Dostoevsky in Russian Language Textbooks for Americans



The article examines Russian language textbooks written by American authors in order to identify the attitude of their authors to the work and personality of F. M. Dostoevsky. The article reveals the reasons that prompted American scholars to promote the introduction of teaching of the Russian language in the curriculum of American universities, one of them being appreciation of the role of Russian literature in the world. Therefore, this article examines the issue of how the life and work of one of the leading Russian writers of the second half of the XIX century Dostoevsky reflected in the textbooks of the Russian language for Americans. The author of the article examines more than 50 textbooks of Russian as a foreign language published in the United States in the period from the beginning of the twentieth century to our time. Using the method of continuous sampling, the author selects contexts in the textbooks in focus dedicated to Dostoevsky, divides them into groups, and reveals the degree of interest of American compilers of Russian textbooks in Dostoevsky - the writer and the person. The author concludes that, despite the interaction of cultures in the modern world and the interest in Russian literature in the United States, the number of references to Dostoevsky in the American textbooks of the Russian language is small, and the contexts containing his name – not very informative.

General Information

Keywords: Russian Language Textbooks for Americans, Interaction of Cultures, Linguodidactic Potential, Dostoevsky's Creativity, Global Context

Journal rubric: General and Comparative Historical Linguistics

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Zenkevich I.V. Dostoevsky in Russian Language Textbooks for Americans [Elektronnyi resurs]. Âzyk i tekst = Language and Text, 2020. Vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 101–108. DOI: 10.17759/langt.2020070110. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Irina V. Zenkevich, senior lecturer of the Department of Linguodidactics and Intercultural Communication, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education (MSUPE), Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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