Polina Dimova

Polina Dimova

Assistant Professor, Russian

  • Faculty

What I do

I am an Assistant Professor of Russian language, literature, and culture at the University of Denver and a scholar-teacher of Russian and European literature, art, and culture.


European and Russian Modernism across the arts, literature - music - visual art, lyric poetry, sensory studies, science and literature, Science Fiction, translation

Professional Biography

Dr. Dimova's scholarly work focuses on twentieth-century Russian, German, and British literature, music, and visual art, and her research has been supported by ACLS, NEH, and Mellon grants. Her forthcoming book At the Crossroads of the Senses (under contract with Penn State UP) examines how Modernist multimedia experiments stemmed from a fascination with synaesthesia, the figurative or neurological mixing of the senses—for instance, in the perception of sound as color. Dimova has published on the Symbolist, Soviet, and Post-Soviet literary interpretations of the myth and music of the Russian composer Alexander Scriabin, on Sergei Prokofiev’s early ballets and songs, on Oscar Wilde and Richard Strauss’s adaptations of the Salome legend, and on electricity in Russian culture. As a fellow at the 2018 NEH Cold War Cultures summer institute, she also began work on the project Cold War Fantasies in the Soviet Union, East Germany, and Bulgaria. Her teaching and research interests include modernism across the arts, sensory studies, literature and science, fairy tales and science fiction, lyric poetry, and translation. Before joining DU in 2019, she taught a wide range of Russian and comparative literature courses on these topics at the University of California, Berkeley, Oberlin College, and Vanderbilt University. A proficient violinist and a composer, Dr. Dimova hails from Bulgaria.


  • Ph.D., Comparative Literature, University of California, Berkeley, 2010
  • BA, Comparative Literature, Smith College, 2001

Professional Affiliations

  • Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES)
  • Modern Language Association
  • American Comparative Literature Association
  • The American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (AATSEEL)
  • Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA)
  • Modernist Studies Association

Areas of Research

Russian literature and culture
Russian music and visual art
German and British literature | music | visual art
Inter-Arts theories
lyric poetry
sensory studies
literature and science
fairy tales and science fiction
translation theory

Featured Publications

Dimova, P. (2022). At the Crossroads of the Senses: The Synaesthetic Metaphor Across the Arts in European Modernism . Penn State University Press.
Dimova, P. (2020). The Sun-Sounding Scythian: Prokofiev's Musical Interpretations of Russian Silver Age Poetry. In R. McAllister & C. Guillaumier (Eds.), Rethinking Prokofiev (pp. 129-52). Oxford UP.
Dimova, P. (2020). The Revolution as Mystery: Scriabin in Vladimir Sharov's Novel Before and During. In M. Lipovetsky & A. de la Fortelle (Eds.), Vladimir Sharov: On the Other Side of History (pp. 550-87). New Literary Observer.
Dimova, P. (2015). The Frozen Desert and the Crystal City: Figurations of Aleksandr Scriabin's Music in Evgenii Zamiatin's We and "The Cave". Ulbandus: The Slavic Review of Columbia University. Hearing Texts: The Auditory In Slavic Literatures, 16, 48-70.
Dimova, P. (2013). Decadent Senses: The Dissemination of Oscar Wilde's "Salomé" Across the Arts. In C. Rowden (Ed.), Performing Salome, Revealing Stories (pp. 15-47). UK: Ashgate.
Dimova, P. (2013). The Apocalyptic Dispersion of Light into Poetry and Music: Aleksandr Skrjabin in the Russian Religious Imagination. In A. Opportunity (Ed.), Shapes of Apocalypse: Arts and Philosophy in Russian Thought (pp. 175-202). Boston, MA: Academic Studies Press.


Dimova, P. (2023). The Symbolist Science of Electricity: Ether, Light, and Electrons. Science and Literature in Russia and Eastern Europe (Yale University). New Haven, CT: McMillan Center, European Studies Council, Yale University.
Dimova, P. (2023). Precarious Energies: The Russian Electric Aesthetic Between Symbolism and Science Fiction. ACLA. Chicago: ACLS.
Dimova, P. (2022). Precarious Energies: Russian Electricity Between Symbolism and Science Fiction. ASEEES. Chicago, IL.
Dimova, P. (2021). The Psychophysics of Petersburg: The Immeasurable Expanse Between Cognition and Creation. ASEEES. New Orleans (virtual).
Dimova, P. (2021). The Inner Sound of Colors: Synaesthesia, Counterpoint, and Abstraction in Kandinsky's Poetic Album "Sounds" . AATSEEL. Washington, DC (virtual).
Dimova, P. (2020). Vnutrennee zvuchanie tsvetov: Sinesteziia, kontrapunkt i abstarktsiia v "Zvukakh" Vasiliia Kandinskogo. Galeev Readings - Prometheus Institute for Experimental Aesthetics. Kazan, Russia (virtual): Prometheus Institute for Experimental Aesthetics.
Dimova, P. (2021). Krasnyi zvuk solntsa: Tsvetozvuki v "Zvukakh" Vasiliia Kandinskogo (The Red Sound of the Sun: Color-Sounds in Wassily Kandinsky's "Sounds"). The Art of Sound and Light II. St. Petersburg, Russia (hybrid): Russian Institute for the History of the Arts (????).
Dimova, P. (2020). The Revolution as a Cosmic Mystery: The Myth of Scriabin in V. Sharov's "Before and During". AATSEEL. San Diego.
Dimova, P. (2019). The Power of Light and Electric Shock: How Soviet Children Unraveled the Electric Plot Line. ASEEES. San Francisco.
Dimova, P. (2019). The Color of Music: Twenty Theses on Synaesthesia. IASAS International Synaesthesia Symposium. Moscow, Russia.


  • ACLS Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies
  • NEH Summer Institute, National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, Andrew Mellon Foundation
  • Oberlin Arts and Technology Grant , Sherman Fairchild Foundation
  • Chancellor’s Dissertation-Year Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley