Asher Maria

Graduate Student in Comparative Literature

B.A. cum laude, Pomona College. 2022. Majors: Anthropology and Russian & East European Studies

Gregorian Humanities Graduate Fellow 2023-2024

Ash Maria (he/they) is a first-year Ph.D. student in Comparative Literature & Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania. As a comparativist, Ash is primarily interested in decolonial research at the intersection of Baltic, Lusophone, and Slavic studies. Central to his research is looking at how literary traditions rarely studied together dialogically (e.g. Polish futurist poetry and Brazilian concretismo) reveal key insights into the history of flows of both ideology and communities between the Russian Empire and the Global South. This history is essential for both understanding the development of national identity and literary tradition in Brazil, as well as tracing a genealogy of Eastern European refugees that offers a historic backdrop for the current wave of Ukrainian refugees in Lusophone nations as the result of Russian invasion. They are also a literary translator from Lithuanian, Portuguese, and Russian and are currently open for commissions. As a current William Fontaine Fellow at Penn, Ash welcomes all prospective student inquiries.


French, Lithuanian, Portuguese, Russian, German, Polish, Ukrainian

Research Interests

Decolonialism; twentieth- and twenty-first-century Russian and Eastern European literature and culture; émigré writing; Eastern European diasporas in the Global South; literary translation; digital humanities; Brazilian and Eastern European transnationalism; visual poetry

Selected Publications

Media Publications

"The Problem with Our New National Holiday." Inkstick (August, 2021).

Literary Translations

Leave Me Only a Song — translated poem from Lithuanian by Paulis Širvys for the University of Pennsylvania's DoubleSpeak Magazine (2022-2023 issue).

Sight for Trees — translated poems from Russian by Anton Ochirov for exhibition in Podroom Gallery, KCB, Belgrade and Depo Gallery in Istanbul. Hosted by SKLAD Cultural Space, Abkhazia (fall 2022).