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thompson
Ewa M. Thompson
Professor of Slavic Studies

ethomp@rice.edu
(713) 348-5451

Ewa M. Thompson received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Vanderbilt University in 1967, her B.A. from the University of Warsaw in 1963, and her M.F.A. from the Sopot Conservatory of Music in the same year. Her dissertation, Russian Formalism and Anglo-American New Criticism, was published by Mouton in 1971. She subsequently wrote Understanding Russia: The Holy Fool in Russian Culture (University Press of America, 1987), dealing with the connection between certain aspects of Russian Orthodoxy and shamanism (translated into Chinese and published in two separate editions in 1998 and 1995); Witold Gombrowicz (Twayne Publishers, 1979), a book on a Polish-born author who resided in Argentina (published in Polish translation in 2002); and Imperial Knowledge: Russian Literature and Colonialism (Greenwood Press, 2000). The Polish translation, Trubadurzy imperium, also appeared in 2000; translations into Chinese, Ukrainian, Belarusan, and Russian followed. Thompson is the founder and editor of Sarmatian Review, a scholarly journal on the history, culture, and society of non-Germanic Central Europe. Her present research interests include white-on-white colonialism in Europe as reflected in imaginative literature (a recent article compares Tolstoy's imperial novel War and Peace with Stefan Zeromski's novel Ashes whose parameters are circumscribed by colonialism); nationalism in literature; and several Russian and Polish authors including Fyodor Dostoevsky, Leo Tolstoy, Juliusz Slowacki, Cyprian Norwid and Zbigniew Herbert. Her articles on overcoming epistemological problems of postmodernism have appeared in Modern Age.

 

In 2015, two of Thompson’s books appeared in translation: Imperial Knowledge came out in Hungarian, and the third Chinese edition of Understanding Russia was published in Beijing.  In 2014 Thompson received the Integrity and Courage Medal awarded by the President Lech Kaczynski Award Committee in Poland. In 2015 Thompson was honored by the annual Literary Prize of the Society of Polish Writers Abroad. The Award was bestowed on her during a ceremony in London on March 20, 2016.