Professor of Russian and Comparative Literature on the Myra T. Cooley Lectureship in Russian
Office: Russian Center, 2nd Floor
Elizabeth Cheresh Allen is Professor of Russian and Comparative Literature. She has been on the faculty at Bryn Mawr since 1991. Her scholarship combines broad interests in European cultural history, comparative literature, and relations of aesthetics to ethics with particular interests in the close analysis of Russian literary texts and the critical interpretation of individual Russian writers. She draws upon all these interests in her studies of the nineteenth-century Russian authors Ivan Turgenev and Mikhail Lermontov. She has written two books: Beyond Realism: Turgenev’s Poetics of Secular Salvation (Stanford University Press, 1992) and A Fallen Idol is Still a God: Lermontov and the Quandaries of Cultural Transition (Standford University Press, 2007), in which she reevaluates the places of these two pivotal figures in Russian and European literary history while reassessing such vexed historical concepts as “realism” and “Romanticism,” and exploring such perennial critical themes as the nature of hybrid genres, the ambiguities of literary influence, and the dynamics of cultural transition. Her next book will address the relation between narrative and ethics in both nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian authors. Professor Allen has also edited an anthology of Turgenev's fiction and non-fiction, The Essential Turgenev (Northwestern University Press, 1994), and has co-edited a collection of essays entitled Freedom and Responsibility in Russian Literature (Northwestern University Press, 1995). She teaches courses on the 19th-c. Russian novel, on individual major Russian authors, on European romanticism, and on European realism.