On November 13th, University of Toronto Professor Kate Holland presented a compelling talk on one of Russia’s most infamous authors. “Dostoyevsky at 200: The Russian Novel Between Tradition and Modernity” coincided with the literary legend’s bicentenary month. This free online program was presented as a part of the Russian History Museum’s Second Saturday lecture series.

Holland’s talk traced Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky’s narratives from classics like Crime and Punishment to The Brothers Karamazov. In examining these texts  (and other lesser-known works), Holland displayed deep dives into literary passages, drawing overall conclusions on works and their formulations. This presentation surveys the author’s psychological insights, examinations of faith and doubt, and views on the dramatic social changes which took place in Russia following the Great Reforms of the 1860s.

Professor Holland concluded this event with a live audience-driven question and answer session.

About the Speaker

Kate Holland is Associate Professor of Russian Literature in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Toronto and President of the North American Dostoevsky Society. She is originally from the UK, got her BA at the University of Cambridge, and her PhD from Yale University, and has been teaching at the University of Toronto since 2009. She is the author of The Novel in the Age of Disintegration: Dostoevsky and Genre in the 1870s (Northwestern, 2013, paperback 2021), and the co-editor (with Katherine Bowers and Connor Doak) of A Dostoevskii Companion: Texts and Contexts (Academic Studies Press, 2018) and (with Katherine Bowers) Dostoevsky at 200: The Novel in Modernity (U of Toronto Press, 2021). She is the recipient (with Katherine Bowers) of two Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Connection grants for public outreach programs, one to mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Crime and Punishment, and the other to mark Dostoevsky’s bicentennial year in 2021. She is also the recipient of a SSHRC Research Insight grant (with Katherine Bowers) for the Digital Humanities project, Digital Dostoevsky, a computational text analysis project on Dostoevsky’s novels.