Work in the field of literary theory is aimed at identifying, collecting, fixing, analyzing and systematizing Russian literature subjects. This makes it possible to study the lines of continuity between ancient and new Russian literature in the context of world literature developments. Research is being conducted on historical, literary and theoretical aspects: the identification of cross-cutting stories that persist in literature during various periods of its development, the evolution of subjects and motifs in literature from different epochs, the influence of documentary genres on artistic literature, and the intertextual connections of literary works with the discursive strategies of modern verbal culture.  Aspects related to the genesis and patterns of the development of new indigenous literature in Siberia and the Far East are also being studied.

The main scientific objective for this research is the creation of a "Dictionary of Plots and Motives in Russian Literature" that has no analogue in Russian science. The first publication in the series presents a collection of individual biblical, apocryphal, mythological subjects, as well as stories about tsars and rulers (2003). The second issue (2006) consists of two thematic blocks: "Calendar subjects" (Easter and the holy story) and "Western European subjects on Russian soil". The third issue is devoted to ancient subjects in Russian literature (part 1, 2008, part 2, 2009).  Dictionary publications are also planned including sections on thanatology related subjects and plots with animals, plants and natural phenomena", etc.

Other current projects include:

  •  "The Poetics of Fiction in Dynamic Dimensions of Motifs, Plots and Genres". The aim of this research is the poetics of literature as a system that unites the units of artistic language in literature, the principles of artistic structure in the literary work and aspects of the literary tradition. The primary focus is Russian literature.
  •  "Evolution of Narrative Genres in Russian literature: From the Middle Ages to the New Times". Particular attention is paid to the parable genre as it is functioning in different epochs and is characterized by special features with a common foundation.
  •  "Literature and History: Spheres of Interaction and Types of Narrative" is being implemented together with the Institute of History and Archeology at the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Its purpose is to analyze the forms of interaction between history and literature as different ways of describing reality, to analyze the refraction of documentary discourse in domestic literature, including regional, and to describe the types of narratives that develop in the process of this interaction.

Lead Expert: Dr. and Professor Igor Vitalievich Silantyev, ifl@philology.nsc.ru

Institute for the Humanities Department

Philology Institute, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences