North American Dostoevsky Society Executive Board Statement in Support of Ukraine

As scholars and teachers of Dostoevsky’s work, we have watched with horror Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. As anyone who has read Dostoevsky’s works knows, his views are contradictory and, in some cases, xenophobic. On the one hand, Dostoevsky put forward his vision of universal brotherhood and the idea that beauty will save the world, but on the other hand, he was a staunch Russian nationalist who advocated for war in the name of Pan-Slavism. As Dostoevsky scholars, we advance those ideas of his which enrich and illuminate world culture while also recognizing our responsibility to critique and contextualize those views which support hatred and bloodshed. The same nationalism and imperialism which Dostoevsky theorized, especially in his journalism, is deeply implicated in the current invasion and its ideological basis. We condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stand with all of those who oppose it in Ukraine, Russia, and around the world. Our hearts go out to our colleagues, students, friends, and family, who are impacted by this violence.

The Executive Board of the North American Dostoevsky Society