Literary scholar to speak on Bakhtin's life and works

by Aditya Dutt | 11/8/95 6:00am

Dartmouth's Montgomery Fellow for the Fall term and Russian intellectual Vyacheslav Ivanov will present a lecture on the life and writings of Mikhail Bakhtin in Sanborn today at 4 p.m.

Bakhtin, a Russian philosopher and literary scholar, was called an "exceptional figure both for his human qualities and scholarly ideas" by Ivanov in a recent press release.

According to Ivanov, Bhaktin's belief that genuine dialogue was essential to the health of a culture has particular meaning in the polarized politics of the times. "Dialogue in this case means the possibility of the coexistence of completely different points of view, a fruitful exchange," Ivanov said in the release.

Ivanov's work centers on cultural semiotics, the study of signs and symbols within a society. His writings have covered broad topics such as Russian literature, art, anthropology, philosophy, film and Russian language. In addition, he has published more than 1,000 articles, 20 books and has amassed a collection of essays, poems and memories.

The introduction of 'glasnost' into Russian politics allowed Ivanov to pursue scholarship outside his nation, a luxury he was denied for 30 years under the official communist doctrine.

Since 1991, Ivanov has divided his time between the Slavic languages and literature department at the University of Southern California and Moscow, where he is currently the director of the Institute of World Culture at Moscow University.

Today's lecture is one of two public lectures Ivanov will deliver at the College.