Evan Alterman

Evan Alterman

Ph.D. Student in Slavic Languages and Literatures, admitted Autumn 2017
Ph.D. Minor, Comparative Literature
2008: A.B., Slavic Studies and French Language, Literature, and Culture, Brown University
Honors thesis submitted to Slavic department: "At the Intersection of Socialism, Nationalism and Identity: The Life and Work of Mirsaid Sultan-Galiev"

My dissertation, “Between and Beyond Empires: Russian-Ottoman and Soviet-Turkish Travelogues,” examines selected Russian- and Turkish-language travel accounts written “between” 1) the Russian and Ottoman Empires and 2) the Soviet Union and Turkish Republic from the 1880s through the 1930s.  With chosen texts (Aleksandr Yeliseyev, Po belu svetu; Hüseyin Kâzım, Moskova seyahatnamesi; Ivan Bunin, "Ten' ptitsy" and "Krik"; Celal Nuri, Şimal hatıraları; Pëtr Pavlenko, Stambul i Turtsiia; Falih Rıfkı Atay, Yeni Rusya; and Lev Nikulin, Stambul, Ankara, Izmir) representing multiple genres, readerships, and socio-cultural contexts, my project asks how travelogues comprehensively respond to - and record - continuities and ruptures between empires and their successors. 
I also like thinking about - in no particular order (and, at least, since I last updated this page!) - Volga Tatar intellectual and literary history; ethnography and folklore as aesthetics and "technique" in Russian prose; alterity and marginality in the works of Vladimir Korolenko; Soviet "culture brigades" as agents of soft power abroad (VOKS; Shostakovich in Turkey) and as catalysts for creating national literatures and canons in Central Asia (Platonov in Turkmenistan); queer readings of Freemasonry in Russian literature (Tolstoy, Pisemsky, Kuzmin); the social history of vegetarianism in Russia; Russian intertexts in the films of Nuri Bilge Ceylan; and cutural ties between the Soviet Union and members of Iran's Tudeh party.

Notable Achievements:

  • 2012-2013: Fulbright Research Grant, St. Petersburg State University (Russian Federation)
  • Research topic: Turkic influences and motifs as reflected in Russian folklore and letters
  • 2008: Critical Language Scholarship, Turkish (Alanya, Turkey)



Research Unit Groups