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Christesen, Nina Mikhailovna (1911 - 2001)

Born
23 December 1911
Blagoveshchensk, Manchuria
Died
8 August 2001
Occupation
Lecturer

Summary

Nina Christesen was founder of the deprtmant of Russian at the University of Melbourne.

Details

Christesen arrived in Brisbane with her parents as a migrant in 1924. She had lived in St Petersburg until 1917 and then the Russian-Manchurian city of Harbin. She graduated from the University of Queensland, became senior mistress at St Aidan's Girl's School in Brisbane, and worked as a tutor at Women's College. She met her husband to be, Clem Christesen, founder of the magazine Meanjin, after being recommended to him as a language teacher.
In 1945, the Christesens moved to Melbourne, when the University of Melbourne offered to support Meanjin and its editor. In 1946, encouraged by members of the University of Melbourne Arts Faculty, Christesen established the Department of Russian Language and Literature, the first such course in Australia.
In 1967 Christesen founded the journal, Melbourne Slavonic Studies (later Australasian Slavonic and East European Studies) and in the same year the Australian Slavists' Association (which later incorporated the New Zealand contingent).

Archival resources

The University of Melbourne Archives

  • Half open door, The, 1978 - 1983, 83/147; The University of Melbourne Archives. Details
  • Papers of Nina Christesen, c. 1920 - c. 1970; The University of Melbourne Archives. Details

Anne Heywood

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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