I am researching the work of the Russian writer, dramaturge, critic, and philosopher of the theatre Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky (1887-1950). While his work remains fairly unknown and partially unpublished, Krzhizhanovsky’s erudite and original voice was significant in Moscow literary and theatrical life of the 1920s and 1930s, although he almost never achieved publication. My research focuses on investigating his deep roots in Western literature and philosophy to illuminate his aesthetic program as a writer, as well as his both humanist and self-alienating self-creation as a strictly “European” intellectual in the imposed nationalism of his limiting and censuring time and space. This research fits into my overall scholarship on the modernist tradition in Russian and Polish literature and theatre.
This will be my second year to study in Russia. I graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University in 2009 with a degree in Slavic Studies and Comparative Literature. I spent the summer after my freshman year in St. Petersburg, and then I studied in Moscow for my junior year, taking courses in the philology and “Russian for foreigners” departments of the Russian State University for the Humanities. I also interned throughout the year as a translator in the archives of the International Center for the Roerichs and spent the following summer working as a local-news journalist for The Moscow News. My senior thesis for my degree has been my first study of Krzhizhanovsky and a sketch of future research. In it, I investigate the problem of being and representation in Krzhizhanovsky’s cycle of miniature stories Mal mala men’she and explore Krzhizhanovsky’s post-metaphysical understanding of the essence of literature.
With the Fulbright, I will be researching in Krzhizhanovsky’s archives in Moscow and studying at the Russian State University for the Humanities. Following my year in Moscow, I will continue my research, entering the doctoral program in Slavic Languages and Literatures at Princeton University.