Gary Saul Morson Lawrence B. Dumas Professor of the Arts and Humanities

Research interests:

Prof. Morson's work ranges over a variety of areas: literary theory (especially narrative); the history of ideas, both Russian and European; a variety of literary genres (especially satire, utopia, and the novel); and his favorite writers -- Chekhov, Gogol, and, above all, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. He is especially interested in the relation of literature to philosophy.

Work currently in progress:

Professor Morson typically works on a number of projects at once.  He is working on a study of the Brothers Karamazov.

Selected publications:

  • Prosaics and other provocations; Empathy, open time, and the novel
  • The Long and the short of it: From aphorism to novel (top 5 finalist for the Christian Gauss award of Phi Beta Kappa)
  • Narrative and Freedom: The Shadows of Time
  • Mikhail Bakhtin: Creation of a Prosaics (co-authored with Caryl Emerson)
  • Hidden in Plain View: Narrative and Creative Potentials in "War and Peace"


Professor Morson has won "best book of the year" awards from the American Comparative Literature Association and the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages; he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and he is the only Northwestern professor to have held simultaneously two endowed chairs, one for research and one for teaching.

Courses taught in the last 3 years:

  • Undergraduate courses on the novels of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy.
  • Graduate courses devoted to single novels--Anna Karenina, The Brothers Karamazov, War and Peace, and The Idiot--and on Mikhail Bakhtin and on various topics in Russian intellectual history.