D. Brian Kim

Assistant Professor

D. Brian Kim holds a Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Stanford University, where he also received an M.A. in Japanese; he completed his B.A. in linguistics at Williams College. He is a specialist in Russian literature of the long nineteenth century, translation studies, and literary and cultural relationships between Russia, Western Europe, and East Asia.
Dr. Kim's research broadly asks how Russians viewed and engaged in communication across languages and cultures throughout history, both within the Russian Empire and beyond its borders, and what factors motivated writers, translators, and lexicographers as they pursued their work in transnational contexts. His current book project examines the cultures, practices, and ideologies of polylingualism in imperial Russia, focusing on the interplay between literature and education to investigate a national imaginary that sought to valorize foreign languages as a way to bridge various cultural gaps between Russia and points beyond.
At Penn, Dr. Kim regularly offers courses on nineteenth-century Russian literary and cultural history, including seminars on Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, as well as occasional seminars on such topics as Russian identity and its permutations in historical context, and the history and sociology of reading in imperial Russia.

Office Location

752 Williams Hall

Office Hours

F 1-3 (virtual) or by appt.


Selected Publications

“Foreign Interests: Nineteenth-Century Lexicography in Russia and Japan.” In The Whole World in a Book: Dictionaries in the Nineteenth Century. Ed. Sarah Ogilvie and Gabriella Safran. Oxford University Press, 2020. 17-33.
“Seduction, Subterfuge, Subversion: Ivan Krylov’s Rewriting of Molière.” In French and Russian in Imperial Russia: Language Attitudes and Identity. Ed. Derek Offord, Lara Ryazanova-Clarke, Vladislav Rjéoutski, and Gesine Argent. Edinburgh University Press, 2015. 139–155.

Courses Taught

Spring 2020 Courses
REES136 Portraits of Russian Society: Art, Fiction, Drama
REES683 Cultures of Reading in Imperial Russia