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Italian University Backtracks on Banning Teaching Course on Dostoevsky Because He’s Russian

The University of Milano-Bicocca has released a statement on its social media accounts confirming the course would go ahead.

Italian University Course on DostoevskyItalian University Course on Dostoevsky | OyeYeah News

Italy’s main University in Milan had almost banned a course on Fyodor Dostoevsky from teaching because he is a Russian writer due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine!

However, the decision is reported to be revoked following massive backlash on social media.

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, sometimes transliterated as Dostoyevsky, was a Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, and journalist.

Dostoevsky’s most acclaimed novels include Crime and Punishment (1866), The Idiot (1869), Demons (1872), and The Brothers Karamazov (1880). He was sent to a Siberian labour camp for reading banned books in Tsarist Russia.

Following the outcry, the university on Wednesday has released a statement on its social media accounts confirming the course would go ahead.

“The University of Milano-Bicocca is a university open to dialogue and listening even in this very difficult period that sees us dismayed at the escalation of the conflict,” the statement said.


As being reported, Bicocca Universityfrom the city of Milan, suspended the course that the writer Paolo Nori was going to give at the house of studies on Fyodor Dostoevsky in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Italian writer Paolo Nori shared a video on Instagram on Tuesday revealing that he had received an email from officials at the University of Milano-Bicocca, in Milan, informing him of the decision to postpone his course following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Dear Professor, the Vice Rector for Didactics has informed me of a decision taken with the rector to postpone the course on Dostoevsky,” the email said, according to Nori.

“They invited me. Each lesson was 90-minutes long. They were free and open to everyone,” he said.

Nori went on: “I realize what is happening in Ukraine is horrible, and I feel like crying just thinking about it. But what is happening in Italy is ridiculous.”

“Not only is being a living Russian wrong in Italy today, but also being a dead Russian, who was sentenced to death in 1849 because he read a forbidden thing. That an Italian university would ban a course on an author like Dostoevsky is unbelievable,” he said.

“This is to avoid any controversy, especially internally, during a time of strong tensions.”

However, Nori’s video sparked a backlash on social media, with several notable figures criticizing the university’s decision.


Italy’s former prime minister Matteo Renzi, who is now a senator for Florence, tweeted that it was insane to prohibit studying Dostoevsky because of the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“In this time we need to study more, not less: in the university we need teachers, not incapable bureaucrats,” Renzi wrote.




the authorSaman Siddiqui
Saman Siddiqui, A freelance journalist with a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication and MS in Peace and Conflict Studies. Associated with the media industry since 2006. Experience in various capacities including Program Host, Researcher, News Producer, Documentary Making, Voice Over, Content Writing Copy Editing, and Blogging, and currently associated with OyeYeah since 2018, working as an Editor.