Social education through the lens of Bakhtinian theory

Main Article Content

Oleg Osovsky
Svetlana Dubrovskaya
Ekaterina Chernetsova


A review of Bakhtin in the Fullness of Time: Bakhtinian Theory and the Process of Social Education, Edited by Craig Brandist, Michael E. Gardiner, E. Jayne White and Carl Mika. L.: Routledge. 2020. 160 p.

The review of the collection of articles Bakhtin in the Fullness of Time: Bakhtinian Theory and the Process of Social Education represents an analysis of the perspectives, main trends, and interpretations of key points, ideas, and concepts of M. M. Bakhtin in the contemporary theory and practice of Social Education.

The book’s nine chapters are grouped within three problem areas, researched by the book’s contributors. This is, in the first place, a re-establishment of those philosophical and sociological sources that trace back to the roots of Bakhtin’s early views that had defined the nature of his responses to the challenges of his time in his early philosophical texts, books about Dostoevsky and books about bildungsroman. Another field of examination is Bakhtin's late dialogue with his contemporaries. Sometimes this dialogue is active and obvious, as it happens in the situation with the latest aesthetic and literary trends in Russia at the beginning of the 1920s. Sometimes this dialogue turns out to be ambiguous, therefore researchers can only guess how to reconstruct it, basing their views on the complementarity of Bakhtin’s ideas and Lev Vygotsky or Paulo Freire’s ones.

An equally important aspect of this collection is a number of articles devoted to how Bakhtin's theory is transformed into "classroom practice", whether it concerns the use of dialogue and its capabilities in interaction with foreigners, providing educational opportunities to the most economically vulnerable segments of South African society, or communication with preschoolers in kindergarten.

The authors of the book managed to create a convincing picture of how Bakhtinian theory is becoming one of the most important elements of contemporary theory and practice of education. At the same time, not only Bakhtinian ideas, primarily the concepts of dialogue, polyphony, carnival, and chronotope, are important, but also that free polyphony, which puts into effect any creative practice.

Article Details

How to Cite
Osovsky, O., Dubrovskaya, S., & Chernetsova, E. (2021). Social education through the lens of Bakhtinian theory. Dialogic Pedagogy: A Journal for Studies of Dialogic Education, 9, R7-R16.
Book Reviews
Author Biographies

Oleg Osovsky, Mordovia State Pedagogical Institute

Oleg Osovsky works as a Chief research fellow in Pedagogical University in Saransk. He is a Dr. of Philology. Professor Osovsky is the author of several books on M.B Bakhtin’s ideas and their reception in Anglo-American humanities, Russian émigré school in Europe.

Svetlana Dubrovskaya, Mordovia State University

Svetlana Dubrovskaya works as a professor of Russian as foreign language at Philology department of Mordovia State University in Saransk. She is a Dr. of Philology.  She published books and articles on M/ Bakhtin’s biography, his theory of laughter and comic discourse, methods of teaching Russian as foreign language

Ekaterina Chernetsova, National Research University Higher School of Economics

Ekaterina Chernetsova is an Associate Professor in School of Foreign Languages at Higher School of Economics (Moscow). She specializes in American Studies and World Literature, problems of teaching languages and literature. Her research also focuses on contemporary American fiction, clash of paradigms in literature, and Bakhtinian approaches to a literary text. Her recent book is Chernetsova E. (2018) After New Journalism: History, Myth, Imagination in Norman Mailer’s novels of the 1980s – 2000s


Bakhtin, M. (1984). Problems of Dostoevsky's poetics (c. Emerson, Ed.). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Bakhtin, M. (2012) Бахтин М. М. Собрание сочинений: в 7 т. Т.3. М.: Языки славянских культур (Bakhtin M. M. Collected Works: in seven volumes). Vol. 3. M.: Languages of Slavic Cultures).

Bibler, V. (2009). The foundations of the School of the Dialogue Cultures rogram. // Journal of Russian and East European Psychology, 41(1), pp. 34 – 60.

Brandist, C., Gardiner, M. E., White, E. Jayne, & Mika, C. (Eds.). (2020). Bakhtin in the Fullness of Time: Bakhtinian Theory and the Process of Social Education. London: Routledge.

Dubrovskaya, S. (2020) М. М. Бахтин в литературной жизни Мордовии 1940-х –1960-е гг. (Bakhtin in literary life of Mordovia in the 1940–1960s) //Vestnik ugrovedenia = Bulletin of Ugric Studies. 2020; 10 (4): pp. 633–641.

Dubrovskaya, S. (Ed.). (2019) Михаил Михайлович Бахтин: проблемы изучения биографии и научного наследия (Mikhail Mikhailovich Bakhtin: Problems of studying biography and academic heritage). Saransk: Mordovian University Press, 2019.

Dubrovskaya, S. (Ed.). (2020) Михаил Михайлович Бахтин: личность и наследие (Mikhail Mikhailovich Bakhtin: personality and heritage). Saransk: Mordovian University Press, 2020.

