In May 2007, Sarah Valentine defended her dissertation, “The Poetry and Thought of Gennady Aigi” in the Slavic Department at Princeton University. The dissertation examines the poetry of Chuvash poet Gennady Aigi (1934-2006), his role in the late-Soviet Moscow avant-garde, and the problems associated with studying work such as his that lies on the canonical and political fringe.

Sarah served as a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. Her postdoctoral research considered the contribution of marginalized writers and artists to Moscow’s avant-garde movements of the 1960s-1980s, and she is at work on the book-length study tentatively titled: Gennady Aygi and the Moscow Avant-Garde: The Politics of Difference in Late-Soviet Unofficial Art.

Concurrently Valentine holds a Templeton Foundation grant for research at Princeton’s Center for the Study of Religion, where she participates in the interdisciplinary “Cognitive and Textual Methods Seminar.” Her research for this project explores the intersection of spirituality and social organization in Moscow avant-garde art of the same era. In addition to her academic work, Sarah writes and translates poetry. Currently, Sarah serves as a Lecturer at UC Riverside.