Photo of Dana Dragunoiu

Dana Dragunoiu

Degrees:B.A. Honours (University of Windsor), M.A. (University of London), Ph.D. (University of Toronto)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 1556
Office:1925 Dunton Tower

Research Interests

  • Anglo-American and European literature (with a focus on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries)
  • Ethics and intellectual history
  • Vladimir Nabokov studies

Current Research

My first book is a study of the Russo-American novelist Vladimir Nabokov’s absorption of specific Russian strains of political and ethical liberalism. I am currently working on a second book that examines Nabokov’s ethics through the lens of the writers he loved and loathed most intensely—Pushkin, Shakespeare, Tolstoy, and Dostoevsky. After I completing this project, I plan on developing a research program that will further extend my scholarly investment in the relationship between literature and moral philosophy. This third book will seek to provide an account of courtesy in the work of Henry James, Marcel Proust, Virginia Woolf, and Vladimir Nabokov.

Honours and Awards

Carleton University Teaching Achievement Award 2016

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Teaching Achievement Award 2015

Finalist for the 2012 Capital Educators’ Award

Carleton University Research Achievement Award 2011

SSHRC 4A Faculty Research Grant, Faculty of Arts and Science 2003

Visiting Research Fellow, Department of English, Princeton University 2001

SSHRC Post-Doctoral Fellowship 2000

SSHRC Doctoral 1996

Commonwealth Scholarship, University of Otago, New Zealand (declined) 1999

Commonwealth Scholarship, University of London, United Kingdom 1995


Vladimir Nabokov and the Poetics of Liberalism, Northwestern University Press, 2011.

Issued in paperback in 2012.

Peer-Refereed Essays

Lolita: Nabokov’s Rewriting of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov.” Nabokov Studies 13 (2014): 20-32.

“Neo’s Kantian Choice:  The Matrix Reloaded and the Limits of the Posthuman.” Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature 40.4 (2007): 51-67.

“J.M. Coetzee’s Life & Times of Michael K and the Thin Theory of the Good.” The Journal of Commonwealth Literature 41.1 (2006): 69-92.

“Vladimir Nabokov’s Ada:  Art, Deception, Ethics.” Contemporary Literature 46.2  (2005): 311-39.

“Psychoanalysis, Film Theory, and the Case of Being John Malkovich.” Film Criticism 26.2 (2001-2002): 1-18.

“Vladimir Nabokov’s Invitation to a Beheading and the Russian Radical Tradition.”  Journal of Modern Literature 25.1 (2001): 53-69.

“Fundamental Ambiguities:  Existential Freedom and Responsibility in J.M. Coetzee’s Foe.”  Critique:  Studies in Contemporary Fiction 42.3 (2001): 309-26.

“Hemingway’s Debt to Stendhal’s Armance in The Sun Also Rises.”  Modern Fiction Studies 46.4 (2000): 868-92.

“Dialogues with Berkeley:  Idealist Metaphysics and Epistemology in Nabokov’s Bend Sinister.”  Nabokov Studies 5 (1998/1999): 47-62.

Essays in Books 

“Nabokov and Liberalism” in Nabokov in Context. Edited by David Bethea and Siggy Frank. Cambridge UP, 2016. Forthcoming.

“On Pity and Courtesy in Nabokov’s Ethics.” Edited by Brian Boyd and Marijeta Bozovic. Nabokov Upside Down. Evanston: Northwestern UP, 2016.

Essays Translated by Others 

Życie i czasy Michaela K: J.M. Coetzeego i wąska teoria dobra.” Trans. Piotr Jakubowski. In Wielcy artyści ucieczek: Eseje o Życiu i czasach Michaela K J.M. Coetzeego w trzydziestą rocznicę publikacji powieści. Ed. Piotr Jakubowski and M. Jankowska. Kraków: “Ha!art,” 2013. [“J.M. Coetzee’s Life & Times of Michael K and the Thin Theory of the Good,” in Great Escape Artists: Essays on J.M. Coetzee’s Life & Times of Michael K on the 30th Anniversary of Its Publication. Eds. Piotr Jakubowski and M. Jankowska. Cracow: Ha!Art, 2013]

Recent Presentations

“Liar! Or the Untold Story of Mira Belochkin in Pnin.” ASEEES (Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies) 49th Annual Convention, November 9-12, 2017.

“Time and Memory in Nabokov’s Lolita and Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu.” Vladimir Nabokov and the Fictions of Memory International Conference. Warsaw, Poland. September 22-23, 2016.

“The Senses Don’t Make Sense: Nabokov and Proust.” “Do the Senses Make Sense?”: The Five Senses in Nabokov’s Work. International Conference organized by the French Vladimir Nabokov Society. Biarritz, France. April 28-May 1, 2016.

“The Deception of Art and the Art of Deception: Nabokov’s Pale Fire and Tolstoy’s War and Peace.” ASEEES (Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies) 47th Annual Convention, Boston, November 19-22, 2015.

“Nabokov’s Lolita and Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov.” ASEEES (Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies) 45th Annual Convention, Boston, November 21-24, 2013.

“Honor, Cosmopolitanism, and the Franco-Russian Dueling Code.” “Nabokov and France” Conference, Paris, France, May 30-June 2, 2013.

“Vladimir Nabokov and the Autonomy of the Good.”  At “Nabokov Upside Down” Conference, Auckland, January 2012.

“Vladimir Nabokov’s Poetics of Courtesy.”  At CAAS (Canadian Association of American Studies), Ottawa, November 2011.

“Vladimir Nabokov:  Russian Liberal in America.”  At AAASS (American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies), Los Angeles, November 2010.

“Vladimir Nabokov and the Crimean Regional Government.”  At ALA (American Literature Association), San Francisco, May 2010.

“Russian Liberals, American Communists, and Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita.” At American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, Boston, November 2009.

“Vladimir Nabokov’s Anti-Darwinism and the Russian Neo-Idealist Tradition.” At American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, Philadelphia, November 2008.

Recent Graduate Courses

ENGL 5606: Nabokov’s Lolita and Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov 

ENGL 5606: Tolstoy’s War and Peace and Nabokov’s Pale Fire

ENGL 5606: Kant and the Modern Novel

ENGL 5603: Vladimir Nabokov in Context

ENGL 5607: The New Liberal Imagination

ENGL 5607: Vladimir Nabokov:  Fiction, Philosophy, Politics

Ph.D. Dissertation Committees

Alicha Keddy. Dissertation on Modernist women writers. To be defended 2017.

Doctoral Dissertations Examined

Roy Groen, Nabokov in Conversation: A Philosophico-Critical Exploration of the Moral Dimension of His American Works. Principal supervisors: Prof. dr. S.A. Levie and Prof. dr. P.M.J. van Tongeren. Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. 15 November 2016.