ERIC NAIMAN, Professor


Professor, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
Professor, Department of Comparative Literature

Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley (Slavic Languages & Literatures)

J.D. Yale Law School

Teaching: 19th and 20th Century Russian Literature. Nabokov. Dostoevsky and Modernism. Law and Literature. Early Soviet Culture. Literature and Ideology. The Body in Russian Culture. Graduate seminars have included: The Gothic Novel; The Master and Margarita; Andrei Platonov; Early Dostoevsky; Mikhail Bakhtin; Poetic Justice: Dostoevsky and Nabokov in the Shadow of the Law.

Spring 2024 Office Hours: M 3-4, Th 3:30-4:30

Research interests: Early Soviet Culture. Gender Studies. Andrei Platonov. History of Soviet Medicine. Vladimir Nabokov.

Current projects: Andrei Platonov. Vladimir Nabokov. Soviet subjectivity. Fiction of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, “University Fictions”.

Selected publications:


  • Nabokov, Perversely (Cornell University Press, 2010).
  • co-edited, with Christina Kiaer, Everyday Life in Revolutionary Russia: Taking the Revolution Inside (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006).
  • co-edited, with Evgeny Dobrenko, The Landscape of Stalinism: The Art and Ideology of Soviet Space (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003).
  • Sex in Public: The Incarnation of Early Soviet Ideology. (Princeton University Press, 1997).


  • “AI Meets Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor,” Times Literary Supplement, January 26, 2024. Link to PDF.
  • “But Seriously, Folks:  Pierre Bayard and the Russians,” in Reading BackwardsAn Advance Retrospective on Russian Literature,  ed. Muireann Maguire and Timothy Langen. Openbook Publishers, 2021. Link to PDF.
  • “’Husband and Wife’: An Approach to the Gothic in Anna Karenina, in Critical Insights:  Anna Karenina, ed. by Robert C Evans (Amenia, N.Y.” Salem Press, 2021, pp.39-57.
  •  “‘There was Something Almost Crude about it all…..’ Reading the Epilogue of Crime and Punishment hard against the grain,” Canadian Slavonic Papers 62:2 (2020), 123-43.
  • “Gospel Rape,” Dostoevsky Studies 22 (2018), 11-40.
  • “Their Mutual Friend: On the Trail of the Woman Who Introduced Dickens to Dostoevsky,” The Times Literary Supplement, April 12, 2013, 16-21. Link to online version
  • “Hermophobia: On Sexual Orientation and Reading Nabokov,” Representations, 2008, no.101, 116-43.
  • “Children in The Master and Margarita,” Slavic and East European Journal, Winter 2006, vol.50, no.4, 655-75.
  • “A Filthy Look at Shakespeare’s Lolita,” Comparative Literature, Winter 2006, vol. 58, no. 1, 1-23.
  • “Perversion in Pnin (Reading Nabokov Preposterously),” Nabokov Studies, 7 (2002/2003).
  • “‘Introduction’ to Andrey Platonov, Happy Moscow, trans. by Robert Chandler. (London: Harvill Press, 2001).
  • “V zhopu prorubit’ okno: seksual’naia patologiia kak ideologicheskii kalambur u Andreia Platonova,” Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie, 32, 1998.
  • “Shklovsky’s Dog and Mulvey’s Pleasure: The Secret Life of Defamiliarization,” Comparative Literature, vol.50, no.4 (1998).
  • “When a Communist Writes Gothic: Aleksandra Kollontai and the Politics of Disgust,” Signs, vol. 22, no. 1, 1996.
  • “Historectomies: The Metaphysics of Reproduction in a Utopian Age,” in Sexuality and the Body in Russian Culture, ed. J. Costlow, S. Sandler and J. Vowles (Stanford Univeristy Press, 1993).
  • “Of Crime, Utopia and Repressive Complements: The Further Adventures of the Ridiculous Man.” Slavic Review, 50 (1991).