Ewa M. Thompson

  • Thompson
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University
Rayzor Hall 207
Research and Teaching: 

Russian and East Central European literature and culture

Ewa M. Thompson works in two areas. The first is Russian literature and culture. Here her work is marked by two books on literary and social culture in Russia, one dealing with the Russian phenomenon of “holy foolishness” (юродство) and the other with the features of Russian colonialism that set it apart from overseas colonialism of the European powers. The second area of her interest is literature and culture of East Central Europe, especially Poland, and epistemological differences between non-Germanic Central European cultures and the cultures of Russia and Germany. Here her work has produced a number of studies positing that the preservation in Poland of the tradition of philosophical realism going back to Aristotle and Aquinas has resulted in the appearance of Sarmatism and its modern and postmodern transformations.

Thompson has published scholarly articles in Slavic Review, Slavic and East European Journal, Modern Age, and other periodicals and has done consulting work for government and private institutions and foundations. She is Editor of Sarmatian Review, an academic quarterly on non-Germanic Central Europe.

Selected Publications: 
  • Imperial Knowledge: Russian Literaure and Colonialism (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2000).
  • Understanding Russia: The Holy Fool in Russian Culture (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1987).
  • The Search for Self-Definition in Russian Literature (Houston, TX: Rice University Press / Amsterdam: Benjamins, 1991).
  • Witold Gombrowicz (New York: Twayne, 1979).
  • Russian Formalism and Anglo-American New Criticism: A Comparative Study (Amsterdam: Mouton, 1971).
  • “Can We Communicate? On Epistemological Incompatibilities in Contemporary Academic Discourse,” in Mark O'Connor and Piotr Wilczek (eds.), College and the Academic Community in the European and American Tradition (Boston: Boston College and University of Warsaw Press, 2010), 205-11. 
  • “Postcolonial Russia,” in Prem Poddar, Rajeev S. Patke, and Lars Jensen (eds.), A Historical Companion to Postcolonial Literatures: Continental Europe and its Empires (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2008), 412-7.
  • “Postkolonialne refleksje,” Porownania 5 (2008), 113-26. 
  • “Imperskoe znanie: russkaia literatura i kolonializm,” Perekrestki 7/1-2 (2007), 32-75.
  • “Leo Tolstoy and the Idea of a Good Life,” in Lidia Liburska (ed.), Kultura rosyjska w ojczyznie i diasporze (Krakow: Jagiellonian University Press, 2007), 231-8.