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Writing In-Between: Nikolai Gogol and the Russophone Literature of the Empire (with Yuliya Ilchuk)

March 28 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Russian culture in the 18th-19th centuries was created by intellectuals of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds, rendering the notions of monolithic Russian language highly problematic. The hybridization of the Russian language with the vernacular idioms of Ukrainian, Yiddish, and German in Nikolai Gogol’s texts resulted from his negotiation with imperial values and signaled a subtle cultural resistance to the imperial homogenization. In this talk, Professor Yuliya Ilchuk will test the limits of the postcolonial theory of mimicry and hybridity in their application to the Russian imperial literature. She will argue that Mikhail Bakhtin’s original idea of “in-betweenness of languages” applied by him to the hybrid discourse of Vasilii Narezhnyi and Nikolai Gogol can better explain the productive tension between the major use of the Russian language and the hybrid idiom resulted in the works of the Russophone writers of the empire. The postcolonial theory of hybridity has become a useful tool for an analytic intervention in European and American academia, however, it has not yet been fully applied in Slavic studies, and her talk intends to fill in this lacuna.

This event will take place in person and on Zoom. Both our in person and Zoom format will be fully open to the public. Access the Zoom meeting here. Non-NYU affiliates must RSVP. The Jordan Center is located at 19 University Place, on the second floor. 

Yuliya Ilchuk is an Assistant Professor of Slavic Literature and Culture at Stanford University. She is the author of an award-winning book Nikolai Gogol’s Hybrid Performance (published at University of Toronto Press, 2021) and a translator of contemporary Ukrainian poetry. Ilchuk’s most recent book project, The Vanished: Memory, Temporality, Identity in Post-Euromaidan Ukraine, revisits collective memory and trauma, post-memory, remembrance, memorials, and reconciliation in Ukraine.


March 28
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm


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