PhD, Northwestern, 2011

Dr Bowers specializes in Russian literature and culture. Currently she is working on a book about the influence of gothic fiction on Russian realism: how and why writers including Dostoevsky and Chekhov, for example, use gothic themes and conventions to build up an atmosphere of fear or dread in their fiction. She is also co-editing a volume on communication and its mechanisms in early modern Russia and is actively involved in Dostoevsky public engagement.

She teaches classes about Russian, Slavic and comparative literature and culture. In 2017/18 she is teaching CENS 201-003: European Magic Tales (T2); RUSS 306A: The 19th-Century Russian Novel (T1); RUSS 321: Petersburg: Text, History, Cityscape (T1); CENS 202-005: Science Fiction in Eastern Europe (T2); and RUSS 412: Dostoevsky (T2).

Katherine Bowers grew up in Germany and Virginia, and went on to attend the University of Virginia, where she double majored in German and Russian and received an MA in Slavic Studies. She completed a second MA and a PhD in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Northwestern University. Before coming to UBC, she worked at the University of Cambridge, where she was a postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Slavonic Studies and a Research Fellow of Darwin College.

This is a list of academic publications. For digital outreach projects, blog posts, interviews, and other features, see the Media tab.

Edited works

Russian Writers and the Fin de Siècle: The Twilight of Realism. Volume edited with Ani Kokobobo (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

New UK Research in Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature. Article cluster edited with Sarah J. Young, with introduction by Katherine Bowers. Modern Languages Open. 27 October 2014.

Journal articles

Unpacking Viazemskii’s Khalat: The Technologies of Dilettantism in Early Nineteenth-Century Russian Literary CultureSlavic Review 74:3 (2015): 529-552.

The City through a Glass, Darkly: Use of the Gothic in Early Russian RealismThe Modern Language Review 108:4 (2013): 1199-1215. (MLA Core deposit)

The Three-Dimensional Heroine: The Intertextual Relationship between Three Sisters and Hedda GablerStudies in Slavic Cultures VII (2008): 9-28. | Russian version: ”Трехмерная героиня: Интертекстуальные связы «Трех сестер» и «Гедды Габлер»” translated by Iuliia Krasnosel’skaia, in От «Игроков» до «Dostoevsky Trip»: Интертекстуальность в русской драматургии XIX-XXI вв, Vladimir Kataev and Andrew Wachtel, eds. (Moscow State University Press, 2006), 42-58.

Book chapters

“Through the Opaque Veil: the Gothic and Death in Russian Realism” in The Gothic and Death, Carol Davison, ed. (Manchester University Press, 2017), 157-173.

“The Fall of the House: Gothic Narrative and the Decline of the Russian Family” in Russian Writers and the Fin de Siècle: The Twilight of Realism, Bowers and Kokobobo, eds. (Cambridge University Press, 2015), 145-161.

The Fear Factor: Exploiting the Gothic in Turgenev’s Early Sketches,” in At the Nexus of Fear, Horror and Terror: Contemporary Readings, conference proceedings, Joseph H. Campos, II and Catalin Ghita, eds. (Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2013), 13-21.

“Culture as an Underlying Means of Miscommunication: Getting American Students of Russian to Associate Russian Culture with Russian Words,” co-authored with Elisabeth Elliott, in Language as an Instrument of Understanding and Mis-Understanding: Russo-American Linguistic and Cultural Comparisons, conference proceedings (Russian State University for the Humanities Press, 2008), 152-165.

Entries in: The Literary Encyclopedia, The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (4th edition, 2012)

Reviews in: The Modern Language Review, The Russian Review, Slavic and East European Journal, KinoKultura, Journal of Soviet & Post-Soviet Politics and Society, Journal of European Studies, Revenant: Critical and Creative Studies of the Supernatural, Eighteenth-Century Fiction

Translations in: The Early Chekhov Translation Project (Vol 1)The Norton Critical Edition of The Brothers Karamazov (2nd edition, 2011), Studies in East European Thought

Courses include:

CENS 201-003 “European Magic Tales” (Contrasts and Conflicts: the Cultures of Central, Eastern, and Northern Europe)

CENS 202-005 “Science Fiction in Eastern Europe” (Great Works of Literature from Central, Eastern, and Northern Europe)

RUSS 306A “The 19th-Century Russian Novel” (Russian Literature in Translation)

RUSS 306B “20th- and 21st-Century Russian Literature” (Russian Literature in Translation)

RUSS 321 “Petersburg: Text, History, Cityscape” (Imagining Location in Russian Literature)

RUSS 412 “Dostoevsky”

Courses currently teaching

Winter 2016

CENS201 Contrasts and Conflicts: The Cultures of Central, Eastern and Northern Europe (in English) Sections

An introduction to the cultural history of the peoples of Central, Eastern and Northern Europe as reflected in their literature, art and music.

