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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

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

Haunted Empire: Gothic and the Russian Imperial Uncanny (Book)
Title: Haunted Empire: Gothic and the Russian Imperial Uncanny
Author: Valeria Sobol
Abstract: Haunted Empire shows that Gothic elements in Russian literature frequently expressed deep-set anxieties about the Russian imperial and national identity. Valeria Sobol argues that the persistent Gothic tropes in the literature of the Russian empire enact deep historical and cultural tensions arising from Russia's idiosyncratic imperial experience. Her book brings together theories of empire and colonialism with close readings of canonical and less-studied literary texts as she explores how Gothic horror arises from the threatening ambiguity of Russia's own past and present, producing the effect Sobol terms "the imperial uncanny." Focusing on two spaces of "the imperial uncanny"—the Baltic "North"/Finland and the Ukrainian "South"—Haunted Empire reconstructs a powerful discursive tradition that reveals the mechanisms of the Russian imperial imagination that are still at work today.
Year: 2020
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 9781501750571
Copy sent to NEH?: Yes

" “’Tis Eighty Years Since: Panteleimon Kulish’s Gothic Ukraine.” (Article) [show prizes]
Title: " “’Tis Eighty Years Since: Panteleimon Kulish’s Gothic Ukraine.”
Author: Valeria Sobol
Abstract: This article explores the ideological implications of the Gothic mode employed in Panteleimon Kulish’s first novel Mikhailo Charnyshenko, or Little Russia Eighty Years Ago (1843). I show that the multiple Gothic tropes employed in the novel —from Walter Scottian ruins and towers to exotic demonic villains, uncanny ethnic Others, and supernatural phantoms—produce an intricate play of temporalities, identities, and allegiances and ultimately create a highly ambivalent vision of the Ukrainian heroic past as both an object of Romantic nostalgia and a dark period of chaos overcome by the country’s incorporation into the Russian empire. Rather than dismissing Kulish’s engagement with the Gothic as a tribute to the fashionable Western trend, I argue that this mode serves as a conduit to some of the work’s most pressing ideological and historical concerns and ultimately yields a more nuanced insight into the author’s complex position as a Ukrainian writer in the Russian empire.
Year: 2019
Access Model: Subscription only
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Slavic Review


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