Report on the IDS Pre-symposium, August 2022

Prior to the upcoming XVIII Symposium, we held a workshop and a pre-symposium in Nagoya, Japan, at the venue where the symposium will take place next year. On August 8th a group of Dostoevsky scholars gathered at Nagoya University of Foreign Studies (NUFS) and held a workshop titled “Dostoevsky — Possibilities for Interpretation and Adaptation”, and on August 19th the pre-symposium, “The Mothers Karamazov” was held. Our president, Carol Apollonio, was present at both events.

At the workshop, conducted in Japanese and English and open to domestic audience online, Ikuo Kameyama, president of Nagoya University of Foreign Studies and the chair of the XVIII Symposium Organizing Committee, presented a thorough, in-depth reading of The Brothers Karamazov in his paper, “A Hidden Quotation in The Brothers Karamazov”. Masako Umegaki, NUFS vice president and a specialist in American literature and culture, gave a paper on the Dostoevskian themes and motifs in American films. Comments on the two presentations were given by Carol Apollonio, and a lively discussion followed. Vigorous exchanges continued, and the workshop was extended by two hours.

As previously announced, the pre-symposium on August 19th was open to all members of IDS. We were excited to find out that more than one hundred colleagues from around the world signed up to participate in the symposium. Considering the difficulty of participating “live” due to time differences, we made the recording available to those who wished to listen to the presentations at a more suitable time. Following the opening remarks by Ikuo Kameyama, the symposium began with a solid presentation by our ex-president, Vladimir Zakharov, “Who Became Alexey Fyodorovich Dostoevsky in the Novel The Brothers Karamazov?”. Papers given by two young Japanese scholars followed, which demonstrated that the past research achievements in Dostoevsky studies have been soundly passed on to our younger generation, suggesting a potential for further exploration in the field.

The pre-symposium was concluded with a fabulous keynote lecture, “The Mothers Karamazov”, by Carol Apollonio. The chapter of Carol Apollonio’s book, from which the lecture was taken, has been translated into Japanese and published, and the keynote lecture, which included new commentaries and presented with original visual images, were received with enthusiasm. The two commentators, Tetsuo Mochizuki and Go Koshino, actively responded with insightful comments, and the session provided inspiration to all.

We are pleased to report that both the workshop and the pre-symposium were a great success. The events this summer have given us the energy to move forward towards next year’s symposium. The preparation for the symposium is progressing well. Participants will be notified of the details of the symposium in due course.
(written by IDS Nagoya 2023 team)

Message from Ikuo Kameyama, Chair of the Organizing Committee
We thank Professor Apollonio for flying over to Nagoya to participate in the workshop and the pre-symposium. The events were academically stimulating and also held a symbolic significance, paving the way for the XVIII Symposium next year. We are expecting more than 150 colleagues from around the world to join us. We are very much looking forward to welcoming you all in Nagoya. I trust that we will overcome the difficulties and achieve the best we can, making the event memorable and meaningful to all us Dostoevsky scholars.

With best regards,
Ikuo Kameyama
President, Nagoya University of Foreign Studies