UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Likhachev Cultural Fellowship Award

1 January 2017

From 22 June 2016

Vladimir Smith-Mesa, cataloguer of the SSEES Library’s Russian and audio-visual collection, has been awarded the  prestigious Likhachev Fellowship, a Russian Fellowship dedicated to arts and culture for his curation of Dostoevsky Day UK, which will take place on 11 November 2016 (the anniversary of Dostoevsky’s birth).

The event will mark the 150 anniversary of the novel Crime and Punishment in collaboration with Vera Biron (St Petersburg), and SSEES staff Sarah Young, Lydia Buravova, Wojciech Janik and Zuzana Pincikova. Vladimir was one of nine fellows who came from Italy, South Korea, the UK, and the USA to participate in the two-week fellowship programme in St. Petersburg on 9-22 May this year.

Vladimir said of his experience:

“I feel honoured to have been chosen for the prestigious  Likhachev  Fellowship, the only Russian Fellowship dedicated to the Arts and Culture in general. By bringing me to St Petersburg, by organising a practical programme of activities and providing me with access to  experts, centres and collections on Dostoevsky, I was able to immerse myself completely in the world of Dostoevsky's St Petersburg, to literally walk in his and his  literary characters’ footsteps, and gain a proper knowledge and understanding of the historic conditions of Dostoevsky’s creative process,  when he wrote Crime and Punishment. Thank you very much indeed to the Likhachev Foundation, to the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Centre,  and  especially the Dostoevsky museum, my main host.  I am also grateful to the Institute of Russian Literature (Pushkin House),  the National Library of Russia, the librarians of the special collections and  the specialists of the Dostoevsky collections in these centres  for a truly unique experience.”

Click here for the profiles of all 2016 fellows and information about their projects.