Edith W. Clowes

Professor at KU (1999 - 2012)
Primary office:


Curriculum Vitae

Degree: Ph.D., Yale

Position: Professor; Director of the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies.

Teaching interests: Late 19th- and 20th-c. Russian literature and culture, post-Soviet literature and culture, beginning Czech, introduction to Czech culture, Literature and Totalitarianism in Central Europe, Utopia and Modernity, Borders between Fiction and Philosophy, Biblical Themes in Modern Russian Literature

Research interests: Intersections between literature and philosophy, intellectual history, comparative literature (especially German and Russian), literary and cultural theory

Selected recent publications (since 2001)

2011 book: Russia on the Edge. Imagined Geographies and Post-Soviet Identity Cornell University Press.

2011 article: "Anna Akhmatova, Boris Pasternak, and the Orthodox Legacy in Stalin’s Time," Rossiia i zapad (Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, 2011), 207-225.

2010 encyclopedia article: "Russia (20th Century)." The Encyclopedia of the Novel. Ed. Peter Melville Logan (ed). Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2010, vol. 2, 716-726.

2010 article: "Looking for Miracles: Akhmatova, Pasternak, and the Orthodox Legacy," Modern Greek Studies (U. Minnesota), volumes 26-27, 2010-2011, 1-23.

2008 Introduction to forum: "Gorky and Godbuilding," Modern Greek Studies (U. Minnesota), volumes 24-25, 2008-2009, 1-9.

2008 article: "Russia’s Deconstructionist Westernizer: Mikhail Ryklin between Moscow and Berlin," Landshaft (web-based journal, 1 (Winter, 2008), 17 pp.

2007 book chapter: "Groundlessness: Nietzsche and Russian Concepts of Tragic Philosophy." Nietzsche and the Rebirth of the Tragic. Edited M. A. Frese. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 126—137.

2007 book chapter: "Traditsiia "Vekh" v pozdnee sovetskoe vremia." Sbornik statei "Iz-pod glyb" A. I. Solzhenitsyna i esse G. S. Pomerantsa," Sbornik "Vekhi" v kontekste russkoi kul"tury. Moscow: Nauka, 264—271.

Selected grants

External: ACLS, NEH Summer, NEH Fellowship for University Teachers, NEH Conference Grant, DAAD, IREX, Fulbright-Hays, Kennan Short-Term, ITT

Internal: Hall Center for the Humanities, GRF Summer Research

In Memoriam

Reed Rankin ✝ 12/29/2019

The faculty and students in the Department Slavic Languages and Literatures are deeply saddened that one our undergraduate majors, Reed Rankin, passed away last week (12/29) in Fredonia, Kansas. Reed was a beloved student in the department and is fondly remembered by his peers and professors. He began studying Russian as a Freshman and stayed with a challenging but rewarding language for three and a half years, tackling introductory, intermediate, advanced levels, and even continuing his studies into his senior year with Russian for the Professions. We know that he was planning further study in Moscow in the next academic year, prior to matriculation at KU School of Law.

A thoughtful student, Reed often contributed insight and posed challenging questions in class. ​​ Reed’s dedication to the study of Russian language, culture, and history was tremendous and fueled by infectious curiosity. He showed great acumen in translating from Russian into English, always finding English-language equivalents for Russian cultural concepts through skillful use of one-liners from American films. We also treasured his ability to speak in fluid Russian about rural, farm life in Kansas, and the effects that natural phenomena, like floods, on a farming community. He was a pleasure to know and teach, and will be remembered for his kind and polite demeanor. Our thoughts are with Reed’s family at this time


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KU’s Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies program is one of only 12 federally-funded national resource centers in the US
Only doctoral program in Slavic Languages and Literatures between the Mississippi and the West Coast
100% of graduate students in the Slavic program had funding in academic year 2012-13
KU's Libraries house over 500,000 volumes of Slavic books and electronic editions
Two of the department’s last four doctoral candidates have won a Fulbright grants to conduct dissertation research abroad