Prof. Michail Ryklin

Honorary member of the ZfL, Professor at the Institute of Philosophy at the Russian Academy of Sciences Moscow (Russia)


Michail Ryklin is Professor at the Institute of Philosophy at the Russian Academy of Sciences, where he has been head of the department of “Philosophical Anthropology” since 1997. Ryklin studied philosophy and aesthetics at Lomonosov Moscow State University with scholars such as Merab Mamardashvili. In 1978, he completed his doctoral thesis on Claude Lévi-Strauss and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. He has had guest professorships in Paris, Strasbourg, New York, and Berlin, just to name a few. In 1994, he became a member of the New York Academy of Sciences and, in 2008, an Honorary Member of the ZfL.

Michael Ryklin’s work represents a form of thought at the periphery of ideological discourses. His philosophical analysis of systems of terror fills a “gap in the Western archive,” as he develops a philosophy that highlights the problem of terror in Stalin’s Soviet Union and in post-Stalinist Russia. The scope of his work focuses on issues that trouble the history of Russia and Western Europe and their perception of one another. In the early 1980s, Ryklin was one of the founders of the Moscow-based press Ad Marginem, which was responsible for printing the first Russian translation of Heidegger’s Being and Time. Ryklin translated and edited the works of Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes, Claude Levi-Strauss, Theodor W. Adorno, and Walter Benjamin, thereby playing a vital role in the spreading of 20th-century Western European philosophy throughout Russia.

His ongoing work at Lettre International has furthermore earned him worldwide acclaim as a publisher committed to bringing together the East and the West. His book By Right of Being Stronger. Russian Culture in the Age of “Controlled Democracy” (Suhrkamp 2006) was awarded the Leipzig Book Award for European Understanding in 2007.


Events with Michail Ryklin at the ZfL


Monographs (Selection)

  • Обреченный Икар. Красный Октябрь в семейной перспективе. Москва: Новое литературное обозрение 2017
  • Пристань Диониса. Книга Анны. Москва: Логос 2013
  • Коммунизм как религия. Интеллектуалы и Октябрьская революция. Москва: Новое литературное обозрение 2009
  • Свастика, Крест, Звезда. — Москва: Логос 2006
  • Verschwiegene Grenze. Briefe aus Moskau 1995–2003. Berlin: Diaphanes 2003
  • Деконструкция и Деструкция. Беседы с Философами. Москва: Логос 2002
  • Пространства ликований. Тоталитаризм и различие. — Москва: Логос 2002

Articles (Selection)

Articles (ZfL)


Photo: © Amélie Losier