I’m interested in Central and Eastern European literature, culture, film, and intellectual history, from Germany to Russia. My current research focuses on the intersection of literature, philosophy, narrative, and aesthetics from the 18th century to the present day. I work primarily on the 20th and 21st centuries, although I have a continuing interest in the 19th century as well (particularly Romanticism and the development of narratological paradigms). I am currently finishing a book project on constructing non-narrative temporalities in Central Europe. I argue that Central European authors rejected narrative constructions of time, opting instead for forms of episodes, collage, and spectral traces to develop alternative temporal constructions. My next project takes me to the 1980s in Central Europe where the second generation of dissidents rejected not only the socialist regimes but also the opposition of the previous generation.
I am a graduate student in the Program in Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. I’m currently developing my dissertation proposal on 19th C radical realism.
Historian of Russia, specializing in gender and conservatism in the first half of the nineteenth century. Interests also include writing and methods.
Susan Smith-Peter works on Russian history beyond the two capitals of Moscow and St. Petersburg. Beginning with a study of identity in the provinces of European (or central) Russia, she has branched out to investigate the regional identity of the Russian North and Siberia as well. Her book, Imagining Russian Regions: Subnational Identity and Civil Society in Nineteenth-Century Russia, was published with Brill in 2018.
Brittany Roberts is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature at University of California, Riverside, where she studies 20th- and 21st-century Russian and Anglophone literature and cinema. She is currently writing her dissertation, which undertakes a comparative analysis of Russian and Anglophone horror literature and cinema focusing on depictions of humans, animals, the environment, and the ecological and metaphysical dynamics that link them. Brittany has published articles and chapters in The Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies and the forthcoming collections Ecohorror, Plants in Science Fiction: Speculative Vegetation, and The Spaces and Places of Horror. She is especially interested in how horror disrupts the human-nonhuman binary and in how speculative fiction reconsiders, challenges, and reconceives of our relations with other species.
Christopher Campo-Bowen is an Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow in the Department of Music at the NYU Faculty of Arts and Science. He completed his Ph.D. in musicology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He holds a B.A. in Music with honors in conducting from Stanford University and an M.M. in Orchestral Conducting from The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. He is also active as a viola player, singer, conductor, and translator. Christopher’s research focuses on music in the Habsburg Monarchy in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, especially on the relationships between music, ethnicity, gender, and empire. He is particularly interested in the music of the composers Bedřich Smetana, Antonín Dvořák, and Leoš Janáček and how conceptions of ruralness in Czech opera structured notions of subjectivity and identity. His current project investigates the institutional and imperial relationships between Prague and Vienna in the context of operatic performance and exhibition culture. He has published articles in the journals Nineteenth-Century Music and Cambridge Opera Journal and presented at various national and international conferences, including the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society, the Council for European Studies annual conference, the North American Conference on Nineteenth Century Music, and the Branding “Western Music” conference hosted at the Universität Bern. Christopher received a Fulbright grant for the Czech Republic to perform dissertation research; he has also held a Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship from the American Musicological Society and was the recipient of a Council for European Studies Mellon Dissertation Completion Grant.
Russian and Soviet literature; postcolonialism; cultural studies
I teach Russian language, literature, and culture at Williams College, and my research focuses on performance–construed in the broadest possible sense–in Russian culture. I’ve published on topics ranging from early Soviet show trials to the cult of personality surrounding Vladimir Putin.
Denis Akhapkin currently teaches in the Liberal Arts and Humanities program at Saint-Petersburg State University, Russia, where also works as a head of Centre for Writing and Critical Thinking. His interests include modern Russian literature with an emphasis on poetry and poetics, literary linguistics and cognitive literature studies. He published a book of commentaries to poetry of Russian-American Nobel prize author Joseph Brodsky («Joseph Brodsky: After Russia», 2009, in Russian). His work has appeared in Toronto Slavic Quarterly, Russian Literature and other journals, he is also the author of several biographies of Russian writers in Dictionary of Literary Biography (DLB). He was a visiting research fellow of Helsinki University Collegium (spring 2007) and The Princess Dashkova Russian Centre, University of Edinburgh (fall 2014). He holds both B.A. and PhD in Russian Language from Saint-Petersburg State University. Denis is an associate international member of the Institute for Writing and Thinking, Bard College (USA).
I am an historian of modern Europe and Russia, with a special interest in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century politics, culture, and ideas. My work explores how Russia’s peculiar political institutions—and its status as a multiethnic empire—shaped public opinion and political cultures. It also interrogates Russia’s relationship with the outside world, asking where the Russian experience belongs in the broader context of European and global history. In addition, I am interested in the theory and practice of the digital humanities. My first book, Children of Rus’: Right-Bank Ukraine and the Invention of a Russian Nation, was published by Cornell University Press in 2013. ( See http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/?GCOI=80140100088630). Children of Rus’ argues that it was on the extreme periphery of the tsarist empire—a region that today is located at the very center of the independent nation of Ukraine—that Russian nationalism first took shape and assumed its most potent form. The book reconstructs how nineteenth-century provincial intellectuals came to see local folk customs as the purest manifestation of an ancient nation that unified all the Orthodox East Slavs, and how they successfully propagated their ideas across the empire through lobbying and mass political mobilization. Rather than documenting the advance of “national awakenings” on the imperial periphery, Children of Rus’ highlights the flexibility and contingency of national collectives; it reveals the surprising role that men whom we today would identify as ethnic Ukrainians played in the creation of Russian nationalism as well as the unwitting contributions that Russian nationalists made to other nation-building projects that would ultimately challenge the primacy of their movement. In addition, Children of Rus’ offers a bold reconceptualization of state-society relations under tsarism, showing how residents of a diverse and contested peripheral region managed to shape political ideas and identities across Russia—and even beyond its borders. In the book that I am currently researching, Europe’s Russian Colonies: Politics, Community, and Modernity across Borders, my abiding interest in politics, culture, and ideas takes a new direction. A study of the diverse yet close-knit settlements of tsarist émigrés that sprung up in western Europe’s large cities, university towns, and spa resorts over the long nineteenth century, this book provides the first synthetic history of pre-1917 traffic between Russia and Europe. Placing familiar themes in imperial history in an international context, it treats Europe’s “Russian colonies” as incubators of new ideas, cultures, and identities that ultimately traveled back to Russia via literature, correspondence, and return migration. Europe’s Russian Colonies also argues that these unique urban communities shaped the larger societies in which they were located in consequential ways. The “Russian colonies” and their residents played important roles in the articulation of liberal dreams of universalism and freedom. Yet by the late nineteenth century, as they became breeding grounds for radical ideas on both the left and the right, they began to present new challenges to western Europe’s liberal-parliamentary order. My current research is enriched by technology, and I am interested in thinking through how historians can use digital tools to open new avenues for exploration and to communicate their findings to other scholars and the general public. I am particularly interested in using geo-spatial analysis to analyze flows of people, ideas, and commodities over time and across space. For examples of my (ongoing) work in digital mapping, see my Europe’s Russian Colonies (http://worldmap.harvard.edu/maps/6120) and Publishing the Russian Empire Abroad (https://public.tableau.com/profile/publish/PublishingtheRussianEmpireAbroad/Languagebycity#!/publish-confirm) maps. I have held research fellowships at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute and at Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, and have been awarded grants from ACLS, IREX, Fulbright-Hays, and NCEEER, among others.