Dr. Anna Barker is an adjunct assistant professor in the Asian and Slavic Languages and Literature department at the University of Iowa. She received her Ph.D. in comparative literature and translation studies from the University of Iowa in 2002. Dr. Barker has taught several courses on campus, including Russian Literature in Translation: 1860 – 1917, Introduction to Russian Culture: 1613 – 1917, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, Pact with the Devil, and Wonder Woman Unleashed: A Hero for Our Times. She is also an instructor for UI First-Year Seminars and UI Senior College, and gives annual lectures dedicated to Metroplitan Opera Live in HD broadcasts for the University of Iowa Opera Studies Forum.
Many community cultural events have been organized by Dr. Barker over the years. These have included public readings of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground, and Crime and Punishment; screenings of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky film adaptations at local cinema FilmScene; and contributions to WorldCanvass, a discussion series produced by University of Iowa International Programs. Dr. Barker leads free online literature courses in her spare time, the most recent of which is 100 Days of The Brothers Karamazov. Participants from all over the world have enjoyed reading such classics as The Decameron, Paradise Lost, Gilgamesh, and War and Peace with her through these courses.
In 2021, Dr. Barker curated an exhibition in the UI Libraries’ Main Library Gallery entitled From Revolutionary Outcast to a Man of God: Dostoevsky at 200. This major exhibition covered the entirety of Dostoevsky’s tumultuous life and literary career, from the publication of Poor Folk to the international success of The Brothers Karamazov. The project was the result of more than a decade of focus on 19th century Russian literature. Dr. Barker also served as co-curator for an exhibition in the University of Iowa Libraries’ Special Collections & Archives reading room in 2019: Goya’s Disasters of War and Tolstoy’s War and Peace: A Dialogue Between Arts and Literature.
Dr. Barker has served on the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art Members’ Council (2011 – 2017), the Riverside Theatre Board of Directors (2016 – 2019), and is currently serving on the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature board.