The traditional view that the rise of Western theoretical thought in the 1960s and 1970s could be traced back to the Soviet 1920s, once accepted in Russia and the West alike because it directly associated the academic prestige of contemporary Western theory with the intellectual climate of post-revolutionary Russia, is increasingly challenged today. With the gradual retreat in recent years of theory from the high ground of the Western humanities, new work has emerged to suggest unexpected parallels and to undermine others.
This book, with contributions from some of the most visible specialists in the field, re-examines the significant transfers, cross-fertilisations and synergies of cultural and literary theory between Russia and the West, from the 1920s through to the present day. It focuses primarily on those tendencies which have made the most significant contribution to critical theory over the last century, and looks ahead at the theoretical paradigms that are most likely to shape the future dialogue between Russia and the West in the humanities.
Table of Contents
Preface 1 The Resurrection of a Poetics Alastair Renfrew 2 Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Bakhtin on Art and Immortality Caryl Emerson and Inessa Medzhibovskaya 3 Innovation and Regression: Gustav Shpet’s Theoretical Concerns in the 1920s Galin Tihanov 4 ‘Once out of Nature’: The Organic Metaphor in Russian (and other) Theories of Language Thomas Seifrid 5 Roman Jakobson and Philology Michael Holquist 6 The Poetics and Politics of Estrangement: Viktor Shklovsky and Hannah Arendt Svetlana Boym 7 The Shaved Man’s Burden: The Russian Novel as a Romance of Internal Colonization Alexander Etkind 8 Feminism, Untranslated: Russian Gender Studies and Cross-cultural Transfer in the 1990s and Beyond Carol Adlam 9 From Post- to Proto-: Bakhtin and the Future of the Humanities Mikhail Epstein 10 Beyond the Text Vitalii Makhlin
Alastair Renfrew is Reader in Russian and Director of Research in the School of Modern Languages at Durham University.
Galin Tihanov is Professor of Comparative Literature and Intellectual History and Co-Director of the Research Institute for Cosmopolitan Cultures at The University of Manchester.
"Many chapters offer new perspectives on familiar phenomena, sketch new theoretical vistas or engage the reader in exciting theoretical dialogues. [This book] presents an important and gratifying attempt to place theory in the historical context and to bring it closer to the main humanistic and social concerns of the twenty-first century. It offers a thought-provoking and stimulating appraisal." - Marina Grishakova, Department of Comparative Literature, University of Tartu; Slavonic and East European Review (vol. 91, no. 2, April 2013).