The Writer and the Literary Scholar: Self-awareness, Geocultural Variability, and the Limits of Vocation

Project Status
Execution period
2015 — ongoing

Research Team: Galina Petkova (Faculty of Slavic Philologies, Sofia University), Nina Barkovskaya (Urals State Pedagogical University, Yekaterinburg), Alexander Medvedev (Institute of Philology and Journalism, Tyumen State University), Ludmiła Łuciewicz (Institute of Special and Intercultural Communication, University of Warsaw), Maria Litovskaya (Institute of Archaeology and History, Urals branch of RAS / Urals Federal University / National Chengchi University, Taipei), (since 2017) Giuseppina Giuliano (Department of Humanities, University of Salerno)


The project’s research focus has been on three cultural ‘scenarios’, or phases of a single ‘scenario’: 1) how an intellectual / member of the intelligentsia / a litterateur (incl. a writer) tries to become a politician (incl. a prophet, incl. an intellectual and spiritual mentor of politicians), in order to cause/implement a radical societal change; 2) how a radical societal change happens according to, besides or in spite of his or her thoughts, will and actions and how this stretches, twists or breaks/disrupts his or her professional identity; 3) how he or she assesses the outcomes (planned, predictable and unpredictable) of radical change and one’s own participation and responsibility. Divergence of views on the mentioned phases hypothetically stemming from different geocultural viewpoints (within vs. outside Russia) constitutes a recurrent point of interest.

The project aimed at: 1) exploring the issues summarised above; 2) to create a network of researchers and practitioners or self-reflexive humanities, particularly in the domain of Russian literature studies; 3) to adopt the culture of thematically-focussed conferences on open calls for papers and double-blind reviewing in both pre- and post-conference phases, and to instigate a socio-cultural change in (Russian) literary studies in Bulgaria and, to a lesser extent, in Russia; 4) to demarcate a place for Bulgarian scholarship in Russian literature on the international ‘map’ of studies in Russian literature, a place that, according to us (the project coordinator and some of the participating scholars), Bulgarian scholarship has not attained yet.



  • Toronto Slavic Quarterly 53 (Summer 2015) = Литературоведческая русистика: самосознание, геокультурная вариабельность, границы профессии, сост. и ред. Люцканов, Литовская, Медведев, Барковская, 439 p.,;
  • Toronto Slavic Quarterly 57 (Summer 2016) = Д. С. Мережковский: литератор, религиозный философ, социальный экспериментатор, сост. и ред. Барковская, Луцевич, Люцканов, Медведев, 424 p.,;
  • Люцканов, Йордан (съст.). 1917 год: литератор и литературовед: инженер, свидетель, жертва исторического рубежа / социального слома. (Тезисы к конференции). София: ИЦ Боян Пенев, 2017, IV+84 p., ISBN 978-619-7372-03-8;
  • Люцканов; Барковская; Медведев (сост. и ред.). Из материалов конференции „1917: литератор и литературовед: инженер, свидетель, жертва исторического рубежа /социального слома“. София, 11-14 мая 2017 // Toronto Slavic Quarterly 62 (Autumn 2017), 154-357 ;
  • Dolgushin; Efimova; Medvedev; Rogacheva; Tabachnikova // Studi Slavistici 16 (2019), 1, [Thematic block:] 107-201,;
  • Giuliano; Kruglova & Vershinin // Slavia 89 (2020), 1, 59-85,