Dubrovskaya, S., Nesmelova O., Osovskiy O. (2019) «Литературоведение, в сущности, еще молодая наука…»: размышления над словарем русских литературоведов XX века ("Literary Study is a Relatively Young Discipline Still...": Reflections Over the Dictionary of Russian Literary Critics of the XX Century) // Filologicheskie Nauki. Nauchnye Doklady Vysshei Shkoly (Philological Sciences. Scientific Essays of Higher Education). 2019. №6. pp. 60-69.

Emerson, C. (1997). The First Hundred Years of Mikhail Bakhtin. Princeton. Princeton University Press, 1997.

Freise, M. (Ed.). (2018). Inspired by Bakhtin. Dialogic Methods in the Humanities. Boston: Academic Studies Press.

Gratchev, Slav N. & Mancing, H. (Eds.), (2019). Mikhail Bakhtin’s Heritage in Literature, Arts, and Psychology: Art and Answerability.

Holquist, M. (2002). Dialogism: Bakhtin and His World. 2nd Edition. L., N.Y.: Routledge.

Klyuyeva, I. V., & Lisunova, L. M. (2010) М.М. Бахтин – мыслитель, педагог, человек (Bakhtin - thinker, teacher, person). Saransk, 2010.

Laptun, V. & Tihanov, G. (2018). Pedagogical work of Mikhail M. Bakhtin (1920s –early 1960s) // Dialogic Pedagogy: An International Online Journal | DOI: 10.5195/dpj.2018.248 | 6, pp. 18-18.

Laptun, V. I. (2020) M. M. Bakhtin and A. A. Savitsky: years of working together at the Mordovian pedagogical institute in 1945 — 1950) // Center & Periphery. 2020. №4. pp.86-93.

Matusov, E. (2007) Applying Bakhtin scholarship on discourse in education: A critical review essay // Educational Theory. Volume 57, Issue 2 p. 215-237. – 10.1111/j.1741-5446.2007.00253.x

Matusov, E. (2009). Journey into Dialogic Pedagogy. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers.

Matusov, E., Marjanovic-Shane, A., & Gradovski, M. (2019). Dialogic pedagogy and polyphonic research art: Bakhtin by and for educators, doi: 10.1057/978-1-137-58057-3. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Osovsky, O. (2017) Большое время идей: мышление М. М. Бахтина сквозь призму современности (The Big Time of Ideas: M. M. Bakhtin's Thinking through the Prism of Modernity) // Russian Literature. 2017.№1. pp. 252-253.)

Osovsky, O. (2018a) Филолог или философ? Интеллектуальное «странничество» М. М. Бахтина: взгляд из 1990-х (Philologist or Philosopher? M. M. Bakhtin's intellectual "wanderlust": a view from the 1990s) // Russian Literature. 2018. № 1. pp. 250-251.

Osovsky, O. (2018b) The destinies of meta-criticism in the era of mega-crisis // Social Sciences. 2018. Vol. 49. № 2, P. 132-143.

Osovsky О., Kirzhaeva V., Chernetsova E., Maslova E. (2020). Education for Myself and Education for the Other: The Right to Freedom of Education and Mikhail Bakhtin’s Experience // Dialogic Pedagogy: An International Online Journal | DOI: 10.5195/dpj.2020.346 | Vol. 8 (2020).

Osovsky, O., Dubrovskaya, S. (2021) Бахтин, Федин, Шкловский. Два малоизвестных эпизода из биографии Михаила Бахтина (Bakhtin, Fedin, and Shklovsky. Two little-known episodes from Mikhail Bakhtin's biography) // Voprosy literatury. 2021 №1. pp. 191-216.

Pankov, N. A. (1995) О памятном, о важном, о былом... (устные воспоминания С.И. Каган и Ю.М. Каган) (About the memorable, about the important, about the past... (Oral Memoirs of S. I. Kagan and Y.M. Kagan)) //Dialog. The Carnival. Chronotop. 1995. № 2. С.165-181.

Solomadin, I. M. & Kurganov, S. Y. (2009). The history of World Culture as Dialogue of Cultures. Middle and high school curricula journal of Russian & East European Psychology, 47(2), 3 – 29.

Vasiliev N. M. (2018) M. M. Bakhtin as a university professor // Dialogic Pedagogy. Vol.6. P. T1-T7. DOI: 10.5195/dpj.2018.234

White E.J. & Peters M.A. (Eds.), Bakhtinian Pedagogy: Opportunities and Challenges for Research, Policy and Practice in Education Across the Globe. New York, NY: Peter Lang, 2011. XII, 272 p.

Yestifeyeva, V. B. (2000) Воспоминания о Бахтине (Первое десятилетие в Саранске) (Memories of Bakhtin (The first decade in Saransk)) // Dialog. Carnaval. Chronotop. 2000. №1. pp.127-151.