The Nabokov Symposium
at the St. Petersburg V. V. Nabokov Museum

July 15-19, 2002

On July 15-19, 2002, the Nabokov Museum in St. Petersburg will hold its first international Nabokov Symposium. Its goal is to allow established scholars and their promising young colleagues to share their latest ideas and discoveries in the field of Nabokov studies and to explore Nabokov's St. Petersburg during the White Nights season.

The Nabokov Museum has hosted other Nabokov conferences, such as the Annual Nabokov Readings Series (1998-2000), "Nabokov and Britain" (April 1999), "Nabokov and Germany" (October 1999), and "Nabokov and France" (May 2001). Dmitri Nabokov came to St. Petersburg in February, 2001, to open the International Copyright Conference which was part of the museum's ongoing Copyright Monitoring program. Despite the ever-increasing number of books and articles on Nabokov the Nabokov Symposium in St. Petersburg will be the first international Nabokov conference since 1999.


The Nabokov Symposium is organized by the Nabokov Museum with the support of the U.S. Consulate General in St. Petersburg. Brian Boyd (University of Auckland, New Zealand), Donald Barton Johnson (University of California at Santa Barbara, USA), and Alexander Dolinin (University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA) have agreed to participate in the coordinating committee of the symposium.

Scholars are invited to send their applications [see application form, in Word format] and abstracts to Ms. Tatiana Ponomareva ( at the Nabokov Museum. Abstracts of 150-250 words with the author's name and e-mail/fax address will be sent to the members of the coordinating committee for evaluation. The committee will also participate in shaping up the conference program, arranging schedules of and inviting mediators for symposium sessions, and editing the proceedings of the symposium.

Thematic Lines

The themes of the symposium will include, but are not limited to, the following:

1). Nabokov and the United States (poetics of VN's later works, VN's "American" biography and bibliography, VN's translations of Russian works into English, VN's influence on contemporary American literature, etc.);

2). St. Petersburg and Russia in Nabokov's Oeuvre (this theme allows a broad range of interpretation of VN's "Russian" and "American" novels with the focus on their reflecting his Russian and especially St. Petersburg background);

3). Beyond Nabokov's Metaphysics: "This world" in VN's fiction and poetry (scholars presenting papers on this theme are encouraged to compare VN's metaphysics with the representations of "so-called 'reality'" in his works);

4). Nabokov's Butterflies (VN's Lepidoptera, butterfly imagery in VN's fiction, comparison of VN's approaches to nature and to fiction, etc.);

5). Nabokov Texts and Editions (Rowohlt [German], Pléiade [French], and Symposium [Russian] collected Nabokov editions, Nabokov's Butterflies, new Nabokov-Wilson Letters [Dear Bunny, Dear Volodya], the prospects for publication of new material by Nabokov, including a bilingual annotated edition, the problems and principles of Nabokov bibliography and keeping track of what has been written on Nabokov, etc.);

6). Teaching Nabokov (various aspects of teaching Nabokov at the university and college level; textbooks and other teaching materials in the field of Nabokov Studies; "close reading" of VN's texts and the reading strategies incorporated in his novels, etc.).

Preliminary Schedule

July 15, Monday
General Session of the Symposium
9.30 - 10.00 am: Registration
10.00 - 10.30 am: Official opening
10.30 - 12.00 pm: Keynote speaker(s)
12.00 - 1.00 pm: Lunch
1.00 - 3.00 pm: Papers
3.00 - 3.30 pm: Coffee break
3.30 - 5.00 pm: Tour of the Nabokov Museum and its collections
7.00 - 9.00 pm: Dinner / reception (optional)

July 16, Tuesday
Session 1: St. Petersburg and Russia in Nabokov's Oeuvre
10.00 - 11.30 am: Papers
11.30 - 12.00 am: Coffee-break
12.00 - 1.30 pm: Papers
1.30 - 2.30 pm: Lunch
Session 2: Nabokov Texts and Editions
2.30 - 5.00 pm: Papers
5.00 - 5.30 pm: Coffee-break
5.30 - 7.00 pm: Tour of Nabokov sites in St. Petersburg (optional)

