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Faculty Bio

Volkova, Olga

Volkova, Olga

Senior Lecturer of Russian

Office: 706 Strode

Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, Indiana University (2014)

Curriculum Vitae

Areas of Specialization:
The Novel and Other Modern Narrative Forms; Nineteenth-Century Russian Novel; Nineteenth-Century British Novel; Russian Romanticism; British Romanticism; Comparative Romanticism; Translation Studies; The Russian Far East; Russian Literary Diaspora in China

Courses Taught:
Introductory, Intermediate, and Advanced Russian
Russian Culture of the Nineteenth Century
Civilization and the Russian Far East

Research Interests:
My current projects consider the links between Russian and Chinese literary traditions. I study the Russian diaspora in China, which, during the turbulent post-revolutionary and post-war periods, became one of the major destinations for Russian intelligentsia fleeing Russia and the Soviet Union. From the 1920s to the early 1940s, the heavily Russified city of Harbin saw the rise and fall of a fertile literary diaspora that included more than sixty actively publishing authors. While I am researching some of the major figures of the Russian diaspora in China, I am also interested in studying the broader influences of the nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian literature on Chinese writers.
My dissertation, “Historicity and the Romantic Novel in Britain and Russia,” explores the engagement of early nineteenth-century Russian writers with contemporary British novels. Most studies of Russian fiction emphasize Russia’s reliance on French models. The British underwent a profound transformation in their understanding of history in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and this change—less studied and underappreciated—also played a formative role in the development of the Russian novel. Each of the two parts of my dissertation focuses on two exemplary novels, one British and one Russian. I demonstrate how the prose of the Romantic novel in its rhetorical extravagance offered ways to enrich, redeem, and reimagine history.