Fellow: Awarded 2009
Field of Study: Slavic Literature
Competition: US & Canada
Evgeny Dobrenko is a Professor of Russian Studies at the University of Sheffield. Born in Odessa, Ukraine, Mr. Dobrenko received his B.A. (1984) and Ph.D. (1987) in Russian literature from the Odessa State University, and then taught there from 1987 to 1991. While there, he edited Izbavlenie ot mirazhei. Sotsrealizm segodnia. S raznykh tochek zreniia (Ridding Ourselves of Mirages. Socialist Realism Today. Different Points of View.) (Moscow: Sovetskii pisatel’, 1990).
On joining the faculty of the Russian State University of the Humanities in Moscow in 1991, he twice served as guest editor of the journal Voprosy literatury, overseeing in 1992 its special issues on Totalitarianism and Soviet Culture and Origins (1) and History of Avant-Garde (3). He also wrote two books: “Konarmiia” Isaaka Babelia. (Isaac Babel’s The Red Cavalry) (Moscow: Rossiiskii universitet, 1993), coauthored with Galina Belaia and Ivan Esaulov; and Metafora vlasti: Literatura stalinskoi epokhi v istoricheskom osveshchenii. (The Metaphor of Power: Literature of the Stalin Era in Historical Light) (Munich: Otto Sagner—Slavistische Beiträge, 1993). He continues to explore the areas he researched in these early publications—Soviet and post-Soviet literature and culture; socialist realism, critical theory, and Soviet cultural history, among other topics—in the five books, seven edited volumes, and more than 250 articles he has written subsequently. His work has been translated into fifteen languages, and his books have been short-listed for best book in literary or cultural studies by the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages and for the Andrei Bely Award, for the best Russian monograph in the humanities.
In 1992, Mr. Dobrenko moved to the United States to take up a position as Associate Professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Duke University, a post he held for five years. He then spent a year (1997-98) as a Visiting Professor and Fellow of the Stanford Humanities Center, followed by a year (1998-99) as Karl Loewenstein Faculty Fellow in Political Science and Jurisprudence at Amherst College, and yet another year (1999-2000) as Visiting Professor at the University of California, Irvine.
Although he became a United States citizen in 2000, that same year he moved to Great Britain, taking up an appointment as Professor at the University of Nottingham’s Institute of Film Studies and its departments of Critical Theory and Cultural Studies and of Russian and Slavonic Studies. Since 2007 he has been a Professor in the Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies at the University of Sheffield.
Among his many honors are grants from the Volkswagen Corporation (with Hans Günther) (1994-98) and from the German Academy of Science (1992), and the Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (206-09), a Fellowship at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities at the University of Cambridge (2008), and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Gasprofessur Fellowship at the University of Konstanz, Germany (2007). He returned to the U.S. in 2002 for terms as a Scholar at the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. (2002) and as a Fellow at the International Center for Advanced Studies at New York University (2002-03).
Evgeny Dobrenko will be again in New York City during part of his Guggenheim Fellowship term, conducting research at the New York Public Library and at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute for his monograph on the impact of Soviet Russian literature and culture on the “national” literatures and ethnic identities of the former Soviet Republi