July 17, Wednesday
Session 3: Nabokov and the United States
10.00 - 11.30 am: Papers
11.30 - 12.00 am: Coffee-break
12.00 - 1.30 pm: Papers
1.30 - 2.30 pm: Lunch
Session 4: Nabokov's Butterflies
2.30 - 5.00 pm: Papers
5.00 - 5.30 pm: Coffee-break
5.30 - 7.00 pm: "The 'Silver Age' in St. Petersburg" Tour (optional)

July 18, Thursday Session 5: Beyond Nabokov's Metaphysics 10.00 - 11.30 am: Papers
11.30 - 12.00 am: Coffee-break
12.00 - 1.30 pm: Papers
1.30 - 2.30 pm: Lunch
Session 6: Teaching Nabokov
2.30 - 5.00 pm: Papers
5.00 - 5.30 pm: Coffee-break
5.30 - 7.00 pm: "Pushkin's St. Petersburg" Tour (optional)

July 19, Friday
Tour of the Nabokov Family Estates near St. Petersburg
10.00 am: Bus leaves from the Nabokov Museum for Rozhdestveno
12.00 pm: Arrival in Rozhdestveno
12.00 - 4.00 pm: Picnic lunch; walking tour of the estates
4.00-5.00 pm: Visit to the Station-Master's Museum in Vyra
5.00 - 6.30 pm: Dinner at the Station-Master's restaurant in Vyra
6.30 - 8.30 pm: Trip back to St. Petersburg

Language, Papers, and Presentations

English will be the official language of the Nabokov Symposium. Exception will be made for established Russian scholars whose papers require translation into English.

The length of each presentation should not exceed 20 minutes; 5-10 minutes will be allowed after each paper for questions and answers. Papers given in Russian should be shorter as to allow time for consecutive translation.

Morning sessions will be longer as to allow 6-8 papers to be presented. Shorter afternoon sessions will allow for 4-6 papers. Established scholars will be invited as mediators to coordinate each session of the symposium.

Younger scholars and especially participants of the Nabokov 101 Summer International School are encouraged to present their papers in poster format. Poster papers should not exceed 2,500 words, including bibliography and footnotes. Participants presenting poster papers will be required to submit full texts of their papers, with footnotes and bibliography, in an appropriate academic format, by July 1, 2002. Preference would be given to poster papers in English, although poster papers in other languages may be accepted for translation (for additional fee). Symposium organizers will format, print out, and mount poster papers.

Overhead projectors and other technical props will be available for presentations.

Abstracts and Proceedings

The symposium organizers will publish abstracts of all participating scholars for distribution during the registration session. Symposium proceedings will be published in English and Russian, possibly in a CD-ROM format, after all participants submitted full texts of their papers to organizers. Preferable deadline for paper submissions will be July 19, the last day of the symposium.


Deadline for submitting applications and abstracts is February 1, 2002.

Official invitations to the Nabokov Symposium will be e-mailed or faxed to the applicants before March 1, 2002.

Visa invitation application forms along with xerox copies of passport photo spreads should be sent to the Nabokov Museum no later than May 1, 2002.

After the receipt of the official visa invitation from the Nabokov Museum, participants of the symposium should start the process of visa application in their countries no later than on June 1, 2002.

Participants are encouraged to arrive in St. Petersburg on July 13, Saturday, or July 14, Sunday.

The symposium will end on July 19, 2002, with a trip to Nabokov family estates in the Gatchina region near St. Petersburg. Your departure from St. Petersburg could be scheduled for any of the consecutive days.

On Monday, July 22, the 10-day Nabokov 101 International Summer School will begin. Those who are interested in participating in it, should contact symposium organizers for additional information.

Visas and Accommodation

Symposium organizers will prepare official visa invitations for all participants, provided they submitted necessary information and documents by May 1, 2002. The cost of visa invitations is $35 per person. Spouses and other guests will require separate visa invitations.

Participants will be charged for their visa invitations upon their arrival in St. Petersburg. Please note that the failure to show up or the refusal to pay for the visa invitation would affect the (rather strained) budget of the Nabokov Museum.

