Katherine Bowers is an expert in Russian literature and culture. Her research interests include genre, narrative, environmental humanities, imagined geography, and computational text analysis. She is the author of Writing Fear: Russian Realism and the Gothic, published in 2022 by University of Toronto Press. At UBC Dr Bowers directs the Centre for European Studies and is the lead and founder of the Eurasia Research Cluster.
Dr Bowers came to UBC from the University of Cambridge, where she was a postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Slavonic Studies and a Research Fellow of Darwin College.
Dr Bowers’s first monograph, Writing Fear: Russian Realism and the Gothic (2022), argues that nineteenth-century Russian writers actively engaged with narrative models borrowed from European gothic fiction as they worked out how to write affective experiences such as fear, dread, and anxiety within the realm of realism. Building on her research in realism, she is currently co-editing The Oxford Handbook of Global Realisms with Margarita Vaysman (St Andrews). Building on her work in genre, Dr Bowers’s new book project is about science fiction, Arctic space, and alternative temporalities across the long nineteenth century.
Dr Bowers is actively involved in Dostoevsky studies. She serves as Vice-President of the North American Dostoevsky Society and edits the Society’s blog, The Bloggers Karamazov. With Kate Holland (Toronto), she has co-edited two volumes that focus on Dostoevsky’s works: A Dostoevskii Companion: Texts and Contexts (2018), a volume of curated texts by and responding to Dostoevsky with pathways for readers to explore his works, and Dostoevsky at 200: The Novel in Modernity (2021), a collection of essays that engage with Dostoevsky and questions of form and historical context. Currently Drs Bowers and Holland are working on Digital Dostoevsky, a digital humanities research project investigating Dostoevsky’s corpus, which is funded by a SSHRC Insight Grant (2019-25).
Dr Bowers is a member of the The Data-Sitters Club, a feminist collective that is building a comprehensive, colloquial guide to digital humanities computational text analysis using the Baby-Sitters Club series by Ann M. Martin. The project tied for 1st place for the 2019 DH Award for “Best Use of DH For Fun” and tied for 3rd place for the 2019 DH Award for “Best DH Blog.”
This list of books, articles, and chapters is incomplete. A complete list of work including digital media projects, public writing, podcasts, etc. is available on Dr. Bowers’s website.
Writing Fear: Russian Realism and the Gothic. Monograph (University of Toronto Press, 2022).
A Dostoevskii Companion: Texts and Contexts. Volume edited with Connor Doak and Kate Holland (Academic Studies Press, 2018).
Information and Empire: Mechanisms of Communication in Russia, 1600-1850. Volume edited with Simon Franklin (Open Book Publishers, 2017). [Open Access]
Russian Writers and the Fin de Siècle: The Twilight of Realism. Volume edited with Ani Kokobobo (Cambridge University Press, 2015).
“Ghost Writers: Radcliffiana and the Russian Gothic Wave.” Victorian Popular Fictions Journal 3.2 (2021): 153-179. [Open Access | Core Deposit]
“Plotting the Ending: Generic Expectation and the Uncanny Epilogue of Crime and Punishment.” Canadian Slavonic Papers 62.2 (2020): 95-108. [CORE deposit]
“Haunted Ice, Fearful Sounds, and the Arctic Sublime: Exploring Nineteenth-Century Polar Gothic Space.” Gothic Studies 19.2 (2017): 71-84. Also selected for reprint in the “Dark Economies” conference virtual issue of Gothic Studies (2021). [CORE deposit]
“Unpacking Viazemskii’s Khalat: The Technologies of Dilettantism in Early Nineteenth-Century Russian Literary Culture.” Slavic Review 74.3 (2015): 529-552. [CORE deposit]
“The City through a Glass, Darkly: Use of the Gothic in Early Russian Realism.” The Modern Language Review 108.4 (2013): 1237-1253. [CORE deposit]
“The Three-Dimensional Heroine: The Intertextual Relationship between Three Sisters and Hedda Gabler.” Studies in Slavic Cultures VII (2008): 9-27. [CORE deposit]
“Digital Media Projects in the Dostoevsky Classroom,” in Approaches to Teaching Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, Michael Katz and Alexander Burry, eds. (Modern Language Association, 2022), 145-151. [Core Deposit]
“Under the Floorboards, Over the Door: The Gothic Corpse and Writing Fear in The Idiot” in Dostoevsky at 200: The Novel in Modernity, Bowers and Holland, eds. (University of Toronto Press, 2021), 137-159. [Open Access | Core Deposit]
“The Gothic Novel Reader Comes to Russia” in Reading Russia, vol. 2: A History of Reading in Russia, Damiano Rebecchini and Raffaella Vassena, eds. (Ledizioni, 2020), 377-408. [Open Access | CORE deposit]
“Experiencing Information: An Early Nineteenth-Century Stroll Along Nevskii Prospekt” in Information and Empire: Mechanisms of Communication in Russia, 1600-1850, Franklin and Bowers, eds. (Open Book Publishers, 2017), 369-407. [Open Access]
“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. [CORE deposit]
“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. [CORE deposit]
2022 – UBC Public Engagement Award
2021-22 – Public Humanities Faculty Fellow, UBC
2019-20 – Wall Scholar Research Award, UBC
2012-15 – Research Fellowship, Darwin College, Cambridge
2011 – Irwin Weil Award for Excellence in Teaching, Northwestern University
2009-11 – Presidential Fellowship, Northwestern University
CENS 201 “European Magic Tales” (Contrasts and Conflicts: the Cultures of Central, Eastern, and Northern Europe)
CENS 202 “Science Fiction in Central and 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 321A “Petersburg: Text and Cityscape” (Imagining Location in Russian Literature)
RUSS 321B “Imagining Siberia” (Imagining Location in Russian Literature)
RUSS 323A “Russian and Soviet Science Fiction” (Fantastic Worlds of Russian Fiction)
RUSS 412 “Dostoevsky”