Laurel Schmuck

Contact Information



  • B.A. Russian, University of Maryland, College Park, 12/2009
  • M.A. Russian, University of Southern California, 08/2013


Summary Statement of Research Interests

  • My research explores Tolstoy's philosophical influences, especially Rousseau--but also Greek and Buddhist influences, and their relationship with depictions of plants and animals in Tolstoy's works. I am also interested in biblical themes and devices in Tolstoy's writing and in Nabokov's engagement with the philosophical and aesthetic legacies of Tolstoy. In addition, I write about the confluence of erotic and aesthetic tendencies in Pushkin's poetry.

Research Keywords

  • Tolstoy, animals, Rousseau, Biblical themes, Nabokov, Pushkin, poetry

Conference Presentations

  • California Slavic Colloquium, 4/2014
  • “Rousseau and Russian Literature,” Gorky International Literature Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 11/2012
  • “Tolstoy and Rousseau,” Russian State Tolstoy Museum at Iasnaia Poliana, Russia, 6/2012
  • California Slavic Colloquium, 4/2012


  • Journal Article
    Schmuck, L. L. (2014). Isnopolianskii sbornik 2014. Russian State Tolstoy Museum. pp. 249-262.

Guest Lectures in Courses

  • SLL330: Russian Thought and Civilization Alcoholism in Russian and Venedict Erofeev's "Moscow to the End of the Line", 11/2012  

Honors and Awards

  • Center for Excellence in Teaching TA Fellow, 2014-2015