Maria Basom is a Professor of Russian at the University of Northern Iowa, where she has taught since 1994. Prior to that, she taught at Middlebury College in Vermont and as a graduate assistant at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she completed her doctoral program in 1987, earning a Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures. She has served as Director of the University of Northern Iowa Institute for Humanities and Fine Arts in St. Petersburg at the Russian State Pedagogical University (Herzen) since its inception in 2001. She has published a range of articles on both Russian and Czech nineteenth and twentieth-century literature and served as co-editor of the journal, The Silver Age of Russian Literature and Culture, 1880-1921. With Dr. Sergei Goncharov, Professor of Russian Literature and Vice-Rector for Humanities at the Russian State Pedagogical University in St. Petersburg, she completed The Cosmos of Russian Life: An Introduction to Russian Culture (St. Petersburg, 2005).