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Lecture: The Network Shape of the Russian Novel

The Slavic Department (UNIL) and the dhCenter UNIL-EPFL are pleased to announce the lecture “The Network Shape of the Russian Novel” by Prof. Yuliya Ilchuk (Stanford University)


The Russian novel has been traditionally regarded as the novel of ideas, in which the conflicting views on the national identity and Russia’s relationship with the “other” are presented in the dramatized narrative. After Mikhail Bakhitn’s pioneering ideas of dialogism and polyphony of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novels it became especially common to view the novel as a balanced dramatization of conflicts among polar opposites. In my ongoing research project on the network analysis of Russian realist and modernist novels, I approach the character networks as models of an emerging liberal society which, on the one hand, captured the socio-political trends of the time and, on the other, provided Russian society with ideas how to shape a horizontal, heterarchical structure of social structure.

The talk will end with a brief workshop on network visualization techniques using the free software tool Gephi. We will go over data structure and formats, graph layouts, various features and controls that help highlight key aspects and uncover hidden patterns in the network of Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita.


  • Date and place: Wednesday 11th of December, at 4:15 pm, Anthropole – 4173, UNIL
From: 11 Dec, 2019
To: 11 Dec, 2019



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