The BASEES 19th-century Study Group is an interdisciplinary forum for the work of scholars interested in the literature, culture, history and society of Russia and Eastern Europe during the long nineteenth century. Its aims are to promote and preserve teaching and public awareness of Slavonic and Eastern European history and culture during the long nineteenth century, and to foster new research and enhance networking among academics and students working in these areas. The group's current organizers are Connor Doak (University of Bristol), Muireann Maguire (University of Exeter), and Margarita Vaysman (University of St Andrews).
The 19th-century Study Group is interested in pursuing such questions as:
• What is the present extent and nature of research into 19th-century Russia?
• How far is this pursued within narrow disciplinary boundaries?
• What questions are being asked about the 19th century?
• Which fields are in decline, and which are growing?
• With what challenges are 19th-century Russian studies presented by current Government policy on research in the arts and humanities?
• How do you see your own research fitting into the broader picture?
We welcome proposals for conferences, publications, research talks and other pathways to raising the profile of 19th-century Slavonic Studies and enhancing the quality of 19th-century scholarship in the UK.
The group is currently planning a joint conference on literary adaptations with the BASEES 20th Century Study Group at the University of Exeter (winter 2017-18).
Background and Previous Events
The Nineteenth-Century Study Group was revived in 1996. Until the early 2000s, the Study Group met annually, normally in the second week of July, for a one-day conference in Bristol. The conference programme is usually centred around a topic, such as "The Society Tale" (1996), "The Gothic" (1997), the "Fin de Siecle" (1998), "Pushkin" (1999), or "Reports from Foreign Parts: Russian Writers Abroad" (2000), "Tolstoy" (2001), and "Russian Lyric Poetry" (2002). In 2003 a symposium was held, which included papers on Graphic Satire and Aesthetic Vision in Russia, 1855-1870 (Carol Adlam), Lermontov's Poetics of Monotony (Robin Aizlewood), Apollon Maikov and the Cult of the Leader (Richard Peace), and Madness and Narrative Disintegration in Dostoevskii's Dvoinik (Claire Whitehead). The proceedings of the "Society Tale" and "Gothic" conferences have been published by Rodopi (see below).
On Friday, 21st October 2016, the group hosted an event at the University of Bristol dedicated to the 150th anniversary of Dostoevskii's Crime and Punishment. This event featured research talks from Dr Oliver Ready (Oxford), who published a new translation of the novel with Penguin in 2014, and Dr Sarah Hudspith (Leeds), author of Dostoevsky and the Idea of Russianness (Routledge, 2004). It was video-linked with a larger "Crime and Punishment at 150" conference at the University of British Columbia.
On 1 February 2014, a symposium of 19th-century Russianist scholars was held at Darwin College, Cambridge, organized by Dr Katherine Bowers (University of Vancouver). The event was called 'New UK Research in Nineteenth Century Russian Literature' and a selection of papers were subsequently published in Modern Languages Open. More information can be found here.
In 2011, a workshop was held at the University of Leeds by Ruth Coates and Sarah Hudspith, entitled 'Russian 19th Century Studies: The State of the Art' (Monday, 19 December 2011, 12pm-5pm, Leeds University Business School Seminar Room 1.32).
The 2004 symposium was held in Bristol on 6 July, and the programme included papers by Robert Reid (Gogol: Stoic inferences), Richard Freeborn (Belinskii’s 'Letter to Gogol'), Joe Andrew (Tolstoy’s 'Family Happiness'), Charles Ellis ("War and Peace") and Margaret Tejerizo (women’s autobiography writing.
The 2005 symposium was held in Bristol on 5 July. The programme included papers by Richard Peace (on Denis Davydov); Derek Offord (Alexander Herzen and the House of Rothschild ); Robert Reid (Habitus in Dostoevskii’s House of the Dead); Neil Cornwell (Dostoevskii and the Absurd); Sarah Hudspith (Tolstoi’s Resurrection).
The 2007 symposium was held in Bristol on 3 July. The programme included papers by Neil Cornwell (Zosima triangle: Dostoevsky, Manzoni and Odoevsky); Robert Reid (Syllogism and Enthymeme in Tolstoi’s ‘The Death of Ivan Il’ich’); Derek Offord (narod in classical Russian thought); Ruth Coates (Russian religious renaissance); Charles Ellis (attitudes to science in the pre-Revolutionary intelligentsia)
In 2009 the 19th-century Study Group, supported by the Bristol Institute for Research in the Humanities and Arts (BIRTHA), held the Vekhi Centenary Conference 1909-2009 from 7-9 July 2009, in Wills Hall, University of Bristol, organised by Dr Robin Aizlewood, SSEES-UCL and Dr Ruth Coates, University of Bristol. The Vekhi symposium is a landmark publication in the history of Russian thought and a central text for the study of liberalism in Russia. Many of its contributors (Berdiaev, Bulgakov, Frank, Gershenzon, Struve) are towering intellectual figures of the Silver Age, a period whose intellectual culture, long repressed, has received renewed and intense attention in the post-Soviet period. Speakers included Philip Boobbyer, Ivan Esaulov, Aleksandr Etkind, Catherine Evtuhov, Stuart Finkel, Gary Hamburg, Frances Nethercott, Randall Poole, Christopher Read, Bernice Rosenthal, Jutta Scherrer, Elena Takho-Godi, James West, and Evert van der Zweerde.
THE SOCIETY TALE IN RUSSIAN LITERATURE: From Odoevski to Tolstoi. Edited by Neil Cornwell.
Amsterdam/Atlanta, 1998. ISBN 90-420-0329-4
This collection of essays is the first book to appear on the society tale in nineteenth-century Russian fiction. Written by a team of British and American scholars, the volume is based on a symposium on the society tale held at the University of Bristol in 1996. The essays examine the development of the society tale in Russian fiction from its beginnings in the 1820s until its subsumption into the realist novel later in the century. The contributions presented vary in approach from the text- or author-based study to the generic or the sociological. Power, gender and discourse theory all feature strongly, and the volume should be of considerable interest to students and scholars of nineteenth-century Russian literature. There are essays covering Pushkin, Lermontov, Odoevsky, and Tolstoi, as well as more minor writers, and more general and theoretical approaches.
E-mail orders to: Editions Rodopi
THE GOTHIC-FANTASTIC IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY RUSSIAN LITERATURE . Edited by Neil Cornwell.
Amsterdam/Atlanta, 1999. ISBN 90-420-0615-3
This collection of essays is based on the proceedings of the conference on "Nineteenth-century Russian Gothic-Fantastic" held at the University of Bristol in July 1997.
E-mail orders to: Editions Rodopi