CES Research Colloquium – Dr Katherine Bowers

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

12:30pm – 1:30pm

Dr Katherine Bowers, Associate Professor, Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies, Director, Centre for European Studies (on leave).

Writing Fear: Russian Realism and the Gothic

This event will be held virtually.

Register here.


In the history of Russian literature, gothic fiction is often seen as an aside, a literary curiosity that experienced a brief heyday and then disappeared. In fact, its legacy is much more enduring, persisting within later Russian literary movements. In this talk, Dr Katherine Bowers will discuss her recent book, Writing Fear: Russian Realism and the Gothic (Toronto, 2022), which explores Russian literature’s long engagement with gothic fiction by analyzing practices of borrowing and adaptation. These practices helped shape literary realism throughout the nineteenth century and had a profound impact on the development of the Russian literary tradition.


“The scholarship presented here is excellent. Writing Fear demonstrates a striking depth and breadth of reading not only of secondary literature but also of the various primary texts it discusses. Katherine Bowers impressively brings together works from the Russian, British, and other European traditions to offer comparative readings of the exploitation of gothic imagery, preoccupations, and plots in order to throw new light on the interpretation of these works. This text will become essential reading for courses on Russian literature and the gothic, and is just as valuable in terms of its studies of individual authors and works.” Claire Whitehead, Reader in Russian, University of St Andrews.