Institute of Scientific Information for Social Sciences
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
The Journal of Literary History and Theory
Peer-reviewed Academic Journal


Brandist C.


The ideas of the Bakhtin Circle, specifically those of Bakhtin and Tubianskii are discussed with regard to the contemporary project to decolonise the university curriculum. The anti-colonial aspects of the work of the circle, which are mainly implicit rather than explicitly stated, are emphasised in relation to the semantic palaeontology Bakhtin adopted and developed from scholars such as Marr, Frank-Kamenetskii and Freidenberg on the one hand and Tubianskii’s discussion of the ideas of Tagore on the other. Links with the early anti-caste movement and contemporary Soviet Indology are drawn and are contrasted with perspectives current in so-called “subaltern studies”. It is suggested that, suitably revised and developed, Bakhtinian ideas can contribute to combatting colonial bases within universities.


сolonialism; semantic palaeontology; Mikhail Bakhtin; Nikolai Marr; Mikhail Tubianskii.





For citation

Brandist, C. “The Bakhtin Circle and the East (or What Bakhtinian Ideas Tell Us about ‘Decolonising the Curriculum’)”. Literaturovedcheskii zhurnal, no. 4(54), 2021, pp. 212–229.

DOI: 10.31249/litzhur/2021.54.13


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