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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications

Evgenii Bershtein, assistant professor of Russian, has been named a Kone Fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies

PORTLAND, OR (November 24, 2004) - Evgenii Bershtein was nominated by Finnish scholars and appointed to the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies as a Kone Fellow. He will spend the summer of 2005 studying Russian Symbolism at the Helsinki University Library.

"The Collegium is a very intellectually exciting place, and I am happy to be reappointed as a Kone Fellow. In addition, the Slavonic collection at the Helsinki University Library is the best of its kind in Western Europe, especially for materials from the early twentieth century. It is a tremendous resource for me," Bershtein says.

Kone Fellows work on their research projects at the Collegium and present their work in public lectures and seminars. In May and June of 2004, Bershtein served as the first-ever Kone Fellow, studying Russian Symbolist theology. This coming summer, he will continue his work on sexual ideologies in Russia between 1905 and 1917 and make presentations in Helsinki, Berlin, and St. Petersburg.

Bershtein says he wants "to examine how the images of sexual decadence migrated from high Symbolist culture to revolutionary journalism that helped compromise the Old Regime in Russia. As does most of my research, this project combines literary study with the cultural history of sexuality."

The Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies ( is an independent institute within the University of Helsinki. Its aim is to enhance scholarly excellence within the humanities and social sciences, to endorse dialogue between different academic disciplines, and to promote the international recognition of Finnish scholars. The Collegium recruits its scholars on the basis of their individual merits, but it also considers the transdisciplinary potential of their research. The University of Helsinki has been ranked among the best research universities in Europe. The goal of the Collegium is to prop up the international role of the University concerning basic research in the humanities and social sciences.

Evgenii Bershtein
Bershtein grew up in Leningrad, Russia. He studied Russian literature and linguistics at Tartu University, Estonia, and received his Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from the University of California, Berkeley in 1998. He is the author of a number of articles on eighteenth-century Russian literature, contemporary Russian literature, and Russian Symbolist culture. His recent publications include the essays "The Russian Myth of Oscar Wilde," "Psychopathia Sexualis in Fin-de-Siècle Russia: Politics and Genre," as well as an essay examining Otto Weininger’s influence on Russian modernism.

Bershtein has been assistant professor of Russian at Reed since 1999. He offers courses in twentieth-century Russian literature, Russian and European Symbolism, Soviet and post-Soviet culture, the St. Petersburg myth in Russian literature, as well as seminars in Russian poetry. He also teaches intermediate and advanced Russian. He was Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harriman Institute for Russian Studies, Columbia University, where he worked on the book manuscript entitled Sexuality in Russian Symbolism.


Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, is an undergraduate institution of the liberal arts and sciences dedicated to sustaining the highest intellectual standards in the country. With an enrollment of about 1,360 students, Reed ranks third in the undergraduate origins of Ph.D.s in the United States and second in the number of Rhodes Scholars from a liberal arts college (31 since 1915). For more information, visit .