Chloë Kitzinger came to Berkeley with an MA in Russian from the Middlebury Russian School, and a BA in Philosophy from Yale University. Her dissertation, “Illusion and Instrument: Problems of Mimetic Characterization in Dostoevsky and Tolstoy” (2016), offered an account of the creation of lifelike novelistic characters, based on close readings of three Russian realist novels. After Berkeley, she began a postdoctoral fellowship in the Princeton Society of Fellows, where she is the 2016-2019 Perkins-Cotsen Fellow in the Humanities.
Her research and teaching interests center on the Russian and European novel, literary theory, and intersections between philosophy and literature. At Princeton she will teach courses in the Slavic Department and the Interdisciplinary Program in the Humanities, including the team-taught humanities sequence Approaches to Western Culture. Her book manuscript in progress discusses Tolstoy’s and Dostoevsky’s novels as uniquely rich ground for addressing two basic but underexplored questions: how is the impression of autonomously “living” characters created, distributed, and sustained throughout a novel, and what are the outer limits of this illusion’s power to educate or transform a novel’s readers? Other current scholarly interests include Russian Symbolism (particularly the writings of Dmitri Merezhkovsky and Andrei Bely), theories of the novel, comparative approaches to Russian and European realism and modernism, and the works of Vladimir Nabokov.