Svetlana Evdokimova Professor of Slavic Studies and Comparative Literature, Chair of Slavic Languages

Svetlana Evdokimova is Professor of Slavic Studies and Comparative Literature at Brown University. She is currently Chair of the Department of Slavic Languages. She has also served as Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Slavic Languages at Brown for nearly ten years. In addition, she has been Randall Advisor, freshman and sophomore advosor, a member of the Faculty Executive Committee, and APC. Before coming to Brown in 1991, she has held a teaching position at Yale University from 1990-91.


Svetlana Evdokimova works primarily in Russian literature and culture of the 19th-20th centuries. She has particular interests in Russian and European Romanticism, relations between history and fiction; gender and sexuality in Russian and European literatures; and questions of aesthetics. Evdokimova received her doctorate in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Yale University, her M.A. in French Language and Literature from St. Petersburg University, Russia. She has published articles on Pushkin, Gogol, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov and others; her book Alexander Pushkin's Historical Imagination was published by Yale University Press in 1999; her volume Pushkin's Little Tragedies: The Poetics of Brevity was published by Wisconsin University Press (2003, selected as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2004 by Choice). She is currently preparing a collection of essays, Dostoevsky Beyond Dostoevsky: Science, Aesthetics, Religion (to be published with Academic Studies Press). She is also completing a book on Chekhov's relationship with the Russian intelligentsia and its impact on the formation of his literary self. 

In 1995-6, she was the recipient of the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship. She has served as the National Endowment for the Humanities Panelist for Fellowships for University Teachers for two years. She also received an IREX grant in 1995 and a Yale Prize Teaching Fellowship in 1987-88.

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas

scholarly work

“Ivan Elagin: Nostalgia or Resentment,” in Literature in Exile. Emigrants’ Fiction (20th century experience), VII International Symposium. Contemporary Issues of Literary Criticism, vol. 2, Institute of Literature Press, Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation, Tbilisi, 2013, 370-

“Being as Event, or the Drama of Dasein: Chekhov’s The Three Sisters,” in Chekhov for the Twenty First Century, ed. by Carol Apollonio and Angela Brintlinger. Bloomington: Slavica, 2012, 57-78.

„Unmelodramatizing Drama: Čechov’s Experiment,“ in Anton P. Čechov—Der Dramatiker. Drittes internationales Čechov-Symposium Bandeweiler  im Oktober 2004. Die Welt der Slaven. Sammelbände, Band 44. Ed. By Regine Nohejl und Heinz Setzer. Verlag Otto Sagner: München, 2012, 404-412.

“Slovo i znachenie : ‘Povest’ o tom, kak Ivan Ivanovich possorilsia s Ivanom Nikiforovichem.’”  Fenomen Gogolia. Materialy mezhdunarodnoj nauchnoi konferentsii, posviashchennoi 200–letiiu so dnia rozhdeniia N.V. Gogolia. Ed. M.N. Virolainene and A. A. Karpov. St. Petersburg: Petropolis, 2011, 204-216.

“Chekhov: Poetika ulik” [“Chekhov: The Poetics of Clues”], in Obraz Chekhova I chekhovskoi Rossiii v sovremennom mire (The Image of Chekhov and Chekhovian Russia in the Contemporary World ). St. Petersburg: “Petropolis”, 2010,177-187.

“Philosophy’s Enemies: Chekhov and Shestov,” in Chekhov Through the Eyes of Russian Thinkers: V. Rozanov, D. Merezhkovskii, L. Shestov and S. Bilgakov. Modern Perspectives. London: Anthem Press, 2010, 219-245.

“Metafizicheskii vodevil’: “Zhenit’ba” Gogolia i “Svad’ba” Chekhova.” In Chekhov i Gogol’: K 200-letiiu so dnia rozhdeniia N.V. Gogolia. Chekhovskie chteniia v Ialte, vyp. 14. Simferopol: “Dolia”, 2009, 48-61.

“An Intelligent in Everyday Life: Chekhov on the Ethics and Aesthetics of Behavior.” Sankirtos. Studies in Russian and East European Literature, Society and Culture (In Honor of Tomas Venclova). Ed. By Lazar Fleishman. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2007.

“Chekhov’s Anti-Melodramatic Imagination: Inoculation Against the Diseases of the Contemporary Theater.” Chekhov the Immigran:Translating a Cultural Icon. Edited by Michael Finke and Julie de Sherbinin. Slavica Publishers, Bloomington, IN, 2007:207-217.

"Pushkiniana as an Encyclopedia of Contemporary Literary Criticism." In Alexander Pushkin: A Handbook . Ed. by David Bethea. Madison:   Wisconsin University Press, 2006 (with Vladimir Golstein).

"Sculptured History: Images of Imperial Power in the Literature and Culture of St. Petersburg (From Falconet to SHemiakin)," Russian Review (April 2006): 208-229.

"Pushkin's Aesthetics: Sprezzatura in Eugene Onegin," in Word, Music, History. Ed. by Lazar Fleishman, Gabrialla Safran, Michael Wachtel. Stanford, 2005: 121-146. (co-authored with Vladimir Golstein)

Alexander Pushkin's Little Tragedies: The Poetics of Brevity Ed. and Introduction. Madison: Wisconsin University Press, 2003 (396 pages.Choice has named it an "Outstanding Academic Title" for 2004.

"The Wedding Bell, The Death Knell, and Philosophy's Spell: Tolstoy's Sense of an Ending." Approaches to Teaching Tolstoy's Anna Karenina.Ed. by Liza Knapp and Amy Mandelker. New York: Modern Language Association, 2003:137-143.

