Dr. Polina Maksimovich (left) completed her PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures in August. Her dissertation, “Performing Suicide: Transformation of the Superfluous Man in Soviet Drama,” analyzes the use of fake suicide as a dramatic and theatrical device for character development, in which the character’s self-identity is rerouted through the author’s perception of the self. Her research focuses on three distinctive 20th-century plays by Iurii Olesha, Nikolai Erdman and Aleksandr Vampilov to develop a more comprehensive concept of the dramatic protagonist in Soviet drama based on Olesha’s metaphor of the beggar. Her publication in AvtobiografiЯ journal examines the trajectory of Olesha’s presentation of the self in the context of the stylistic evolution of his ‘beggar character’ in drama. She is a Part-time Instructor of Russian at Loyola University Chicago, where she has taught Russian language and literature since 2017.
Dr. Katherine Bowers (right) received her PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures at Northwestern in 2011. She is Associate Professor of Slavic Studies, The University of British Columbia, where she has tenure. Her monograph, Writing Fear: Russian Realism and the Gothic (University of Toronto Press, under contract), examines the way Russian realist writers used narrative models from European gothic fiction in their work. She is working on two collaborative projects with Kate Holland (Toronto): Dostoevsky at 200: The Novel in Modernity (University of Toronto Press, forthcoming), an edited volume to mark Dostoevsky’s bicentenary in 2021, and Digital Dostoevsky, a SSHRC-funded digital humanities project investigating Dostoevsky’s corpus. She is the Vice-President of the North American Dostoevsky Society and serves as a Member-at-Large on the Executive Board of the Canadian Association of Slavists.