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MELODRAMATIC SCENARIOS AND MODES OF MARGINALITY: THE POETICS OF ANTON CHEKHOV’S EARLY DRAMA AND OF FIN-DE-SIÈCLE RUSSIAN POPULAR DRAMA by Mila B. Shevchenko A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Slavic Languages and Literatures) in The University of Michigan 2008 Doctoral Committee: Associate Professor Michael Makin, Chair Professor Bogdana Carpenter Associate Professor Alina M. Clej Associate Professor Herbert J. Eagle
Mila B. Shevchenko © ——————————— 2008 All Rights Reserved
ii DEDICATION To my mother Stefanka, my sister Maya, and in loving memory of my father, Boris Alekseevich Shevchenko.
iii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I have been blessed with an incredible support system: my family, my teachers and mentors, my fellow graduate students and colleagues, my friends. Every one of them supported me and inspired me in his/her own unique way for which I am eternally grateful and indebted. I express my profound gratitude to my dissertation committee: Professor Michael Makin, Professor Bogdana Carpenter, Professor Herbert Eagle, and Professor Alina Clej. Michael Makin stepped in as my thesis advisor and chair at a crucial moment of my graduate tenure. His patience, support, encouragement, and great ideas were invaluable, but more importantly, he believed in me and my project and that was the driving force behind my writing and my success in my debut on the job market. Michael has one of the most generous and kind hearts I know. Herbert Eagle, with all his busy schedule of a Department Chair, was more than generous with his time, comments, insights, and encouragement. Professor Carpenter was that member of committee who was with me from the very inception of my project. She has been my female role model in academia. We share a passion for close reading and theater and her course in Slavic Drama taught me a great deal about analysis of dramatic writing and teaching drama. Alina Clej’s course in Fin-de-Siècle: Representations of Women
iv was my great inspiration in my choosing the topic of my dissertation. I was fascinated by her style of teaching– you do not see that often such ease, elegance and sophistication all together. My “second round of applause” goes to the institutions which supported me throughout the years. My home Slavic Department was more than generous with all kind of support: funding, logistics, encouragement. For my summer teaching, the regular trips to conferences, the research trip to Russia and many, many more, I owe thanks to the incredible help of the Department. I feel there at home and hope to stay this way. Horace. H. Rachkam School of Graduate Studies and the Center for Russian and East European Studies also supported immensely my research and my professional development. The Center for the Education of Women’s 2004-2005 CEW Margaret Dow Towsley Scholarship was my main resource to fund my research trip to Moscow – thank you! Here is the place to extend my gratitude to Sheri Sytsema-Geiger, Amanda Apostol, Sara Hallum, and Rachell Grubb for their time, attention and support.

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