All posts tagged Herzen

Keeping Faith with the Party

I’ve been working on my research project on narratives of imprisonment, hard labour and exile for several years now, and am at last making concrete progress with my book. While I’m completing it, I plan to use the blog to organize my notes by writing short reflection pieces on primary and secondary sources as I read […]

From Herzen to Leskov, and back again

I’ve been re-reading Nikolai Leskov’s Cathedral Clergy (Soboriane) in the excellent recent translation by Margaret Winchell (Slavica, 2010) for a new undergraduate course I’m starting to teach in the Autumn, Identities in nineteenth-century Russian literature. The first part of the course – and in many ways the most interesting for me in terms of preparing […]

Herzen’s Free Russian Press: plaque unveiled on Judd Street

It’s not often in my line of work that research has a concrete, physical and permanent (as far as anything can be) public outcome, so it was with great pleasure yesterday that I attended the unveiling of a new plaque commemorating the work of the Free Russian Press at 61 Judd Street in London. I […]

Russian thought lecture 10: Utopias in Russian culture: of palaces and panopticons

Reading: Dostoevsky, “Dream of a Ridiculous Man” (1877) So we come to the end of this lecture series, and a slightly different focus than previously, as theoretical works take a back seat, and we look instead at Russian literature and culture to explore the utopian theme. There are clearly strong utopian aspects to the work […]

Russian Thought lecture 6: Populism: the Intelligentsia and the People

Readings: Alexander Herzen, “The Russian People and Socialism” (1851); Petr Lavrov, “Historical Letters” (1868-9); Nikolai Mikhailovskii, “What is Progress?” (1869); Mikhail Bakunin, “Statism and Anarchy, Appendix A” (1873) Unlike the other movements we have studied in this course so far, which have been purely theoretical, the subject of today’s lecture – Populism (narodnichestvo), and related […]

Russian thought lecture 4: Nihilism and the birth of Russian radicalism: from science to art

Readings: Nikolai Chernyshevsky, extracts from “The Anthropological Principle in Philosophy” (1860); Dmitry Pisarev, “The Realists” (1864) and “The Thinking Proletariat” (1865) We’re now moving away from the debate that arose initially out of Chaadaev’s “First Philosophical Letter” and dominated Russian intellectual life in the 1830s and 1840s. In the next generation a different set of […]

Russian thought lecture 3: The Westernizers and concepts of the self: from reconciliation to action

Readings: Vissarion Belinsky, “Society and the Individual” (1839) extracts from “Letters to Botkin” (1840-1841) and “Letter to Gogol” (1847); Alexander Herzen, extracts from “Dilettantism in Science” (1843) “From the Other Shore” (1848-9) and “Robert Owen” (1861). Having examined the Slavophiles and the development of the idea of communality as a specifically Russian phenomenon, we now […]

Russian thought lecture 2: the Slavophiles and Russian communality

Readings: Aleksei Khomiakov, “On Humboldt” (1849) and “On the Church” (1855); Ivan Kireevskii, “A Reply to A. S. Khomiakov” (1839) and “On the Nature of European Culture and its Relation to the Culture of Russia” (1852); Konstantin Aksakov, “Memorandum to Alexander II on the Internal State of Russia” (1855) The Slavophiles were a group of […]

Lectures on Russian Thought: Introduction

Over the next two terms I will be publishing fortnightly lectures from my undergraduate course on Russian thought. I’ve been teaching the course for a few years solely as seminars, but am changing it this year to lectures and seminars. I’ve decided to do so because for many of the students this is an entirely […]

The Free Russian Press in London

When I wrote a post on Herzen in London, my focus was primarily on the man himself, rather than his publishing activities. But much of the discussion generated by the post recently has focused on the Free Russian Press (Вольная русская типография), leading me to conduct some further research, supported significantly by the contributions of three readers: […]