Skip to main content
MenuSearch & Directory

Elizabeth Blake, Ph.D.

Russian Division Coordinator; Associate Professor of Russian


Ph.D., Slavic Literatures, The Ohio State University, 2001
M.A., Slavic Literatures and Linguistics, The Ohio State University, 1996
B.A., cum laude, French/Russian Studies, The College of William and Mary, 1992

Practice Areas

  • Dostoevsky and Tolstoy Studies
  • Literature of Empire and Exile (Russian, Polish, French)
  • Russian Orthodoxy and Polish/French Catholicism
  • Russian and East European Drama and Film Studies
  • Gender Studies

Courses Taught at SLU

  • 4000-level: Fluency in Russian, The Russian Orthodox: Theology and History, Russian and Soviet Cinema
  • 3000-level: Dostoevsky Through the Centuries; Chekhov as Dramatist; Gender, Ethnicity, and Spirituality in Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Flaubert; In Prisons Dark; Oral and Written Proficiency I & II; Saints and Sinners in Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature and Film; Russia from Peter to Putin: Imperial, Soviet, and Post-Soviet Culture; Russian Readings & Digital Resources in Cultural Contexts; Tolstoy: Writer, Soldier, Lover, Activist
  • 1000/2000-level: Communicating in Russian I & II; Intermediate Russian I; Hollywood Takes on Russia; Russian Fairy Tales; Soviet Spies/Agents on the Big Screen

Research Interests

  • Nineteenth-Century European novel
  • Empire studies
  • Migration/Exile cultures
  • Catholic-Orthodox dialogues

Publications and Media Placements


Dostoevsky and the Catholic Underground (Northwestern University Press, 2014; 2018, paper).

Travels from Dostoevsky's Siberia (Academic Studies Press, June 2019).

Selected Essays

"Defending Liberty from Tyranny in Dostoevsky's Siberia: The Impact of Captivity on an Intercultural Consensus Regarding Human Rights" in Human Rights in Translation: Intercultural Pathways, ed., Michal Rozbicki (Lexington Books, 2018).

"Traumatic Mobility Motivating Collective Authorship in Siberian Narratives of Polish Exiles from the Inter-revolutionary Period (1832-62)," in Migration and Mobility in the Modern Age: Refugees, Travelers, and Traffickers, eds. Jan Musekamp, Nicole Svobodny, and Anika Walke (Indiana University Press, 2016).

“Orthodox Spirituality and Women’s Virtue,” in War and Peace: Critical Insights, ed. Brett Cooke (Salem Press, Inc., 2014).

"Ayn Rand’s Aesthetics: Preserving the Glamor of Hollywood’s Silent Screen" Germano-Slavica 17 (2010).

"Journey to Transcendence: Dostoevsky's Theological Polyphony in Barth's Understanding of the Pauline KRISIS" (co-authored). Studies in East European Thought 59 (2007).

"Portraits of the Siberian Dostoevsky by Poles in the House of the Dead." Dostoevsky Studies, New Series 10 (November 2006). Rpt. in Nineteenth Century Literary Criticism, ed. Michael Katz (Layman Poupard Publishing, 2013).

"Sonya, Silent No More: A Response to the Woman Question in Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment." Slavic and East European Journal 50:2 (Summer 2006).

"Stanislaw Wokulski's Semi-Voluntary Exile: Exploring the Hero's Journey to Emigration in Boleslaw Prus' Lalka." Polish Review XLVIII: 2 (June 2003).

"Toward a Happy Marriage: Transcending Gendered Social Roles in Anna Karenina." Studies in Slavic Culture. (February 2001).

"Petrograd in We the Living by Ayn Rand: A City on the Threshold of Red Russia." (In Russian).

In Russia and the USA: Forms of Literary Dialogue, edited by M. M. Odesskaia. Moscow: Russian State Humanities University, 2000.

Reviews (Recent)

Review of Anna Krakus, No End in Sight, Slavic Review. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008, Slavic (Forthcoming).

Review of Molly Brunson, Russian Realisms. Northern Illinois University Press, 2016. Slavic Review 76:3 (Fall 2017).

Review of Deborah Martinsen and Olga Maiorova, eds. Dostoevsky in Context. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2015. Slavic and East European Journal 61:2 (Summer 2017).

Review of Deborah Martinsen, Cathy Popkin, and Irina Reyfman, eds. Teaching Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature: Essays in Honor of Robert L. Belknap. Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2014. Slavic and East European Journal 59:3 (Fall 2015).

Review of Robert L. Jackson, Close Encounters: Essays on Russian Literature. Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2013. Slavic and East European Journal 58:4 (Winter 2014).

Review of Clayton, J. Douglas and Yana Meerzon, eds. Adapting Chekhov: The Text and its Mutations. New York: Routledge, 2013. Canadian Slavonic Papers 55:3-4 (September-December 2013) 561-63.

Honors and Awards

  • SLU Scholarship Opportunity Fund, “Recalling Captivity in Dostoevsky’s Siberia,” Summer 2019.
  • Mellon Grant, “Tales from Dostoevsky’s Siberia” for IDS, Summer 2019.
  • U. S. Department of State Title VIII Award, Research Scholar Program (Russia and Poland), 2018.
  • Provost Faculty Research Leave, Spring 2018.
  • Summer Research Laboratory Grants at University of Illinois.
  • SLU's Center for Intercultural Studies travel grant for Crime and Punishment at 150, Fall 2017.
  • Fulbright-Hays U. S. Department of Education Grant for American Councils Summer Russian Language Teachers Program, Summer 2016.
  • Mellon Grant for "Tales from Dostoevsky's Siberia," Summer 2016.
  • Faculty Mentor, Spirit of the Billiken award for Ajay Chatrath, 2016.
  • Grant Recipient, “Teach to the Mission,” a SLU workshop funded by a Lilly Humanities grant, 2014.
  • Most Impactful Person Award for Katerina Canyon, SLU’s Senior Reception with the Jesuits, 2013.
  • Fulbright-Hays U. S. Department of Education Grant for the American Councils Summer Russian Language Teachers Program, Summer 2002.
  • Fulbright-Hays U. S. Department of Education Grant Dissertation Fellowship, 2000-1.
  • Title VI FLAS Fellowships for the study of Polish, 1995-6; 1999.
  • Social Science Research Council Grant for the study of Russian at Indiana University, Summer 1995.

Professional Organizations and Associations

  • American Association for Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages
  • Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies
  • The North American Dostoevsky Society
  • Modern Language Association
  • The Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America