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Introduction Hilde Hoogenboom This volume honors the extraordinary life, path-breaking career, and pioneering scholarship of a truly modest woman- Professor Marina Viktorovna Ledkovsky, Barnard College emerita. Born into the old noble families of the Nabokovs, the Falz-Feins, the von Korffs, and the Fasolts, Marina Viktorovna grew up in Berlin, where, during World War II, she went to university, was arrested and released, got married, and had her first two children. In New York, where she emigrated after the war, she raised four children, taught French, resumed her education at Columbia University, and eventually joined the Russian Department at Barnard College, becoming one of the first woman professors at Columbia. In his biography of Marina Viktorovna, Robert Belknap outlines the main areas of her teaching and scholarship; they include Russian language and linguistics , literature, church music and its history, autobiography, and women writers, subjects that she has pursued simultaneously for the length of her career. In addition to her book on Turgenev, an anthology of contemporary Russian women writers, and the Dictiol1ary of Russian Womel1 Writers, she has published nearly fifty articles, almost half since her retirement in 1996, and continues to attend conferences here and abroad. Many of her articles appeared in Russian emigre and church publications, and her service to the field includes positions on the boards of Novyi zhurl1al (New Journal), tl1e Association of Russian-American Scholars in the USA, and the Bakhmeteff Archive at Columbia University. Marina Viktorovna first visited Russia in 1977, and with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, she became active in projects and organizations relating to her family and her scholarly interests, including serving as a judge for the Russian Booker Prize in 1994. At Columbia, Marina Viktorovna oversaw the dissertations of three of this volume's contributors, including two of the editors: she sponsored Catharine Theimer Neponmyashchy 's dissertation on Andrei Sinyavsky, and she was the second reader for Mallika Ramdas's dissertation on women's autobiographies and for my dissertation on nineteenth-century women writers. Towards the end of her career, Marina Viktorovna completed her largest scholarly project: the indispensable Dictiol1ary of Russian Women Writers (1994). Our essays, which originate from a working conference held February 23-24, 2001 at Columbia University, therefore focus on women as the most important aspect in the following diverse areas of Marina Viktorovna's reMapping the Feminine: Russian Women and Cultural Difference. Hilde Hoogenboom, Catharine Theimer Nepomnyashchy, and Irina Reyfman, eds. Bloom ington, IN: Siavica Publishers, 2008, 3-9. 4 HILDE HOOGE NBOOM search: nineteenth-century Russian literature, autobiography, Russian culture in emigration, and contemporary feminism in Russia. Through this conference , we aimed to increase the resonance between our articles as we challenged ourselves to explore Russian women in various comparative and theoretical contexts. We explored ways in which the experiences of real and fictional Russian women allowed us to question Western theoretical paradigms , feminist and otherwise. The conference confirmed our belief that these critical issues remained necessary and relevant. As the present volume evolved (over too many years), not everyone who participated in the conference contributed to the volume, and not all contributors were present at the conference. The editors are grateful for everyone's patience, most especially that of Marina Viktorovna, who with characteristic graciousness reassured me when we reanimated the volume in 2005 that she had completely forgotten about it. The editors and contributors especially thank the Harriman Institute for supporting the initial conference and for providing two grants (in 2007 and 2008) to offset the costs of publication, indexing, and illustrations. Over three centuries, the Russian writers, men as well as women, the actors and actresses, dancers, critics, theorists, journalists, and feminists discussed in this volume have engaged in continuous and varied polemics about notions of gender, feminism, and Russia in an international framework. The Dictionary of Russian Women Writers constitutes an important generic node where these national and transnational debates coalesce and, as this volume demonstrates, acquire new directions. In particular, its editors argue for the inclusion of writers of Russia's diasporas and for Russians who did not write in Russian. These debates about the boundaries of Russian literature have shaped Russian literary history since the nineteenth century, but have again acquired force and urgency with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Since the Dictionary's publication in 1994, there has been renewed, sustained inquiry into Russian women writers and women in Russian culture. Yet this volume demonstrates that notions of women and...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780893578541
Related ISBN
9780893573546
MARC Record
OCLC
835520190
Pages
366
Launched on MUSE
2012-12-20
Language
English
Open Access
No
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