Panel: Graduate Research on Dostoevsky – Nov 2, 2022

The North American Dostoevsky Society stands with all the people of Ukraine, Russia, and the rest of the world who condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Our statement can be read here.

The North American Dostoevsky Society is delighted to showcase research by four emerging scholars at the online Graduate Panel for 2022. In the first half of the panel, two papers address fundamental questions relating to Raskolnikov’s crime in Crime and Punishment from very different directions. Fiona Bell (Yale University), winner of the 2022 NADS Graduate Student Essay Prize, explores the multifaceted implications of the ‘aesthetic of comic violence’ in the novel’s murder scene. Daniel Schwartz (Brandeis University) reframes Raskolnikov’s repentance in the novel’s epilogue as a challenge to faith and its representation. Power relations and questions of identity – at opposite ends of Dostoevsky’s career – are foregrounded in the second half of the panel. Laura Hart (University College London) examines composite characters and the fragmentation of identity in Dostoevsky’s epileptic figures, focusing specifically on the power Smerdiakov holds over both Ivan Karamazov and the town more broadly. Anna Tropnikova (Yale University) identifies voyeurism, abjection and the figure of the ‘incel’ in the dreamer-narrator’s attempts to imagine connections where none exist in ‘White Nights’.

Recording of the 2022 Graduate Research Panel


  • “Raskolnikov’s Red Nose: The Slapstick Comedy of a Dead Serious Hero.” Fiona Bell, Yale University.
  • “An Abrahamic Double Bind: An Examination of the Possibility of Faith in Crime and Punishment.”  Daniel Schwarz, Brandeis University. 
  • “The Divine and the Demonic: Epilepsy, Identity and Power in Brat’ia Karamazovy.” Laura Hart, University College London.
  • “Voyeurism and Abjection in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s ‘White Nights’.”  Anna Tropnikova, Yale University.

Moderators: Kate Holland, University of Toronto; Sarah J. Young, University College London.

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