UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Revolutionary Dostoevsky: Rethinking Radicalism

20 October 2017–21 October 2017, 12:45 pm–5:00 pm


Revolutionary Dostoevsky: Rethinking Radicalism brings together experts from literary studies, philosophy, theology and political science, to reassess the author’s status as ‘prophet’ of the revolution and explore new understandings of the notion of ‘the radical’ in all senses in his writing.

Event Information

Open to







Dr Sarah J. Young


UCL SSEES and Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)

From Notes from Underground to The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoevsky’s work confronts the consequences of the socialist and materialist ideologies that were taking hold in Russia and beyond in the 19th century. As he sought alternatives to revolutionary ideologies and the utopian art associated with them, Dostoevsky developed concepts of spiritual renewal and ethical action, forms of narrative experiment, and notions of reality and realism that are all in many ways extremely radical.

The conference will also feature the launch of a new translation of Crime and Punishment, published by Oxford University Press.

Please note tickets for this event are £25.00 and include lunch on Saturday and refreshments throughout. They can be purchased from UCL Ticketing.

Conference Programme:

Friday 20 October


12.45 - 13.10

IAS (Common Ground)

Conference Registration
13.10 - 13.15Welcome (Sarah J Young)

13.15 - 14.15


Keynote address

Carol Apollonio (Duke University): ‘Dostoevsky the Bolshevik’

Chair: Sarah J Young

14.30 - 16.00


Panel 1: Radicalizing narrative form

Muireann Maguire (University of Exeter): ‘Radical Absences: Dostoevsky’s Missing Infants’

Chloe Papadopoulos (Yale University): ‘Narrative as Radical Intervention in Demons

Denis Zhernokleyev (Vanderbilt University): ‘Living Inside the Demonic Feuilleton: Towards Dostoevsky’s Conception of The Social’

Chair: Sarah Hudspith

16.15 - 17.45


Panel 2: Conflict, political violence and revolution

Luke King-Salter (University of Edinburgh): ‘Was Dostoevsky Opposed to Revolution?’

Vadim Shkolnikov (Higher School of Economics, St Petersburg): ‘From the Underground Man to Underground Russia: Dostoevsky and the Birth of the Conscientious Terrorist’

Lynn Patyk (Dartmouth College) ‘“Il rit, il rit beaucoup:” Dostoevsky’s provocateurs’

Chair: Peter Duncan

18.00 - 20.00

SSEES (Masaryk Room)

18.30 - 19.15


Book Launch and Reception - No Tickets Necessary:

Crime and Punishment, translated by Nicolas Pasternak Slater, edited and with an Introduction and Notes by Sarah J. Young (Oxford University Press)

Round Table

Chair: Simon Dixon (UCL-SSEES)

Speakers: Carol Apollonio (Duke University), Sarah Hudspith (University of Leeds), Malcolm Jones (University of Nottingham), Sarah J. Young (UCL-SSEES)

Sponsored by Oxford University Press

Saturday 21 October 

09.45 - 11.15

SSEES (347)

Panel 3: Philosophy, revolution and revelation

Bilal Siddiqi (University College London): ‘Spiritual Revolution in Demons – Mortality or Immortality?’

Yuliya Shcherbina (Higher School of Economics, Moscow): ‘Revolution as a shake in Dostoevsky: towards the problem of boredom and shame of an Underground man

Oxana Timofeeva (European University at St Petersburg) ‘Tsarism and Schizophrenia: Politics of Madness in Dostoyevsky’s “Demons”’

Chair: Muireann Maguire

11.30 - 13.00


Panel 4: Reality, knowledge and self

Malcolm Jones (Professor Emeritus, University of Nottingham): ‘Reality is not what it seems – the radical key to Dostoevsky’s fantastic realism’

Artemy Magun (European University at St Petersburg): ‘Dostoyevsky’s ontology and meontology’

Alexandre Gontchar (Harvard University): ‘A Requiem for Modernity before the End of the Novel: Hegelian Meditations in Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground

Chair: Sarah J Young

13.00 - 14.00

SSEES (Masaryk Room)


14.00 - 15.30

SSEES (347)

Panel 5: Transforming Dostoevsky

Lindsay Ceballos (Lafayette College): ‘MKhAT’s Nikolai Stavrogin and the Social Uses of Dostoevsky’s “Novel-Tragedy”’

Alexander Van Plantinga (George Mason University): ‘The Human Over The Homunculus: Dostoevsky's Humanity as an Antidote to Societal Autism in the Digital Age’

Inna Tigountsova (Dalhousie University): ‘Radicalizing Life after Death: Dostoevsky’s “Bobok” and Petrushevskaia’s Number One, or in the Gardens of Other Opportunities

Chair: Connor Doak

15.45 - 17.00


Panel 6: Radical ethics and theology

George Pattison (University of Glasgow): ‘We are all guilty – but for what?’

Alexis Klimoff (Professor Emeritus, Vassar College): ‘A Willful Lazarus’

Connor Doak (University of Bristol): ‘(Mis)reading Masculinity in The Idiot

Chair: Denis Zhernokleyev

Generously supported by:


Institute of Advanced Studies…

UCL global…

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