Cate I. Reilly is a PhD candidate in Princeton University’s Department of Comparative Literature, where she specializes in Russian and German literary modernism and the mind sciences, with an emphasis on language politics, transnational communication and the history of mental illness.
Her dissertation Pieces of Mind: Psychiatry, Diagnosis and Literary Modernity in Russia, Germany and Beyond (1880-1929) gives a critical and historical account of modernist literature and its relationship to the birth of an international lingua franca for classifying mental disorders. In readings of Anton Chekhov, Nikolai Evreinov, Rainer Maria Rilke and Alfred Döblin, among others, she explores the boundary between (auto-) biographic patient-narratives and more universalized descriptions of psychic suffering. The dissertation looks at how diagnostic codification took place in parallel with theories of the mind as an inscription technology, both in Europe and the postcolony. Cate Received her B.A. in Comparative Literature from Yale University. She has studied and worked in Berlin, Moscow and St. Petersburg.