Ksana Blank

Senior Lecturer - Dept of Slavic Languages and Literatures
Coordinator of the Russian Language Program
Director of Princeton-in-Petersburg Program
Office Phone
248 East Pyne

PhD in Russian Literature (Columbia University, 1997)
BA in French Literature (St. Petersburg State University, 1979)



My scholarly and teaching interests have been focused on two major fields: Russian language and literature. I am interested in the stylistic aspect of literary works and in the interdisciplinary connections between literature and other fields, such as music, visual arts, folklore, and religious philosophy.

Current Project: 

I am currently preparing a Russian edition of my book Spaces of Creativity: Essays on Russian Literature and the Arts, published in 2016 by Academic Studies Press.


Courses Taught: 

Undergraduate courses taught:

  • Dostoevsky Module (“Princeton-in-Petersburg”)
  • Advanced Russian Reading and Conversation I and II
  • Advanced Russian through Film
  • Advanced Russian through History and Culture
  • The Russian Short Story
  • Russian for Heritage Speakers
  • Russian Literature and Spirituality (Freshman Seminar)
  • Pushkin and His Time
  • Russian Fairy Tales
  • Madness in Russian Literature

Graduate courses taught:

  • Russian Language Pedagogy
  • Tolstoy
  • Stylistics
  • Academic Russian
  • Topics in Russian Philosophy: Religious Dilemmas in Three Major Novelists

Authored Books: 

Authored Books

Book cover The nose with horse drawn carraige


Перевод с английского Александра Волкова.

“В этой книге повесть «Нос» предстает с неожиданной стороны. Ксана Бланк анализирует многочисленные примеры языковой игры Гоголя, в первую очередь деформации идиом и актуализации их буквальных значений, и проводит параллель между «разрушением целостности человеческого тела» и нарушением целостности фразеологических значений. Это позволяет автору рассматривать языковую игру как двигатель сюжета повести, а русский язык — как ее героя. В книге также представлен обзор интерпретаций повести с момента ее выхода до наших дней и показана ее связь с эпохой модернизма — творчеством Шостаковича, Хармса, Кафки и Дали”.

Boston: Academic Studies Press / St. Petersburg: Библиороссика, 2021

Book Cover artwork of The Nose

“The Nose”: A Stylistic and Critical Companion to Nikolai Gogol’s Story

"This literary guide leads students with advanced knowledge of Russian as well as experienced scholars through the text of Nikolai Gogol’s absurdist masterpiece “The Nose.” Part I focuses on numerous instances of the writer’s wordplay, which is meant to surprise and delight the reader, but which often is lost in English translations. It traces Gogol’s descriptions of everyday life in St. Petersburg, familiar to the writer’s contemporaries and fellow citizens but hidden from the modern Western reader. Part II presents an overview of major critical interpretations of the story in Gogol scholarship from the time of its publication to the present, as well as its connections to the works of Shostakovich, Kafka, Dalí, and Kharms".

(Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2021)

Spaces of Creativity: Essays on Russian Literature and the Arts book cover

Spaces of Creativity: Essays on Russian Literature and the Arts

"In the six essays of this book, Ksana Blank examines affinities among works of nineteenth and twentieth-century Russian literature and their connections to the visual arts and music. Blank demonstrates that the borders of authorial creativity are not stable and absolute, that talented artists often transcend the classifications and paradigms established by critics. Featured in the volume are works by Alexander Pushkin, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Leo Tolstoy, Vladimir Nabokov, Daniil Kharms, Kazimir Malevich".

Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2016

Dostoevsky's Dialectics and the Problem of Sin book cover

Dostoevsky's Dialectics and the Problem of Sin

“In Dostoevsky’s Dialectics and the Problem of Sin, Ksana Blank borrows from ancient Greek, Chinese, and Christian dialectical traditions to formulate a dynamic image of Dostoevsky’s dialectics—distinct from Hegelian dialectics—as a philosophy of “compatible contradictions.” Expanding on the classical triad of Goodness, Beauty, and Truth, Blank guides us through Dostoevsky’s most difficult paradoxes: goodness that begets evil, beautiful personalities that bring about grief, and criminality that brings about salvation.

