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Edith W. Clowes

Brown-Forman Professor, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures

Office Address

PO Box 400783
269 New Cabell Hall
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4783

On Leave-Spring 2023


Edith W. Clowes holds the Brown-Forman Chair in the Humanities and teaches Russian language, literature, and culture and Czech literature in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Virginia. Her primary research and teaching interests span the interactions between literature, philosophy, religion, and utopian thought. More recently she has turned to the question of imagined geography and perceptions of space and place in contemporary Russian culture. In summer 2016 she edited a special number of the journal Region, titled “Centrifugal Forces? Russia’s Regional Identities and Initiatives” (5:2 (2016)), following a conference by that title that she and co-organizers Gisela Erbslöh and Ani Kokobobo held at the University of Virginia in 2015. Area Studies in the Global Age: Community, Place, Identity, a multi-authored book on place and identity appeared with Northern Illinois University Press early in 2016. Edited with Latin-Americanist Shelly Jarrett Bromberg (Miami U.), this book offers an introduction to the new area studies in the context of global studies. Among Professor Clowes’s other recent book-length publications are an interdisciplinary work on post-Soviet Russian identity, Russia on the Edge: Imagined Geographies and Post-Soviet Identity (Cornell, 2011) and a discursive history of Russian philosophy, Fiction’s Overcoat: Russian Literary Culture and the Question of Philosophy (Cornell, 2004). Professor Clowes is also interested in society, culture, and business in Russia, most recently realized in the Russian translation of an editorial collaboration, Kupecheskaia Moskva: Obrazy ushedshei rossiiskoi burzhuazii (Merchant Moscow: Images of Russia’s Vanished Bourgeoisie (Princeton, 1998); Russian, 2007). Professor Clowes is a past director of the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at the University of Kansas. She is an associate editor of Russian Review and serves on the editorial boards of Losevskie chteniia (a periodical devoted to the Russian philosopher, Aleksei Losev), Region (a journal devoted to research on the regions of the former Soviet Union), and the book series, Heidelberger Beiträge zur Slavistischen Philologie, Winter Verlag, at the University of Heidelberg. 

Selected Publications

2016, special number: “Centrifugal Forces? Russia’s Regional Identities and Initiatives” Region, 5:2 (2016).

2016, edited volume: Area Studies in the Global Age: Community, Place, Identity, DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press.

2015, chapter: “Being Eccentric Like Vasilii Rozanov: How Andrei Siniavskii-Terts and Venedikt Erofeev Resisted Socialist Realism,” ‘A Convenient Territory': Russian Literature and the Edge of Modernity. Edited by J. Kopper and M. Wachtel. Bloomington, IN: Slavica, 2015, 217-230.

2015, chapter: “The Mute Body: Leonid Andreev’s Abject Realism in the Russian Fin de Siecle,” Russian Writers and the Fin de Siecle: The Twilight of Realism. Edited by K. Bowers and A. Kokobobo. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2015, 233-248.

2014, article: “Imagined Geographies: American and Russian Variations” («Воображаемая география и идентичность: американский и русский варианты»), Filologicheskii diskurs: Vestnik Institituta filologii i zhurnalistiki TiumGU (Tiumen’, Russia) 12 (2014), 49-59.

2014, article: «А.Ф. Лосев и польза повествовательной прозы, или: Рождение философии из духа музыки» [A. F. Losev and the uses of narrative, or: the birth of philosophy from the spirit of music], in: A. F. Losev: Tvorchestvo, Traditsii, Interpretatsii, ed. A. Takho-Godi, E. Takho-Godi. Moscow: Vodolei, 2014, 335-349.

2013, article: “Being a Sibiriak in Contemporary Siberia: Imagined Geography and Vocabularies of Identity in Regional Writing Culture,” Region, vol. 2, no. 1, 47-67.

2011, book: Russia on the Edge: Imagined Geographies and Post-Soviet Identity. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

2011, article: “Looking for Miracles: Akhmatova, Pasternak, and the Orthodox Legacy,” Modern Greek Studies (U. Minnesota), volumes 26-27, 1-23.

2010, edited forum: introduction, “Gorky and Godbuilding,” Modern Greek Studies (U. Minnesota), volumes 24-25.

2007, editorial collaboration: Sbornik “Vekhi” v kontekste russkoi kul’tury. Moscow: Nauka.

2007, Russian translation of editorial collaboration: Kupecheskaia Moskva: Obrazy ushedshei rossiiskoi burzhuazii. Moscow: ROSSPEN.

2007, chapter: “Groundlessness: Nietzsche and Russian Concepts of Tragic Philosophy.” Nietzsche and the Rebirth of the Tragic.  Edited M. A. Frese. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 126-137.

2007, chapter: “Traditsiia ‘Vekh’ v pozdnee sovetskoe vremia (Sbornik statei “Iz-pod glyb” A. I. Solzhenitsyna i esse G. S. Pomerantsa,” Sbornik “Vekhi” v kontekste russkoi kul’tury. Moscow: Nauka, 264-271.

2006, chapter: “Entwürfe der Erinnerung an den Holocaust: Evtushenkos und Kuznetsovs ‘Babij Jar’,” Zerstörer des Schweigens. Formen künstlerischer Erinnerung an die nationalsozialistische Rassen- und Vernichtungspolitik in Osteuropa, ed. F. Grüner, U. Heftrich, H-D. Löwe. Köln: Böhlau, 115-127.

2004, book: Fiction’s Overcoat:  Russian Literary Culture and the Question of Philosophy.  Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

1995, edited volume: Doctor Zhivago:  A Critical Companion.  Northwestern/ AATSEEL Critical Companions to Russian Literature, Vol. 1.  Evanston:  Northwestern University Press.

1993, book: Russian Experimental Fiction: Resisting Ideology after Utopia.  Princeton:  Princeton University Press, 1993.  Since 2014, published on demand by PUP.

1991, edited volume: Between Tsar and People:  Educated Society and the Quest for a Public Identity in Late Imperial Russia.  Edited with Samuel C. Kassow and James L. West.  Princeton:  Princeton University Press.

1988, book: The Revolution of Moral Consciousness: Nietzsche in Russian Literature, 1890-1914.  DeKalb:  Northern Illinois University Press,.  276 pp.  Russian translation: Nitsshe v Rossii.  St. Petersburg: Akademicheskii Proekt, 1999. Hard copy. Also available on line at:

Current editorial work

Associate Editor, Russian Review (Lawrence)

Editorial Board, Losevskie chteniia (Moscow)

Editorial Board, Region (Seoul)

Editorial Board, Beiträge zur slavistischen Philologie, Winter Verlag (Heidelberg)

Selected grants

Personal: ACLS, NEH Summer Stipend, NEH Fellowship for University Teachers, NEH Conference Grant, DAAD, IREX, Fulbright-Hays

Institutional: Title VI (NRC and FLAS), US Army Research Office, DAAD, Open World Institute, Institute of Turkish Studies

Current Projects

Multi-authored book on Russia’s regions (Routledge)

Literary cartography: Mapping Russian writing culture during World War I, the Revolution, and the Civil War (1914-1922)


Edith spends her free time at the movies, attending operas and concerts, and on the tennis court. She also enjoys table tennis, hiking, and skiing and likes to play charades and board games, especially Scrabble (English or Russian) and backgammon.