Our next event will take place on Tuesday in the Latimer Room of Clare College at 5pm.

Dr. Connor Doak (Bristol) will give a talk called 'Of Men and their Demons: Masculinity in Dostoevskii's Besy'

Here's his abstract:

Critics have long considered Besy to be Dostoevskii's most political novel, a judgement that has distracted attention from the sexual deviance and gender reversals also present in the work.  My talk argues that Dostoevskii's Besy  presents a genealogy of shifting masculinities in nineteenth-century Russia. The novel critiques both the sentimental men of the 1840s generation­—presented as effete performers who have voluntarily renounced their manliness—and the radical men of the 1860s—presented as hypermasculine in their taste for violence. More intriguingly, Dostoevskii struggles to provide an alternative, positive vision of masculinity. Even Ivan Shatov is a cuckold with a naïve faith in humanity, and the converted Stepan Verkhovenskii retains his effeminacy and emotionalism in the closing chapters. My study places Dostoevskii in the context of broader European anxieties about masculinity in the second half of the nineteenth century, and argues that his work resists the essentialism seen in thinkers such as Max Nordau, Cesare Lombroso and Richard von Krafft-Ebing, who share his anxieties about gender and sexual deviance, but who propose different solutions.

Following Dr. Valeria Sobol's fascinating talk on colonial mimicry and the gothic in Antonii Pogorel'skii's Monastyrka this week, the Cambridge University Library Slavonic Specialist, Mel Bach, has put together a couple of resources that may be of interest:

1. Pogorel'skii is the featured item of the month for October on the UL website.

2. Bibliographic notes about Cambridge UL holdings related to Pogorel'skii.
The first seminar of our series, 'Interdisciplinary Approaches to Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature', is tomorrow, Tuesday October 15th at 5pm in the Thirkill Room, Clare College. The speaker is Valeria Sobol, Associate Professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She will be speaking on "The Gothic and Colonial Mimicry in Antony Pogorelsky's Monastyrka".

Here's the abstract:
This talk offers an analysis of Antony Pogorelsky’s novel Monastyrka (1830-33) in the theoretical framework of the “imperial Gothic/uncanny”— the entwinement of Gothic poetics with Russian imperial and colonial anxieties as manifested in nineteenth-century literary works. My reading of Monastyrka--a novel set in “Little Russia,” two generations after the absorption of the Hetmanate into the Russian empire—discusses several competing models of Ukrainians’ adoption of or resistance to the Russian imperial identity. I argue that, while conventional Gothic tropes are typically used in the text with a parodic or satiric purpose, the true Gothic threat emanates from the uncanny relay of colonial mimicry portrayed in the novel.

Valeria's work fuses studies of empire, ethnography, and the gothic, and her talk will be a great start to the seminar series.

The talk is free and open to the public, no registration required. It is supported by CEELBAS and CamCREES.