Ashley Morse

Ashley Morse

Ph.D. candidate in Slavic Languages and Literatures
Ashley Morse

Ashley Morse specializes in early modern Russian literature. Combining extensive archival research and close philological analysis of primary texts with a broad theoretical framework, his dissertation, “Miracle, Mystery, Authority: The Rise of Governmentality in Early Modern Russia,” examines the origins of the Petrine myth in the rhetoric of the didactic sermon, which rose to prominence at the Russian court in the seventeenth century. The dissertation is advised by Profs Weir, Flier, and Khitrova.

In addition to his dissertation, Ashley has recently presented on and coauthored a paper with Justin Willson, titled “Maksim Grek’s Letter against the Jerusalem Idea in Muscovy” (under review for publication).

While his dissertation is focused on early modern Russian literature, Ashley maintains a wide array of intellectual interests that ranges from ancient and medieval mysticism to the works of Vladimir Solovyov and the poetry of the Russian Symbolists. Key questions he continues to explore in his research and teaching are the relationship between language and experience, philosophy and art, faith and politics, and the nature of truth and the sacred.

As a Teaching Fellow he has taught first-year Russian both in-person and online. Ashley has also had the opportunity to teach ethical reasoning in the works of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy with Justin Weir and a class on the works of Chekhov with visiting professor Yuri Corrigan.

Beyond his academic interests, Ashley enjoys reading and translating, sailing, hiking, and rock climbing.

Ashley began his graduate studies in 2014, after spending two years teaching and working for a study abroad program in St. Petersburg, Russia. He studied Russian and German language and literature at the University of New Hampshire, where he was advised on his Honors in Major thesis by Ron LeBlanc.

In 2018-2019 Ashley was awarded a Fulbright Grant to Russia, where he was sponsored by the Higher School of Economics in Moscow and advised by M. S. Kiseleva.

Ashley’s research has been supported by the Gochman Slavic Research Fellowship, the Davis Center Maurice Lazarus Graduate Research Travel Award, and the Stephen Lessing Baehr and Irina Mess-Baehr Travel and Research Award. In 2020-2021, he received the GSAS Completion Fellowship at Harvard University. He plans to defend in fall 2021.

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