Lynn Ellen Patyk

Academic Appointments
  • Chair, Department of East European, Eurasian, and Russian Studies

  • Professor of East European, Eurasian, and Russian Studies

  • Associate Editor, The Russian Review

My work focuses on the intersection and interaction of politics, the arts, and media in Russia from the 19th – 21st century.  I am interested in the strategy and tactics of the democratic movement's struggle against autocracy, as well as the tactics of state and police repression. My focus has been the extreme modes of political communication deployed in this context and their symbiosis with various media forms.  My first book, Written in Blood: Revolutionary Terrorism and Russian Literary Culture, 1861-1881 (University of Wisconsin, 2017) examined the way in which Russian literature contributed to the emergence of modern terrorism in Russia by providing its moral justification and iconic image. My second book, Dostoevsky's Provocateurs (Northwestern University, 2023) argues that provocation is a key mechanism of Dostoevsky's novelistic art and integral to Dostoevskian dialogue as conceived by Mikhail Bakhtin. My third book, Funny Dostoevsky (forthcoming from Bloomsbury 2024) edited together with Irina Erman, places comedy and humor at the center of Dostoevsky's artistic and spiritual vision. Currently, I am working on Russian YouTube as an "alternative Russia," a home to Russian independent journalism, progressive stand-up comedy, and resistance to Putin's war of aggression in Ukraine.

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Reed, Room 213
HB 6085


  • A.B. Middlebury College
  • M.A. Stanford University (Russian and East European Studies)
  • Ph.D. Stanford University (Slavic Languages and Literatures)

Selected Publications

  • Dostoevsky's Provocateurs (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2023) 240pp.

  • Funny Dostoevsky ed. Lynn Ellen Patyk and Irina Erman (London: Bloomsbury, 2024)

  • "Dostoevskian Provocation and the Provocateurs Karamazov" in Slavonic and East European Review,  99 (1) January 2021, 41-70

  • "The Return of 'Provokatsiia' in Putin-Era Russia" Russian Review 79 (1)  January 2020, 83-112

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Works In Progress

Raising Russia, Fighting Fear (book manuscript, estimated date of completion 2026)