Dr. Alina Wyman

Professor of Russian Language and Literature


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Russian Language & Literature | Literature


Ph.D., University of Chicago
M.A., B.A., University of Illinois at Chicago

Alina Wyman specializes in 19th-century Russian literature and 20th-century critical theory. She is especially interested in the intersection of literature and philosophy. Her current work focuses on interpreting and extending the theories of Mikhail Bakhtin and using them in innovative literary analysis. Other prominent areas of research include German phenomenologist Max Scheler, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Belarusian literature.

She has published articles on Bakhtin, Scheler, Dostoevsky, Gogol, Tolstoy and on medieval Slavic literary tradition. Her first book, The Gift of Active Empathy: Scheler, Bakhtin, and Dostoevsky (Northwestern University Press, 2016) analyzes Mikhail Bakhtin’s and Max Scheler’s related theories of empathetic understanding and explores their relevance to Dostoevsky’s fictional world.

In addition to teaching all levels of Russian language, Professor Wyman offers a variety of courses in Russian literature and culture.

Recent Courses

Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Major Novels
The Russian City as a Cultural Focus: Picturing, Narrating and Living the Urban Dream
Nabokov’s Early Novels: Resident and Stranger
Women in Russian Literature
Beginning Russian I and II
Intermediate Russian I and II

Selected Publications


The Gift of Active Empathy: Scheler, Bakhtin, and Dostoevsky, Northwestern University Press, 2016, 323 pp. ISBN 9780810133365, ISBN 9780810133372, ISBN 9780810133389


“Interpretation as Revelation: Logos and the Authorial Word in Kirill of Turov’s Palm Sunday Sermon (“Slovo na Verbnitsu”), Russian History, April 2017.
“Discourse and Intercourse in The Kreutzer Sonata: A Schelerian Perspective.” Christianity and Literature. March 2015; vol. 64, no 2: pp. 147-170.
“Gogol’s Urban Labyrinth: The Treatment of Space in Nevsky Prospekt.” Short Story Criticism: Criticism of the Works of Short Fiction Writers, vol 153. Detroit, New York, San Francisco, New Haven, Conn., Waterville, Maine, London: Gale Cengage Learning, 2012. pp. 140-155
“Bakhtin and Scheler: Toward a Theory of Active Understanding.”  Slavonic and East European Review, vol. 86, no 1, January 2008: pp. 58-89.
“The Specter of Freedom: Ressentiment and Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground.”  Studies in East European Thought (2007) 59:  pp.119-140.
“Revisiting Early Bakhtin: Problematic Aspects of Vzhivanie.” Proceedings of the XII International Bakhtin Conference, Jyvaskyla, July 18-22, 2005. Ed. Mika Lähteenmäki, Hannele Dufva, Sirpa Leppanen & Piia Varis. Jyvaskyla, Finland, 2006. pp. 414- 423