Medzhibovskaya, Inessa

Inessa Medzhibovskaya

Inessa Medzhibovskaya
PhD, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Princeton University
Associate Professor, Chair of Literature, and Co-Chair of Literary Studies, The New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts

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Areas of Expertise:
Tolstoy, Russian and eastern European literature, intellectual and cultural history, eastern European Jewish secular thought, ideology and childhood, philosophy and literature
As a scholar and educator, Inessa Medzhibovskaya is interested in how literature transmits human values in their cultural and historical specificity and universality and how it reveals worlds hidden from view. She has published widely on Tolstoy, both in North America and abroad, and has also written on Pushkin, the Russian Jewish philosopher Simon Frank, ideology and childhood, and the interplay of philosophy and literary aesthetics. She is currently working on two monographs: Tolstoy in the Twentieth Century (for Princeton University Press) and a study titled “Writing and Confinement.” Ms. Medzhibovskaya also edited and wrote introductions to the forthcoming volumes Tolstoy in the Twenty-First Century and On Life (the annotated critical edition of Tolstoy’s work O zhizni, co-translated with Michael Denner).
Courses Taught:
  • Anna Karenina and Its Afterlives
  • Studies in Romanticism (the Novel and Long Prose Works)
  • Literary Reinvention: a University Lecture
  • Criminology and Salvation
  • Tolstoy and Drama
  • History and Its Stories
  • Directing/Playwriting: Tolstoy’s Resurrection (co-taught with Zishan Ugurlu)
  • Bildungsroman (senior seminar)
  • Modernist Identity in the Literature of Central-Eastern Europe before World War II
  • Tolstoy’s War and Peace and Its Worlds
  • Modernism of German-Speaking Europe
  • European Romanticism in Critical Perspective
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being: Literature of Central and Eastern Europe after World War II
  • Voices from Prison: Writing In and About Confinement
  • Writing Away From Home: Literary Exiles and Foreign Exposure
  • Saints, Scamps, Rebels, and Superfluous Men: Studying the Russian Literary Hero
  • Anxiety of Possession: Poverty, Enterprise, and Excess in Russian Literature
  • Love and Its Genres: Reading Russian Literature
Recent Publications:

“Goethe contra Hegel in the Commissariat of Enlightenment: Anatoly Lunacharsky and the Bolshevk-Marxist Aesthetics” (for Studies in East European Thought 2014)

“Dostoevsky and Education” for Dostoevsky-in-Context. Eds. Deborah Martinsen and Olga Maiorova. Cambridge University Press 2014 (forthcoming)

“Prison and the Human Condition (Hannah Arendt, Russian Literature, Leo Tolstoy
and the Lessons on Meaning, Punishment, and Forgiveness) for Punishment as a Crime? Eds. Julie Hansen and Andrei Rogatchevski. Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis/Uppsala University Press, 2014 (forthcoming).

"Tolstoy and the Jewish Question" for Tolstoy in Jerusalem. eds. Vladimir Paperni, Elena Tolstaya and Mikhail Vaiskopf. Moscow: NLO, 2013 (just published)

“"Regarding Tolstoy's response to the pogrom in Kishinev: how to appraise some newly discovered archival materials.” Tolstoy Studies Journal, volume XXV 2013, forthcoming.

“Russian Classics on Trial: Reflections on Critics and Criticism.” Clio. A Journal of Literature, History, and the Philosophy of History. Special Issue: G.W.F. Hegel. 41.2 (fall 2012): 73-94. 

 “Terror Unsublimated: Militant Monks, Revolution and Tolstoy’s Last Master Plots,” Tolstoy Studies Journal (2010)

“Tolstoy’s Original Letter Found: On Benedict Prieth, Ernest Crosby and Aphorisms of Immortality in The Whim,” Tolstoy Studies Journal (2010)

“Bakhtin, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy on Art and Immortality” (with Caryl Emerson), in Alastair Renfrew and Galin Tikhanov, eds., Critical Theory in Russia and the West (Routledge, 2010)

Tolstoy and the Religious Culture of His Time: A Biography of a Long Conversion, 1845–1887 (Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield, 2008, 2009)

“Lucid Sorrow and Political Foresight: Simon Frank on Pushkin, and the Challenges of Ontology for Literature,” Pushkin Review (2009)

“Tolstoy’s Response to Terror and Revolutionary Violence,” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History (2008)

“Lev Kassil: Childhood as Religion and Ideology,” in Marina Balina and Larissa Rudova, eds., Russian Children’s Literature and Culture (Routledge, 2008)

“On Moral Movement and Moral Vision: The Last Supper in Russian Debates,” Comparative Literature (2004)

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