Humanities and Arts

Contact Information

Salisbury Laboratories, 22
Phone: +1-508-831-5939
Fax: +1-508-831-5932

Svetlana Nikitina

Professor Svetlana Nikitina teaches a variety of English, American, and comparative literature courses and is involved in the First Year Experience Program, teaching Grand Challenges Seminar: Sustainable Development for the 21st Century, which she enjoys tweaking and improving every year in partnership with colleague Professor Diran Apelian. Before coming to WPI, she served under Howard Gardner as a senior researcher on the Harvard’s Graduate School of Education nationwide study of interdisciplinary learning at the precollegiate, collegiate, and professional levels. New digital forms of narrative, comparative, and environmental literature, as well as interdisciplinary education, are the three major areas of her teaching and research interests.

Passionate about disciplinary bridge-building, Professor Nikitina publishes and presents widely on the strategies of interdisciplinary work and constructive boundary-crossing. In teaching literature, she tends to draw upon many literary traditions, from Anglo-American to Asian and African, as well as French and Russian-all of which raise important moral dilemmas, speak to developing environmental awareness around the world, and explore many aspects of selfhood. Deep cultural interests make Professor Nikitina a consummate IQP advisor in different Project Centers within WPI's Global Perspectives Program, from Namibia to Puerto Rico.

Research Interests

  • Comparative Literature
  • Interdisciplinary Education
  • Digital Narrative
  • Environmental and Moral Issues in Literature


  • MA-BA, Moscow University, 1985
  • PhD, Philology & Comparative Literature, Moscow University, 1989
  • EdM, Human Development and Psychology, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard University, 1999

Featured Publications

  • Nikitina, Svetlana. “Towards Materiality of Text: Constructivist and Futurist Multimedia Experiments in Russian Poetry,” Chapter in a volume of Comparative Cultural Studies Series, v. 27, Purdue University Press (2012).
  • Nikitina, S., Spanagel, D. Shaping Our World: Engineering Education for the 21st Century (Chapter 7:107-122) Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (2012).
  • Nikitina, Svetlana. “Forsytes’ Bildungsroman: A Saga of a Place,” Interdisciplinary Literary Studies: A Journal of Criticism and Theory 13 (1-2): 61-76. (2011).
  • Nikitina, Svetlana. “Literary Narrative in the Age of New Media: Challenges and Opportunities.” International Journal of the Humanities 8-10 (2011): 7-18. (2011).
  • Nikitina, Svetlana. “Dammed Dreams: Dams in a Cross-Section of Literary Perspectives,” Intertexts: A Journal of Comparative and Theoretical Reflection, vol. 11, no. 2, 139-156. (2007).

View a Complete List (.pdf, 260kb)

Professional Highlights

  • Project Advisor Award, Prizewinning Major Qualifying Project (advisee Evald Muraj; topic Nothing is Forbidden, Nothing is Permitted: Evolution of the Nihilist Hero in Russian Realist and French Absurdist Writing), Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 2011.
  • Course Redesign Technology Grant for Digital Literature Seminar Development - Teaching and Learning and Academic Technology Center, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 2009.
  • Spencer Foundation Grants Program individual award for research on interdisciplinary teaching in Harvard’s Mind-Brain-Behavior Program, 2000.
  • Email a Friend
  • Bookmark this Page
  • Share this Page