Ann Marsh-Flores, Ph.D. 2004


Dissertation: Literary Collaboration and the Rise of the Russian Woman Writer: or, How Zinaida Volkonskaia Learned To Write in Tsarist Russia

Masters Degree in Information Management and Systems

I have known since the fifth grade that I wanted to study Russian literature. Aided and abetted by my best friend, I drew a waxy crayon rendition of Saint Basil’s Cathedral and inadvertently began an odyssey far-outlasting the portrait (said portrait having perished during my friend’s own transition from college to graduate school). Despite my attempts to win the contest for the longest-running dissertation in the history of the Slavic Department, the valiant efforts and coaching of my committee finally convinced me to complete my dissertation. Along the way, I managed to acquire a mortgage payment, a car payment, two small children (who evince no respect for Russian literature whatsoever and who find my complete works of Chekhov to be excellent building blocks for small cities), and a second master’s degree: from UC Berkeley’s School of Information Management and Systems.

In 2004, I was employed at Pixar Animation Studios as the Web Documentation Specialist. At Pixar, I also had marvelous opportunities to continue my teaching and to explore the possibilities of online learning and education at Pixar University. I then moved to work for an educational software company headquartered in San Francisco and Texas. Agile Mind focuses on closing the achievement gap for all students in math and science, but particularly the underserved. We’ve had some significant results, particularly in Texas and LAUSD. We are small, so I do everything—I write federal grant applications, software manuals, training materials… whatever words need wordsmithing, along with doing a fair bit of technical editing and software testing and development.

Wittingly or unwittingly, writing my dissertation also whetted my appetite for creative prose. My next books come out in January and October 2012. I write paranormal and contemporary romance, which is loads of fun, and my readers seem to love the Slavic mythology elements that I’ve borrowed and on which I’ve built.


  • “Aleksandr Sergeevich Pushkin on the World Wide Web: An Annotated Bibliography.” Slavic Review (Spring 1999)
  • “I blesk i shum i govor balov” in: By Pen and Charm: Women in the Pantheon of Russian Literature / Piorem i wdziekiem: Kobiety w panteone literatury rosyskiej. Wanda Laszczak, ed. Opolski University, 1999.
  • “Coming out of his closet: Female friendships, Amazonki and the masquerade in the prose of Nadezhda Durova.” Slavic and East European Journal (Winter 2003).