Catherine O’Neil is Assistant Professor of Russian at the United States Naval Academy. Her scholarship focuses on Russian imperial politics and literature in the period of Romanticism. Her previous publications include a monograph on Pushkin and Shakespeare (With Shakespeare’s Eyes, 2003) and several articles on Russian, English and Polish romanticism. She has also published several translations, most recently of the long poem by Polish poet Juliusz Slowacki, Agamemnon’s Tomb. The translation, as well as an extended commentary to it, will be published this fall. Her current work concerns Russian and Georgian cultural relations in the early 19th century, concentrating on the Russian poet Alexander Griboedov and the Georgian poet Alexander Chavchavadze.
The project concerns an essay by Alexander Chavchavadze, a Georgian statesman and poet, entitled “A Brief Historical Sketch of Georgia from the period 1801-1831” (1837). This document, addressed directly to Tsar Nicholas I, seems to have the aim of advising the tsar on the best way to govern its relatively new province in the Caucasus in peace. Dr. O'Neil will place this “Sketch” and its author in the developing national awareness of Georgia within the Russian Empire. The proposed study of the circumstances of Chavchavadze’s exile in Petersburg from 1834 to 1837, with particular focus on the composition of his historical essay on recent Georgian history, will contribute to understanding of the complex interactions between imperial subject and national identity in Imperial Russia.