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Can Tolstoy Mourn? (with Ani Kokobobo)

March 7, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

In this lecture, Dr. Kokobobo considers the paradoxically few portrayals of mourning in Tolstoy’s writing. Despite being one of Russia’s better known authors who considered questions of mortality in depth, Tolstoy is relatively silent on mourning or loss. While the author considers dying and many of his characters are tormented by the implications of their own deaths, the implications of loss and of the death of the other are not often considered. In fact, at times loss becomes enmeshed into broader philosophical questions of personal mortality for Tolstoy. This paper will contextualize Tolstoy’s ideas alongside those of Western philosophers like Martin Heidegger an Immanuel Levinas.

Ani Kokobobo is associate professor of Russian literature and chair of Slavic and Eurasian Languages and Literatures at the University of Kansas. She has published a monograph, Russian Grotesque Realism, The Great Reforms and Gentry Decline. She recently completed a monograph on Tolstoy, Leo Tolstoy, Gender Theorist. She has edited multiple edited volumes and written thirty academic articles. Her writings for the public have appeared with The Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Ed, Los Angeles Review of Books.

Watch the event recording on YouTube here.


March 7, 2022
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm


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