“Ryleev, Pushkin, and the Poeticization of Russian History,” in Russian Review 78.1 (January 2019), 62-81. (click here to download)
The historical poetry of Kondratii Ryleev – in particular, the lyrics he called dumy, or meditations – reveals how central emotion was to the Decembrist worldview. In particular, these poems promote an attitude towards political feeling that I call “civic sentimentalism.” Influenced by thinkers like Rousseau and organizations like the Freemasons, the Decembrists divided emotion into positive sentiments and negative passions: the former fostered virtue and, eventually, improved society, while the latter did just the opposite. Ryleev strove to improve Russian society by using a poeticized version of the nation’s history to inspire patriotic feelings in his readers. In addition, this piece examines how Alexander Pushkin – a writer whose worldview has historically been elided with that of the Decembrists – actually critiqued Ryleev’s historical poetry for the way its civic sentimentalism simplified complex historical issues.
“Viacheslav Ivanov in the 1930s: The Russian Poet as Italian Humanist,” in Slavic Review, Vol. 74, No. 4 (Winter 2016), 896-918. (click here to download)
In the 1930s, Viacheslav Ivanov – erstwhile leader of Russian symbolism – found himself suspended between two totalitarian regimes, Stalin's Soviet Union and Mussolini's Italy. A Soviet citizen living in Italy, he adapted to his new circumstances, converting to Catholicism and embracing Italian cultural traditions, including Petrarch's legacy of transnational humanism. In this period, however, fascist and Nazi thinkers were also claiming humanism for their own nationalist purposes. In his Italian-language writings, Ivanov navigates these dangerous waters by attempting to represent himself as simultaneously national and transnational, and as both a Russian poet and a latter-day Italian humanist.
“Acmeist Mythopoetics: Nikolai Gumilev, Viacheslav Ivanov, and 'Eidolology'” in The Slavic and East European Journal 56.3 (2012), 415-30. (click here to download)
This essay offers a new interpretation of Nikolai Gumilev’s theoretical poetics by interpreting his key term eidolologiia, or eidolology, in terms of his troubled relationship with his one-time mentor Viacheslav Ivanov. Both Ivanov and Sergei Gorodetsky (while he too was still Ivanov’s protégé) used the Greek word eidolon negatively, in association with Idealistic Symbolism, while discussing the nature of true myth in light of the distinctions between Idealistic and Realistic Symbolism. “Acmeist Mythopoetics” shows how after quarreling with Ivanov over this subject, Gumilev deliberately incorporated the “false” mythopoeism associated with Idealistic Symbolism into the Acmeist program under the heading of “eidolology.” This argument offers insight into the question of Acmeism’s debt to its Symbolist heritage, as well as into the general nature of Gumilev’s poetics.
В настоящей статье возникновение ключевого термина поэтики Н.С. Гумилева “эйдолология” рассматривается в контексте сложных отношений Гумилева с бывшим его учителем Вячеславом Ивановым. Как Иванов, так и Сергей Городецкий (в те годы, когда он был ивановским учеником) вкладывали в древнегреческое слово “эйдолон” отрицательный смысл, ассоциируя его с “идеалистическим символизмом” и тем самым отличая его от подлинного мифотворчества, которым занимается “реалистический” символист. Чтобы отмежеваться от символизма, Гумилев умышленно включает в акмеистическую программу именно “ложную” мифопоэтику, отвергаемую Ивановым. Развернутая в настоящей статье аргументация по-новому освещает как основы гумилевской поэтики, так и вопрос о зависимости акмеизма от символистского наследия.
Review of Ani Kokobobo, Russian Grotesque Realism: The Great Reforms and The Gentry Decline, forthcoming in Russian Review.
Review of Joe Peschio, The Poetics of Impudence and Intimacy in the Age of Pushkin, forthcoming in Pushkin Review 20.
Review of Steven S. Lee, The Ethnic Avant-Garde: Minority Cultures and World Revolution,forthcoming in the Winter 2016 issue of The Slavic and East European Journal.
500-word entry “Nikolai Gumilev” in the online Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism.
Review of Luba Golburt, The First Epoch: The Eighteenth Century and the Russian Cultural Imagination, in The Slavic and East European Journal 59.2 (2015), 310-11.
Synopsis of “Conceptualizing the Human in Slavic and Eurasian Culture,” Graduate Student Conference, Princeton University, 18-19 October 2013” (with Alisa Ballard), Russian Journal of Communication 6.2 (2014), 210-11
Editor, Pushkin Review
"Conceptualizing the Human in Slavic and Eurasian Culture"
Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference, Princeton University, Fall 2013; member of the head organizing committee
(click here for site, designed by Geoff Cebula)
"Literary Theatricality: Theatrical Text"
Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference, Princeton University, Fall 2012
(click here for site, designed by Geoff Cebula)
Editor (with Josh Wilson of the School of Russian and Asian Studies) of "Minorities Abroad," a resource for students of color and LGBTQ students studying abroad in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia. (click here to read) (Please feel free to contact me if you would like to make any suggestions or contributions to this blog project!)