In addition to genre, narrative, and the gothic, my research interests include: travel and exploration narratives, imagined and cultural geography, the history of science and technology and its reflection in literature, early modern information circulation, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literary culture, urban representation, environmental humanities, poetry, and comparative studies—especially German, Scandinavian, and English texts in the context of Russian literary history.

Current projects

Currently I am finishing a book about the influence of gothic writing on Russian realism. My new research project is about the Arctic in the Russian imperial imagination.

I am actively involved in Dostoevsky studies. With Kate Holland I am collaborating on a project marking the bicentenary of Dostoevsky’s birth in 2021. Additionally we have received a SSHRC Insight Grant (2019-24) for a digital humanities research project investigating Dostoevsky’s corpus.

Past projects

Crime and Punishment at 150. In 2016 Kate Holland and I received a Connection Grant from SSHRC for a public outreach program celebrating the 150th anniversary of Dostoevsky’s novel Crime and PunishmentComponents of the project included a library exhibit co-written by Dr Bowers and her students, a virtual film festival, an online group read of the novel, a conference, a film screening and director Q&A, and the Twitter project @RodionTweets. Finally the project has led to several publications, among them  A Dostoevskii Companion: Texts and Contexts (2018), which I co-edited with Connor Doak and Kate Holland.

Information Technologies in Russia, 1450-1850. From 2012-2014 I was a postdoctoral Research Associate attached to the project “Information Technologies in Russia, 1450-1850” led by Prof Simon Franklin. An interview about the project can be found here: Text and the Message: Russia’s Early Information Age. The project resulted in a conference, “Information Technologies and Transfer in Russia, 1450-1850,” which was held at Darwin College, Cambridge in September 2014 (program). Related publications include the co-edited volume Information and Empire: Mechanisms of Communication in Russia, 1600-1850 (2017) and several articles (20152017).


My work has been supported through funding for research, study, and collaboration from organizations and institutions including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada); the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies (UBC); the University of Illinois Open Research Lab; Darwin College, Cambridge; the Centre for Eastern European Language-Based Area Studies (UK); the Fulbright-Hays and Title VI programs of the US Department of Education; the US Department of State’s Critical Languages initiative and Title VIII program; the American Council of Teachers of Russian; the American Councils of Learned Societies; and the American Council for Collaboration in Education and Language Study.