Skip to main content

Mikhail Epstein

Emory University

Mikhail N. Epstein is a cultural and literary scholar. He is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Cultural Theory and Russian Literature at Emory University. He moved from the USSR to the USA in 1990. In 1990–1991, he was a fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and The Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, Washington, D.C. He has been teaching at Emory University since 1991. From 2012 to 2015, he served as Professor and Founding Director of the Centre for Humanities Innovation at Durham University (UK).

Epstein's research interests include new directions in the humanities; contemporary philosophy and religion, in particular the philosophy of culture and language; the poetics and history of Russian literature; postmodernism; and the evolution of language. Epstein has authored 40 books and more than 800 articles, some of which have been translated into 26 languages. His latest books include Ideas Against Ideocracy: Non-Marxist Thought of the Late Soviet Period (1953–1991) (2022);  The Phoenix of Philosophy: Russian Thought of the Late Soviet Period, 1953-1991 (2019); A Philosophy of the Possible: Modalities in Thought and Culture (2019); The Irony of the Ideal: Paradoxes of Russian Literature (2017). The Transformative Humanities: A Manifesto (2012).  

 He is а recipient of Andrei Bely Award (St. Petersburg, 1991), the prize of the London Institute of Social Inventions for intellectual creativity (1995), the International Essay competition award (Berlin-Weimar, 1999), and Liberty Prize (New York, 2000). His most complete bio– and bibliography is in: Homo Scriptor. Sbornik statei i materialov v chest' 70–letiia Mikhaila Epshteina (Homo Scriptor: A Collection of Articles and Materials in Honor of Mikhail Epstein's 70th Anniversary). Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, 2020, 688 pp.

View Articles:

A Futurist Turn in the Humanities

Philosophy, The State, and Plato-Marxism

Schizophrenic fascism: on Russia's war in Ukraine