Daria Kirjanov-Mueller, Ph.D.

Daria Kirjanov, Ph.D. Image
Practitioner in Residence

Department of Human Sciences - Modern Languages
College of Arts and Sciences

Ph.D., Yale University, Slavic Languages and Literatures
B.A., Wellesley College

About Daria

Dr. Kirjanov received her Ph.D. from Yale University and taught Russian literature, culture, and all levels of Russian language at Knox College and the University of Pennsylvania before coming to the University of New Haven. She has traveled to Russia and Europe several times for research and has supervised numerous language and cultural immersion programs for students. Making language come alive through cultural experience is a primary goal in her classes. To this end, students learn Russian through hands-on and task-based activities: singing contemporary and traditional songs, cooking and eating together, designing t-shirts, following Russian-speaking social media, and taking research trips to Russian-speaking venues. Coming from a multiethnic background herself, Dr. Kirjanov emphasizes the ethnic diversity of Russia and Russian speakers around the world in both her language and culture courses. Her students learn that native Russian-speakers live in a fluidity of cultures - a consequence of historical events such as war and colonialism. They can be Ukrainians, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Latvians, or Americans with differing and often opposing views toward Russia past and present. Proficiency in Russian together with an informed and critical approach to contemporary Russia in the context of Eastern Europe and Eurasia will open doors for students in many professions. To this end, Dr. Kirjanov trains her more advanced students in reading, summarizing and translating articles from current Russian-speaking media. These practical skills have helped many of her students succeed in graduate school admissions and on the job market.

Her research interests in language pedagogy include Russian for heritage learners, curricular development for teaching Russian for the professions, and the use of cartoons, popular songs and the media in the beginning-intermediate classroom. She is also engaged in research on the interplay between culture and Russian literature of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries and has presented at local, national and international conferences and workshops. Her book, The Poetics of Memory in the Works of Anton Chekhov, focuses on how modes of memory in Chekhov's plays and prose relate to social, religious, and philosophical trends in Russian culture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The connections between this period and the Russian-speaking Diaspora of post-revolutionary Russia have informed her current research on memoir literature by Russian émigré writers who immigrated to the United States after World War II. She is currently working on a translation of a Russian émigré memoir of the Russian Civil War period, as well as researching comparisons of the current crisis of displacement in Ukraine with that of a similar catastrophic displacement in the Russian Civil War period and World War II.

Research Interests

19th-21st century literature and culture in Russia and Eurasia; literature and political opposition; Russian and Eastern European émigré studies; literary memoirs; women writers in Russia and Eastern Europe; Religion in contemporary Russia and Eurasia; comparative cultural studies; translation; secondary language pedagogy; Diversity and inclusion in teaching language and culture; heritage learners.


Anton Chekhov and the Poetics of Memory. In Studies on Themes and Motifs in Literature. Ed. Horst Daemmrich. Peter Lang: New York, 2000

"Shamara," in Svetlana Vasilienko, Shamara and Other Writings. Co-translator. Ed., Helen Goscilo. Northwestern University Press, 2001

D. Kirjanov, “Elena Volkonskaia: muzykal’nyi put’ knyaginii” (“Elena Wolkonsky: The Musical Journey of a Princess”). Online article in RU NY Web magazine. 22 Sept. 2015

World War Two: Everyday Life Under German Occupation. Contributing translator. Ed. Dr. Francis Grave. The Herder Institute, University of Marburg, Germany, 2018

Review article, Biblical Subtexts and Religious Themes in Works of Anton Chekhov. Mark Stanley Swift. in Slavic Review, 2006

Review article, Anton Chekhov: A Life. Donald Rayfield, 2001. In Slavic Review, 2002

Review article, Anton P. Cechov - Philosophie und Religion in Leben und Werk. Munich, 1997. In North American Chekhov Society Bulletin, June/July 1999

Pedagogical Materials

Russkie Stsenki/Russian Skits: Interactive Web-based Materials for Intermediate Learners of Russian. Language Resource and Research Center, University of Pennsylvania, 2003

Productions and Media

Commentary and consultant, Russians in Estonia, Interview for Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR), July, 2021 (episode still in production)

