ONLINE EVENT: Dr Katherine Bowers on ‘Ghost Writing: Radcliffiana and the Russian Gothic Wave’

This talk will discuss the phenomenon of Radcliffiana in the context of early nineteenth-century Russian literary culture. English gothic novelist Ann Radcliffe’s writing was extremely popular in Russia. Indeed, so popular that books by other authors were frequently attributed to her and translators found it more expedient to write new gothic novels under Radcliffe’s name than to translate existing ones. The talk will give an overview of Russian Radcliffiana and its influence on readers and writers in nineteenth-century Russia. What was more influential, Radcliffe or the bevy of ghost-written and mis-attributed works that bear her name? How did Russian critics react to women novelists? And how did this Radcliffiana shape Russian literature of the nineteenth century for decades after Radcliffe’s final work? In addressing these questions, the talk will examine the curious phenomenon of transnational and transcultural literary ghostwriting and its role in creating Radcliffe’s Russian identity.

Dr Katherine Bowers is Associate Professor of Slavic Studies at the University of British Columbia. She is an expert in Russian literature and culture, whose research interests include genre, narrative, and imagined geography. Her first monograph, Writing Fear: Russian Realism and the Gothic, is forthcoming with University of Toronto Press.

4 May 2021, on Zoom, 6pm GMT.

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