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Products for Grant FA-58372-15

FA-58372-15
Visions of Empire in Russian Gothic Literature, 1790-1850
Valeria Sobol, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=FA-58372-15

‘A Melancholy Stepson of Nature’: Finns and Finland in Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature and Ethnography (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: ‘A Melancholy Stepson of Nature’: Finns and Finland in Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature and Ethnography
Author: Valeria Sobol
Abstract: This paper explored the constructions of Finland and its inhabitants in the Russian press and ethnographic publications of the 1840s. Romantic works about Finland, physiological sketches and supposedly “objective” ethnographic descriptions reveal a persistent pattern of portraying the Finnish national character and history as directly determined by Finland’s gloomy and sublime landscape and the strong pagan element of Finnish culture, which also shape its destiny as a docile object of the Russian empire’s “enlightening” colonial mission.
Date: 11/21/2015
Primary URL: https://convention2.allacademic.com/one/aseees/aseees15/index.php?cmd=Online+Program+View+Event&selected_box_id=193781&PHPSESSID=i2v3ef5puolp3qus0osd630gl3
Primary URL Description: Convention Program website
Conference Name: Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) annual convention.

Haunted Empire: The Russian Literary Gothic and the Imperial Uncanny, 1790-1850 (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Haunted Empire: The Russian Literary Gothic and the Imperial Uncanny, 1790-1850
Author: Valeria Sobol
Abstract: In this presentation, Professor Sobol will introduce her book project that examines the Gothic elements in Russian literature (mysterious castles, ruins, haunted landscapes, ghosts, persecuted maidens, etc.) in their imperial context. While the predilection for Gothic tropes in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Russian literature has been typically interpreted as a tribute to the fashionable Western trend, Haunted Empire argues that, instead, Russian Gothic fiction was a key literary form that dramatized deep historical and cultural tensions unique to the Russian imperial situation: a peculiar symbiosis of the imperial and national identities; blurred boundaries between the subjects and objects of colonization and imperial dominance; and instability of the relationship between center and periphery. This study applies the “North/South” geocultural axis, typical of British Gothic literature, to the particularly Russian situation where the Finnish/Baltic “North” and the Ukrainian “South” figure as colonized Others that are paradoxically integral to Russia’s own mythology of origins. Through specific literary examples, Prof. Sobol will demonstrate that, in the Russian Gothic, the empire’s Northern and Southern borderlands are consistently depicted as dangerous uncanny places that destabilize the characters’ imperial and national identities.
Date: 04/04/2016
Primary URL: http://cas.illinois.edu/publicevents/interdisciplinary-cas-spring-symposium-showcasing-research-of-cas-associates-and-fellows/
Primary URL Description: The CAS Symposium website
Conference Name: The Center for Advanced Study (CAS) Spring Symposium, University of Illinois

Haunted Empire: The Russian Literary Gothic and the Imperial Uncanny, 1790-1850 (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Haunted Empire: The Russian Literary Gothic and the Imperial Uncanny, 1790-1850
Abstract: This talk will introduce my new book project, Haunted Empire: The Russian Literary Gothic and the Imperial Uncanny, 1790-1850, in which I investigate the connection between the Gothic elements found in numerous Russian literary works of the period and their imperial context. I argue that the persistent presence of Gothic tropes in Russian literature is not a just a tribute to a fashionable Western literary trend, as it is often interpreted; rather, I read it as a key literary form that dramatizes deep historical and cultural tensions, unique to the Russian imperial situation. Focusing on two spaces of internal otherness that figure prominently in the Russian Gothic—the Baltic/Scandinavian “North” and the Ukrainian “South,”—I attempt to reconstruct the specifically Russian tradition of the “imperial uncanny,” a fictional space into which the Russian empire projected its colonial fantasies and anxieties and where it produced the doubles and monsters that continue to haunt Russia’s historical imagination.
Author: Valeria Sobol
Date: 4-27-2016
Location: Stanford University, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Pigott Hall Building 260 Room 216


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