Evanston, Ill. : Northwestern University Press, 2010.


Edited Book:

Донат Мечик
Театральные записки: Воспоминания. Письма к сыну Сергею Довлатову

Составление, предисловие, послесловие, примечания
К. Д. Мечик-Бланк
Санкт-Петербург: Российский государственный институт сценических искусств, 2019


Selected Articles: 

“Принцип противоречия в философии Достоевского и религиозной мысли Серебряного Века” [The Principle of Contradiction in Dostoevsky's Philosophy and Russian Religious Thought of the Silver Age] in Достоевский и мировая культура [Dostoevsky and World Culture], Moscow: Institute of World Literature, Russian Academy of Science #2 (6) (2019): 109-123.

“Священный град, отраженный в воде: Китеж vs. Петербург” [Holy City Reflected in Water: Kitezh vs. Petersburg], in Святая вода в иеротопии и иконографии христианского мира [Holy Water in the Hierotopy and Iconography of the Christian World], ed. A.M. Lidov, 725-739, Moscow: Feoria, 2017.

“Петроград Мстислава Добужинского” [Mstislav Dobuzhinsky’s Petrograd], in Утопия и эсхатология в культуре русского модернизма [Utopia and Eschatology in the Culture of Russian Modernism], eds. O.A. Bogdanova and A. G. Gacheva, 302-317, Moscow: Indrik, 2016.

“‘The Way of the Grain’: Teaching The Brothers Karamazov through the Novel’s Epigraph.” Teaching Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature: Essays in Honor of Robert L. Belknap, eds. Deborah Martinsen, Lisa Knapp, Cathy Popkin, Irina Reyfman, 67-81. Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2014.

“Стихи капитана Лебядкина: Шостакович и Достоевский” [“The Poetry of Captain Lebyadkin: Shostakovich and Dostoevsky”]. Opera Musicologica: A Quarterlу Journal of the Saint Petersburg State Conservatory. # 3 (2012): 23-42.

“St. Andrew of Crete and Dostoevsky’s Great Sinners.” Aspects of Dostoevsky’s Poetics in the Context of Literary-Cultural Dialogues, eds. Katalin Kroó, Géza S. Horváth, and Tünde Szabó, Dostoevsky Monographs, a Series of the International Dostoevsky Society, Vol. 3, 255–268. Sankt-Peterburg: Dmitrii Bulanin, 2011.

“Алеша Карамазов: художественное правдоподобие версии цареубийствa” [“Alexey Karamazov: Artistic Credibility of the Regicide Scenario”], Almanach “The Second Navigation,” ed. M. Blumenkranz, 182-200, München, Germany, 2011.

陀思妥耶夫斯基的整体结构:巴赫金的对话理论和阴阳图 [The Structure of the Whole in Dostoevsky: Bakhtinian Dialogue and the Tai Chi Diagram]. Trans. into Chinese by Shi Yuemei and Liu Wenfei. The Survey of Russian Culture. Comparative Literature & World Literature, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China, # 4 (2010): 171–85.

“Где я и на чем я лежу? Заключение к ‘Исповедиʼ Толстого”[“Where Am I and What Am I Lying On? The Conclusion to Tolstoy’s Confession”], Русская литература [Russkaia literature], St. Petersburg: Akademiia Nauk SSSR, Institut russkoi literatury, 4 (2010), 45–52.

The Rabbit and the Duck: Antinomic Unity in Dostoevskij, the Russian Religious Tradition, and Mikhail Bakhtin.” Studies in East European Thought (a thematic issue devoted to ‘Dostoevskij’s Significance for Philosophy and Theology’), Vol. 59, number 1-2 (June 2007): 21-37.