Assistant Professor of Russian Studies
My research focuses on Russian literature and philosophy of the 19th and early 20th centuries. I am especially interested in the peculiar ways that aesthetic philosophy developed in the hands of artists, of which Russia had many, rather than professional philosophers, of which it had comparatively few. I am currently working on a book project that examines the counterintuitive artistic imperatives that emerged from the struggles of two authors, Leo Tolstoy and Vladimir Nabokov, to contend with the precepts of Kantian aesthetics, as they understood them. Part of my research has been published in the Journal of the History of Ideas
. I am also developing a digital humanities project, entitled Beyond the Ant Brotherhood
, which makes Tolstoy’s diaries and letters available for digital search and analysis. The aim of the project is to eventually create a visualization of Tolstoy’s intellectual network. My other academic interests include environmental aesthetics, ethics and law, cognitive science, avant-garde art and early Soviet film, and contemporary Russian and Russian-American fiction.
Ph.D., Harvard University