Wesleyan portrait of Priscilla  Meyer

Priscilla Meyer

Professor of Russian Language and Literature, Emerita


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BA University of California, Berkeley
MA Princeton University
MAA Wesleyan University
PHD Princeton University

Priscilla Meyer

Priscilla Meyer is the author of How the Russians Read the French: Lermonstov, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy (2008), which was awarded the USC prize of AAASS (now ASEEES) for best book of literary and cultural studies on Russia and Eurasia for 2009. She is also a Nabokov scholar. Her book, Nabokov and Indeterminacy: the case of The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, 2018, like her monograph on Nabokov's Pale Fire (Find What the Sailor has Hidden, 1988), is rooted in subtext analysis: how does Nabokov create multiple ontological levels by constructing a dense web of hidden allusions in his fiction, which ultimately constitutes an arcane autobiography? Meyer's next book project will develop the work done in her course on Woody Allen and the Russian Novel, showing Allen's comedies to be motivated by serious questions about totalitarianism, death, and the afterlife.

Priscilla Meyer received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and her PhD from Princeton University. She was on Wesleyan's faculty from 1968 to 2018. In the Soviet period, she translated and published stories by and interviews with the leading writers, Vasily Aksenov, Andrei Bitov and Yuz Aleshkovsky, and brought Russian scholars, prose writers, poets and artists to lecture at Wesleyan. She has taught at Wesleyan's Center for Prison Education, and a graduate seminar at Yale University; she was invited to lecture in Kyoto and Tokyo by the Japanese Nabokov Society. She received the AATSEEL award for excellence in post-secondary teaching in 2015. The author of over 50 scholarly articles, and editor of books on Gogol, Dostoevsky, Nabokov, Andrei Bitov, and Yuz Aleshkovsky, she is on the boards of the Slavic and East European Journal, and of the International Nabokov Society.

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e-mail me at pmeyer@wesleyan.edu to arrange a meeting.