UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


A Russian Jane Eyre: Gothic Subjectivity and the Woman Question in Tur and Turgenev

14 December 2020, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm

Portrait of a woman reading

Join us for this event with Dr Katherine Bowers as part of the Russian Studies Seminar Series

This event is free.

Event Information

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This talk will examine the way female subjectivity in nineteenth-century realist prose is articulated using gothic imagery, focusing on Evgeniia Tur’s Antonina [1851] and its intertextual relationships with Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre [1847] as well as Ivan Turgenev’s Diary of a Superfluous Man [Dnevnik lishnego cheloveka, 1850] and Unhappy Girl [Neschastnaia, 1868]. Analyzing the function of gothic subjectivity in these works reveals a framework for understanding greater social anxieties surrounding the woman question while also creating spaces where women’s inner lives can thrive. The talk will demonstrate that gothic narrative descriptions of women’s inner lives in these works articulate opposing critical views on the woman question and suggest a new model for identifying and assessing women’s critical voices in their fiction, often marginalized in Russian publitsistika."

About the Speaker

Dr Katherine Bowers

Dr Katherine Bowers is Associate Professor of Slavic Studies at the University of British Columbia. Her area of research expertise is 19th-century Russian literature and culture. Her first monograph, Writing Fear: Russian Realism and the Gothic, is expected in 2021 from University of Toronto Press. In addition, Dr Bowers has co-edited four volumes, including Dostoevsky at 200: The Novel in Modernity, which is forthcoming in 2021 also from University of Toronto Press. Dr Bowers serves as the Vice-President of the North American Dostoevsky Society.