Harsha Ram

Slavic Languages and Literatures, Comparative Literature

Harsha Ram teaches in the Departments of Comparative Literature and Slavic Languages and Literatures. He is also affiliated with the Department of Italian Studies and the Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory. He has B.A. Honours degrees in Russian and Italian literatures from the University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney respectively, and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Yale University.

His teaching and research interests include Russian and European romanticism and modernism, the Russian and European avant-gardes, Russian, European, Near Eastern and South Asian poetic traditions, Indian literature, Italian literature, Georgian history and literature, theories of world literature, literary theory, comparative poetics, genre theory, literary history, comparative modernisms and modernities, vernacular and high culture, the cultural and political history of Russia-Eurasia and the Caucasus, postcolonial studies, theories of nationalism, imperialism and cosmopolitanism, the city and literature.

Harsha Ram’s first book, The Imperial Sublime (2003) addressed the relationship between poetic genre, aesthetic theory, territorial space and political power in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Russian literature. His recent publications chiefly concern Russian-Georgian and Russian-Italian literary relations in the context of theories of world literature and comparative modernisms. His second book, The Scale of Culture. City, Nation, Empire and the Russian-Georgian Encounter, seeks to provide a historical account of cultural relations between Georgian and Russian artists and writers during the imperial and early Soviet eras, while at the same time offering a site-specific case study of how a “peripheral” city on the margins of multiple regional systems negotiated the challenges of historical modernity and aesthetic modernism. His third book project concerns the Russian contribution to the theory and practice of World Literature, from the theoretical insights of Aleksandr Veselovskii to the utopian geopoetics of Velimir Khlebnikov to the institutional ramifications of Soviet literature as a multiethnic project.