"The Anatomy of Modern Self in The Little Tragedies." In Alexander Pushkin's Little Tragedies: The Poetics of Brevity. Ed. by Svetlana Evdokimova. Madison: Wisconsin University Press, 2003: 106-143.

"Estetika dendizma v 'Evgenii Onegine'" (The Aesthetics of Dandyism in Eugene Onegin). In Pushkin I mirovaia kul'tura. St. Petersburg:Russian Academy of Science, The Institute of Russian Literature, 2003:73-87. (with Vladimir Golstein)

"'The Devil of a Difference'—Tragedies, Long or Short?" Alexander Pushkin's Little Tragedies: The Poetics of Brevity. Ed. by Svetlana Evdokimova. Madison: Wisconsin University Press, 2003: 3-38.

"The Earthly and the Heavenly Cities: St. Petersburg in Gogol's Tale 'The Nose'" ("Gorod zemnoi i grad nebesnyi: Peterburg v povesti Gogolia'Nos.'") In Peterburgskaia tema i"Peterburgskii tekst" v russkoi literature XVIII-XX vekov. St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg University Press, 2002

"What's So Funny About Losing One's Estate, or Infantilism in The Cherry Orchard." Slavic and East European Journal, vol. 44, nu 4(Winter 2000): 623-648.

"Ritorika I iskrennost' (Problema diskursa v rasskaze Chekhova 'Neschast'e'." Chekhovskii sbornik. Moskva: Izdatel'stvo Literaturnogo Instituta im. Gor'kogo, 1999: 131-144. ("Rhetoric and Sincerity: The Problem of Discourse in Chekhov's Story 'Misfortune,'" Moscow: The Institute of World Literature Press, 1999: 131-144).

Pushkin's Historical Imagination. New Haven: Yale University Press,1999 (300 pages)(First reviewed in London Times Literary Supplement (TLS), Choice, Slavic Review, Slavic and East European Journal)

"Obmanchivoe skhodstvo: Anekdot u Pushkina i Chekhova" ("Deceptive Affinity: Anecdote in Pushkin and Chekhov"). In Chekhoviana. Chekhov iPushkin. Moscow: "Nauka," 1998: 79-88.

"Protsess khudozhestvennogo tvorchestva i avtorskii tekst" ("Creative Process and the Text of the Author"). In Avtor i Tekst. Ed. by W.Schmid and V. Markovich. St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg University Press, 1996: 7-24.

"The Drawing and the Grease Spot: Interpretation and Creativity in Anna Karenina," Tolstoy Studies Journal, vol. 8, 1995-96:33-46.

"The Curse of Rhetoric and the Delusions of Sincerity: Chekhov's Story 'Misfortune.'" Russian Literature, XXXV-II (15 February 1994):153-169.

"Work and Words in 'Uncle Vanja'." In Anton P. Chechov--Philosophische und Religiöse Dimensionen im Leben und im Werk:Vorträge des Zweiten Internationalen Chechov-Symposiums, Badenweiler,20-24 Oktober 1994. Ed. by Vladimir B. Kataev, Rolf-Dieter Kluge and V.Regine Nohejl. München: Verlag Otto Sagner, 1997: 119-127.

"Tolstoy's Challenge to the Concept of Romantic Love: Natasha as Hero." Scando-Slavica, Tomus 39 (1993): 23-36.

"Femininity Scorned and Desired: Chekhov's Darling." In Reading Chekhov's Texts. Ed. by Robert L. Jackson. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1993: 189-197.

"Mednyi Vsadnik: Istoiia kak mif" ("The Bronze Horseman: History as Myth"). Russian Literature XXVIII (November, 1990): 441-460.

research overview

Professor Evdokimova has a special interest in 19th-and 20th-century Russian literature and culture. She has published series of articles on Pushkin, Tolstoy, and Chekhov, a monograph on Pushkin titled Alexander Pushkin's Historical Imagination (Yale University Press, 1999), and an edited volume, Alexander Pushkin's Little Tragedies: The Poetics of Brevity (Wisconsin University Press, 2003).

research statement

Professor Evdokimova's main areas of scholarly interest include Pushkin, Russian and European Romanticism, Tolstoy, Chekhov, relations between fiction and history, aesthetics, and gender and sexuality in Russian and European literatures. She is the author of Pushkin's Historical Imagination (Yale University Press, 1999) and editor of Alexander Pushkin's "Little Tragedies": The Poetics of Brevity (Wisconsin University Press, 2003) which was selected as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2004 by Choice. She has published a wide range of articles on Pushkin, Gogol, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Chekhov, as well as other topics. She is currently completing a book, A Genius of Culture: The Chekhov Phenomenon which examines Chekhov's relationship with the Russian intelligentsia and its impact on the formation of his literary self.

funded research

2013 C.V. Starr Lectureship Fund, Brown University (Project's title: “Dostoevsky and Non-Literary                       Discourses: Aesthetics, Philosophy, Science”: $ 7,000

2011 Brown University Curricular Development Grant : $3850

1995-6 (6 months) The National Endowment for the Humanities (Principle investigator): $ 22,500

1995-6 (5 months) International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) (Long Term Research Grant) (principle investigator): $17, 000

Paul C. Gignilliat Fellowship, Yale University, 1988-89: $6,000

Council on Russian and East European Studies, Summer fellowship, Yale University, 1885