Prof. Edith W. Clowes
My research and writing span the Russian intellectual-historical sphere, addressing Russian and comparative literary, philosophical, and social-aspirational interactions. My teaching and research are both especially committed to fathoming the Russian utopian mind (i.e. what polity do Russians imagine for themselves?). For the last 15-20 years, embracing all these kinds of Russian writing, my focus has turned toward the question of “imagined geographies” in Russian writing culture. Specifically, the ways a cultural community envisions the cultural-geographical terrain which they claim as their own tells us a great deal about identity (who am I and where do I belong?) and mentality (what sets of values do I bring to major decision-making and to action plans?). In this area I have three books (Russia on the Edge (2011), Area Studies in the Global Age (2016), Russia's Regional Identities: The Power of the Provinces (2018) and a special number of the journal, Region (2016).
Over the last 6 years I have gained basic proficiency in digital literary cartography. My first project was called “Russian Virginia,” which used free WordPress to map all Russian-related venues and businesses in Virginia. "Mapping Poetic Geographies of Revolutionary Russia (1914-1922)" is my second digital project. In 2014 I taught literary cartography at the University of Heidelberg. Since then, with research support from the Hoover Archives at Stanford University and UVA's IATH, I have assembled the basic corpus of works (which will be expanding into the future as we gain access to rare works) and, working with the IATH team, we have built the database, repository, and web site.
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