• KY16 9AL

    United Kingdom

Accepting Postgraduate Research Students

Personal profile

Research overview

I specialise in Russian theatre of the twentieth century and have a particular interest in the interrelationship of performance studies, cultural history and critical theory.

My research engages with questions of public performance and performativity, the translation and reception of drama in different cultures, and the interface between politics and aesthetics. I welcome enquiries from prospective postgraduate students on all aspects of 20th and 21st-century Russian theatre and dramatic literature.

I have published articles on Bertolt Brecht’s reception in Russia, the theory of ‘conflictlessness’ in post-war Soviet drama and a book chapter on the director Oleg Efremov for the edited volume Russian Theatre in Practice.

My book Soviet Theatre during the Thaw: Aesthetics, Politics and Performance (Methuen Drama/Bloomsbury, 2022), explores the revival of avant-garde theatre productions and play texts in the dynamic and ambiguous period following Stalin’s death. In the monograph I argue that the return of avant-garde theatre to the stage broke down the hierarchies of aesthetic representation that formed during the Stalinist period and opened up a space within the cultural sphere for new interpretations and discourses. This process was crucial in allowing Soviet society to reshape its relationship to state power, the West and the recent past.

I joined St Andrews in 2017 having previously taught at the University of Oxford, Durham University and the University of Exeter. I completed my PhD at the University of Nottingham in 2014.

In the Department of Russian at St Andrews, I teach Russian literature and culture from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century, including honours modules on Russian theatre and performance (RU3043), utopia and dystopia in Russian culture (RU4554) and Mikhail Bulgakov (RU3030). I teach Russian grammar and translation at all levels and convene the second-year Russian language stream for post-beginners. I also enjoy teaching Russian components on Comparative Literature and postgraduate modules.

I run a theatre group within the department for students of Russian and we stage plays performed in Russian at the end of Candlemas. Recent productions include Valentin Kataev’s Squaring the Circle and Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters. All students are encouraged to take part, regardless of their level of Russian or acting experience. Those taking Beginner’s Russian are especially welcome.

I am the co-ordinator of the Literature and Culture stream for the BASEES annual conference and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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