Participants will be responsible for getting Russian visas from consulates and embassies in their countries. Visa information and questionnaire for visa invitations will be e-mailed or faxed to participants along with the official invitation to the symposium.

Those interested in getting Russian visas independently, such as through a travel agent, should notify symposium organizers in advance.

Symposium organizers will make reservations at local hotels for all participants. The list of hotels with prices and their proximity to the Nabokov Museum will be send upon request. We recommend that all our guests stay at the Oktyabr'skaya Hotel in Vosstaniya Square. The cost of 1-night single room accommodation there is $45-50. The number of inexpensive rooms is limited; all arrangements should be made well in advance.

The Nabokov Museum and Its Facilities

The St. Petersburg V.V. Nabokov Museum is located in the Nabokov family mansion at 47 Bolshaya Morskaya Street. It opened in April, 1998. Being the only literary museum in St. Petersburg not controlled by the state and one of the few private museums in Russia in general, the Nabokov Museum is proud of its Western-style management, new fundraising strategies, and a fresh program of activities that is making its name known in St. Petersburg and its goal to promote Vladimir Nabokov's legacy in Russia and all over the world achievable.

The Nabokov Symposium will be held in the library of the Nabokov Museum, a 70-sq. m. room which formerly contained the 11,000 volume library of the Nabokov family. The room can fit 50 people. Other rooms, such as the 100-sq. m. Central Hall, the Dining Room, and the Gallery will also be available for various events of the symposium.

Call for Books and Other Library Donations

With the help of its friends and patrons, the Nabokov Museum has collected a small library of first editions of Nabokov works as well as of books, magazines, and other materials about Vladimir Nabokov, his art, and his family. We would greatly appreciate your participation in enlarging our library and turning it into a valuable resource for Nabokov scholars. Your donations of various editions of Nabokov works, from first editions to used paperbacks, and of your own publications on Nabokov, including xerox copies of your articles and other papers, would be most welcome. We always specify the name of the giver and the date of donation on a special card inserted in or attached to each library item.

Costs and Budget Points

Registration/participation fee: $300 (includes one copy of Abstracts; one copy of Conference Proceedings after their publication; handouts; coffee-breaks, use of the museum's Internet facilities; tour of the Nabokov Museum and its collections on the first day of the symposium). Some of the money will go to benefit the development of the Nabokov Museum, which greatly relies on its sponsors and friends for financial support.

Registration fee for students and scholars giving poster papers: $150

Registration fee for Nabokov 101 participants: $100

Cost of visa invitation: $35 per person.

Cost of airport /hotel transfer: $10 per transfer

Lunches: $6 per person per meal if arranged by the Nabokov Museum at a restaurant in Bolshaya Morskaya Street (optional).

Dinner / Reception: $20 per person (optional).

Accommodation: $45 - $250, depending on the type of hotel. For families, rent of private apartments at $50 per night can be arranged. The number of such apartments is limited.

Cost of Tours (optional):

Tour of the Nabokov Estates: $30 per person.
Tour of the Nabokov Sites: $5 per person (walking); $15 per person (by bus).
"The 'Silver Age' in St. Petersburg" Tour: $15 per person (by bus)
"Pushkin's St. Petersburg" Tour: $6 per person (walking); $15 per person (by bus).

Participants will be responsible for acquiring international health insurance valid in Russia for themselves and those who will accompany them.

Payment Techniques

Participants will be asked to pay their registration, visa invitation, lunch and dinner/reception fees in U. S. dollars or Russian rubles at the registration on the first day of the symposium. Although we prefer payments in cash, the Nabokov Museum will issue official receipts for registration fees and other payments to those who require it. You will be paying for your hotel and/or apartment independently. We would appreciate your paying for chosen tours at the registration as well.

Information about various currencies operating in Russia and on using credit cards and travelers' checks will be sent upon request.

Contact Information

The Nabokov Symposium coordinators:

Ms. Tatiana Ponomareva
Ms. Olga Voronina

Mailing address: Nabokov Museum, 47 Bolshaya Morskaya St., St.Petersburg, 190000, Russia. Tel/fax: + 7(812) 315-47-13.

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