Olga Nechaeva

CompLit. REEES. PriceLab.


720 Williams Hall, University of Pennsylvania

255 S. 36th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104

I am a PhD Candidate (ABD) in the Comparative Literature and Literary Theory Program at the University of Pennsylvania. In my dissertation, preliminary titled The Gorky Literary Institute: Creative Writing under Socialism, I am examining questions of mutual influence among formal education, creative processes, and literary evolution in the socialist world. My project is aimed at analyzing and theorizing various literary institutions including the Gorky Literary Institute (1933-) and Literaturinstitut “Johannes R. Becher” (1955-) which produced (or sometimes failed to produce) socialist writers. What conditions made the emergence of such institutions possible and necessary? What new practices of pedagogy (and self-pedagogy) emerged after the Revolution? How were they connected to the formalist attempts to create a science of literature and other phenomena of the 1920s, on the one hand, and to new Soviet cultural policies and the emergence of socialist realist literature, on the other? How did these practices change after the death of Stalin and during the Thaw? How was the world cultural landscape shaped by these practices? How did Soviet and other socialist creative writing institutions impact the formation of the transnational “Soviet Republic of Letters” and what were the stylistic and generic peculiarities of the literary works created by the inhabitants of this “Republic”? These questions shape my research.

In the academic year 2022-2023, I am a recipient of the DAAD One-Year Research Grant and the SSRC International Dissertation Research Fellowship. Thanks to this generous support, I have an opportunity to conduct my research in multiple locations, including Germany, Lithuania, Mali, Ghana, and Russia. While in Germany, I will be an affiliated researcher at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Friedrich Schlegel Graduiertenschule für literaturwissenschaftliche Studien at Freie Universität Berlin.