Winter 2016

CENS202 Great Works of Literature from Central, Eastern and Northern Europe (in English). Sections

Major works of Central, Eastern and Northern European literature from the eighteenth century to the present in their European context.

Winter 2016

RUSS412 Dostoevsky in Translation Sections

Winter 2016

RUSS306A Russian Literature in Translation - RUSS LIT IN TRAN Sections

A comprehensive historical and critical presentation with emphasis on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Research interests

In addition to genre, narrative, and the gothic, Dr Bowers’s research interests include: travel and exploration narratives, imagined and cultural geography, the history of science and technology and its reflection in literature, early modern information circulation, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literary culture, urban representation, poetry, and comparative studies—especially German, Scandinavian, and English texts in the context of Russian literary history.


Currently Dr Bowers is finishing a book about the influence of gothic writing on Russian realism. Her new research project is about the Arctic in the Russian imperial imagination.

Additionally, she is co-editing a volume with Simon Franklin about information and mechanisms of communication in early modern Russia. This is part of the project, “Information Technologies in Russia, 1450-1850,” on which Dr Bowers worked as a postdoctoral Research Associate from 2012-2014.

Dr Bowers is actively involved in Dostoevsky studies outreach. With Kate Holland she co-organized a series of events related to the 150th anniversary of the publication of Crime and Punishment in 2016 and is collaborating on a project marking the bicentenary of Dostoevsky’s birth in 2021. Dr Bowers is also co-editing a volume of Dostoevsky teaching materials with Connor Doak and Kate Holland.


Dr Bowers’s work has been supported through funding for travel, research, study, and collaboration from organizations and institutions including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada; the Centre for Eastern European Language-Based Area Studies (UK); the Fulbright-Hays, Title VI, and Title VIII programs of the US Department of Education; the US Department of State’s Critical Languages initiative; the American Council of Teachers of Russian; the American Councils of Learned Societies; and the American Council for Collaboration in Education and Language Study.

Dr Bowers tweets about books, writers, and other interesting things here: @kab3d.

At UBC she created and co-administers the Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia UBC Event listserv and created and administers the Russian Lit at UBC Facebook group.

She also serves as editor for The Bloggers Karamazov, the blog of the North American Dostoevsky Society, curates the Society’s Twitter account, and co-moderates its Facebook page and discussion group.

Digital projects

Crime and Punishment at 150 (or #CP150), a SSHRC-funded public engagement project and conference co-organized with Kate Holland celebrating 150 years of Dostoevsky’s novel. 2016.

@RodionTweets, a creative Twitter project with Brian Armstrong, Kate Holland, Sarah Hudspith, Kristina McGuirk, Jennifer Wilson, and Sarah Young, part of #CP150. Since July 2016.

European Magic Tales, a collection of my students’ magic tales from CENS 201-003 “European Magic Tales.” Fall 2016.

Twine, Forward!, a socialist realist story generator developed for RUSS 306B with John Ayliff. February 2016.

@YakovGolyadkin, a creative Twitter project with Brian Armstrong and Kristina McGuirk. November 2015.

#TheDoubleEvent, a public outreach project co-organized with Brian Armstrong for the North American Dostoevsky Society. November 2015.

Blog posts

“Raskolnikov in the Fog: Time and the Crime and Punishment End Game,” The Bloggers Karamazov, 17 July 2016.

“Introducing @RodionTweets: Translating Raskolnikov into 140 Characters or Less,” The Bloggers Karamazov, 5 July 2016.

“A Recipe for a Gothic Novel,” The Recipes Project, 10 December 2015.

“Gothic Doubles and The Double, Gothically,” All the Russias, 6 November 2015.

Features and interviews

“Celebrating Crime and Punishment at 150.” Co-written with Kate Holland. ASEEES NewsNet. Vol. 57. No. 2 (March 2017). pp. 15-16.

Crime and Punishment at 150.” UBC Faculty of Arts Spotlight interview. October 2016.

“Katherine Bowers.” ASEEES Membership Spotlight. February 2014.

“Text and the Message: Russia’s Early ‘Information Age’.” Interview with Simon Franklin and Katherine Bowers. Research Horizons 22 (Oct. 2013): 8-9.