My broad interests include Eastern European literature (particularly Czech and Polish), Russian literature, Russian philosophy and literary theory, and the European novel in general (including French and German). I am also interested in Scandinavian languages and literatures, particularly in Kierkegaard and Hamsun. My research focuses on "existential" chronotopes (depictions of time and space in the novel and the protagonist's engagement with these forms of existence), both as a central aspect of novelistic technique, and in ethical, personological, and ontological contexts.
For me, Dostoevsky has served as a kind of crossroads of both Russian and European literature and thought. Therefore, while my initial focus was 19th century Russian literature and religious philosophy, my work on Dostoevsky's role in the development of chronotope in the European novel has pointed me to writers who anticipated the sort of existential urban chronotopes that he would revolutionize (Radcliffe, Dickens, and Balzac). I am also interested in adaptations and variations of Dostoevskian chronotopes in 20th century literature, particularly in its attempts adequately to depict life in the "dead houses" of Totalitarian states in Russia and Central and Eastern Europe (I have dealt with such authors as Kafka, Solzhenitsyn, Grossman, Zamyatin, Pasternak, Fuks, Kundera, Borowski, Hrabal and Kiš). I am also interested in Dostoevsky's thought and the philosophical implications of his dialogic approach to truth.
Following Bakhtin, I approach the history of the novel as a story of innovations in literature's power to depict. I attempt to describe the devices of dialogism and chronotope as deployed toward a more fully adequate depiction of modern human experience, with particular attention to literature as a mode of philosophical (phenomenological) inquiry.
Aside from ongoing work on a book-length manuscript on chronotope in Dostoevsky, I am currently working on article-length studies of the mathematical sublime in Radcliffe and in the realist novel, on â€œbasenessâ€ in Dostoevsky, and on chronotope in the novels of Ladislav Fuks.