams College. Her research interests include the Petersburg myth and text, contemporary Russian political culture, and the documentary heritage of the Soviet labor camp system. Dr. Johnson has received a number of faculty awards since arriving at the University of Oklahoma, including the Cecil W. Woods Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching (2001),  the Irene Rothbaum Award for Outstanding Junior Faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences (2005), the Dean’s Outstanding Academic Advising Award from the College of Arts and Sciences (2008), the Gary B. Cohen Award from the School of International and Area Studies (2009), and the Vice-President for Research's Award for Oustanding Research Engagement (2012).  Her first book, How St. Petersburg Learned to Study Itself: The Russian Idea of Kraevedenie (Penn State University Press, 2006), won both the Antsiferov Prize for the Best Work on the City of St. Petersburg by a Foreign Author and the SCMLA Book Prize in Cultural Studies.   Dr. Johnson’s research has been funded by the Oklahoma Humanities Council, the South Central Modern Language Association, the American Council of Teachers of Russian, the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, and the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research.  Dr. Johnson is a Senior Contributing Editor at the journal World Literature Today.

Selected Publications

Arsenii Formakov, Gulag Letters, edited, translated, and introduced by Emily D. Johnson (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017).                                                                                                    ---Excerpts published in Harper’s Magazine (April 2017) as Arsenii Formakov, “Silver Linings Daybook,” available online at: http://harpers.org/archive/2017/04/silver-linings-daybook/

"A New Song for the Motherland: Eurovision and the Rhetoric of Post-Soviet National Identity," Russian Review 73 (January 2014): 24-46.

Rites of Place: Public Commemoration and Celebration in Russia and Eastern Europe, Co-edited with Julie Buckler  (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2013). 

“A Personality Cult for the Post-Modern Age: Reading Vladimir Putin’s Public Persona,” coauthored with Julie Cassiday, in Putin as Celebrity and Cultural Icon, Helena Goscilo, ed. (New York: Routledge, 2012). 

“Learning to Read Between the Lines: Miscommunication and Competing Notions of Victimhood in Private Gulag Correspondence,” working paper for the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research. http://www.nceeer.org/Papers/papers.php

“Putin, Putiniana, and the Question of a Post-Soviet Cult of Personality,” co-authored with Julie A. Cassiday, Slavonic and East European Review  88:4 (October 2010), pp. 681-707.  

“Letters from the Gulag” Hoover Digest 2 (2009), pp. 199-207.

How St. Petersburg Learned to Study Itself: The Russian Idea of Kraevedenie, (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2006).



Ph.D. in Russian Literature, Columbia University

Harriman Certificate, Columbia University

BA in Russian Civilization, UCLA



Gulag Studies

The Petersburg Myth and Text

Contemporary Russian political culture