Alexander Solzhenitsyn, History, and Modernity

Project leader

Irina Karlsohn, PhD

Project period

Jan 2013 - December 2015

Project description

The aim of the project is to investigate the conception of history and time in the works of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The  question that is being asked is the following: what is Solzhenitsyn’s view of history as such – its driving forces and its leading actors. The question of Solzhenitsyn’s conception of modernity is also being raised. The project examines Solzhenitsyn’s conception of history as a complex conception which points in different directions and will hopefully cast light on the more general theme of Russian identity formation and Russian appropriation of the past.   

Relevant publications

Karlsohn, Irina. “History and Modernity in the Works of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn”, Toronto Slavic Quarterly, No 54, Fall 2015 (in print December 2015).

Work in progress: ”Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: History and Utopia”.

Relevant events


Irina Karlsohn, “Revolutionen hos Solzjenitsyn: att förstå sig själv genom den andre”. April 18, 2013 The Symposium “Det främmande ordet”, Stockholm (organisers: Kungliga Vitterhetsakademien, Sweden; Department of Slavic languages, Stockholm university, and UCRS)

Irina Karlsohn: “Solzhenitsyn kak istorik i ideolog”, 19th Congress of Scandinavian Slavists, Bergen, Norway, August 7-11 2013.

Coorganizer of the conference “Contemporary Russian Utopianism: Geopolitics and Identity”. Falun, Uppsala, 19-20 September 2013

Participation in the roundtable discussion ”Distantsionnoe obuchenie russkomu iazyku: problemy i perspektivy, XIII Congress of МАPRYAL (International Association of Teachers of Russian language and literature) «The Russian language and literature in the space of world culture». September 13-20, 2015 Granada, Spain.

Events: The lecture “Solzjenitsyn, samhället och historien”, Stockholm, October 7, 2015, Handelshögskolan, Stockholm. The organiser: Sällskapet för Studier av Ryssland, Central- och Östeuropa samt Centralasien.

Key words

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, conception of history, Reinhart Koselleck, Yurii Lotman, modernity, revolution, state