Translation consultant, American Reds, a film directed by Richard Wormser, 2014

Commentary, Interview for American Thinker, “Terrorism at Winter Olympics”, Feb 2017, https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/02/terrorism_at_winter_olympics_a_sure_bet_says_russian_expert.html

Commentary, Interview in New Haven Register, “Russian-born graduate of the University of New Haven talks about living under Stalin, Nazi occupation”, March, 2014. https://www.nhregister.com/connecticut/article/Russian-born-graduate-of-the-University-of-New-11369094.php

Four Chekhov Families, directed and produced by Vera Zubarev and Vlad Chariton, Philadelphia, 2003 (role of Masha)

Literary consultant and actress, Four Chekhov Families, directed and produced by Vera Zubarev and Vlad Chariton, Philadelphia, 2003

Selected Papers and Presentations

Panel presenter, “War in Ukraine: Public Opinion in Russia,” Panel Presentation, “War in Ukraine,” REEES Speaker Series, University of New Haven, March, 2022

“Russia's Assault on Ukraine: A View from the Inside,” Panel Moderator, Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian Studies Speaker Series, University of New Haven, April 2022"

“Classroom Approaches to Russia’s War with Ukraine,” Session presenter, REESNe Faculty and Administrator Workshop, March 2022

“War in Ukraine: Public Opinion in Russia,” Panel Presenter, “War in Ukraine,” REEES Speaker Series, University of New Haven, March, 2022. (UNewhaven)

"Snow and Sand: From Russia to Egypt to San Francisco,” Presentation with author Vicka Markov Surovtsev, University of New Haven, Feb 2021

“Protest Art in Russia since 2012,” Panel Presenter, “Russia: Poisoning, Protests, and Power,” Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian Studies Speaker Series, University of New Haven, Feb. 2021

“Human Rights in Belarus,” Panel Presenter , “Belarus in Crisis: Revolution of Revanchism,” REEES Speaker Series, University of New Haven, Oct. 2020

“A Woman’s Place in Revolutionary Russia,” Presentation, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Yale University, 2008

“Prayer and Remembering in Chekhov’s Prose,” paper presented at “The Chekhov Centennial Conference,” Duke University, April 2004

"Orthodox Christian Imagery and Meaning in Chekhov's Prose," presented in the Distinguished Guest Lecture Series, University of Pennsylvania, April 2002

“Russian Landscape Painting and the Art of Memory in Chekhov’s Stories,” "Creating Web-Based Video Materials for Intermediate Russian and Beyond"

"Shades of Plato's Cave in Chekhov's ‘Verochka' and ‘The Man in a Case'"

"The Aesthetics and Ethics of Remembering in Anton Chekhov's Plays and Short Stories.”

Research in Progress

Researching new approaches to teaching language and culture of Russian-speaking countries in light of the War in Ukraine. Studying the impact of the war on pedagogy and content

Researching and collecting materials for a new course on Russian state censorship and cultural figures who express opposition to state leadership. The focus is on the Russian Federation under Putin, with consideration of the historical context since Peter the Great.

Writing an article on the popular Russian folk image of St. Climacus’ Ladder of Heavenly Ascent in Russian literature and culture.

Translating and writing extensive commentary of Anatole Markov’s Rodnye gnyozda. (1961)

Editing and translating manuscripts by refugees from WWII

Professional Memberships

American Council of Teachers of Russian (ACTR)

Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES)

Northeast Modern Language Association (NEMLA)

Association of Women in Slavic Studies (AWSS)

Courses Taught
  • All levels of Russian language
  • “Stories of Displaced Lives: Russia and Eastern Europe in Exile” (in English)
  • Russian-Speaking Cultures through Literature, Film, and the Media (in English)
  • Russian for the Professions
  • Advanced Russian: Focus on Reading and Translating
  • Russian-Speaking Culture through Literature, Film, and the Media (in English)
  • From Folk Songs to Rock Hits: Folk Traditions in Contemporary Russian Culture
  • First-Year Experience
  • Utopian Dreams/Dystopian Nightmares (special section of First-Year Experience)
  • University of New Haven in Moscow (a language-through-culture summer course in Russia)