Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages
Undergraduate Studies
Skip navigation








Modern Greek








Philip BullockProfessor P. R. Bullock

Philip Ross Bullock, M.St., D.Phil. (B.A. Durham)
Professor of Russian Literature and Music, Fellow of Wadham College and Lecturer at Worcester College
Address:  Wadham College, Oxford, OX1 3PN
Email:   philip.bullock@wadh.ox.ac.uk
Tel:   01865 277960
Fax:   01865 277937


I am currently working on an interdisciplinary study of the relationship between words and music in Russian culture from the late eighteenth century to the present day, with a specific focus on the literary, musical and cultural history of the art-song repertoire, as well as on aspects of opera too. I continue to be interested in the modernist prose writers of the early-Soviet period, particularly Andrei Platonov (on whom I wrote my doctorate) and Isaak Babel'. My main areas of methodological expertise include theories of gender and sexuality, interdisciplinary approaches to the relationship between literature and the other arts, and the study of translation, reception and cultural exchange. I am a member of several international networks, including Internationalism and Cultural Exchange, 1870-1920, Writing 1900 (a joint project between the University of Oxford and the Humboldt University in Berlin), the Study Group for Russian and East European Music (supported by the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies), and the International Platonov Seminar, and.in 2015, I was elected a member of the 'wissenschaftlicher Beirat' of the Tschaikowsky-Gesellschaft. Together with Prof. Daniel M. Grimley, I am coorganising Music and the Nordic Breakthrough a major international conference celebrating the 150th annivesaries of Glazunov, Nielsen and Sibelius in 2015.

Before coming to Oxford, I taught at the University of Wales, Bangor, and the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies. In 2007, I was Edward T. Cone Member in Music Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. My article on Tchaikovsky's songs ('Eloquent Speech and Articulate Silence: The Queerness of Tchaikovsky’s Songs') received the 2009 Philip Brett Award of the American Musicological Society, and in 2009, I was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize for Modern Languages. I particularly enjoy communicating academic ideas to a broader public, and have written and presented a number of talks and features on Russian literature and music that have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3. In 2012, I was one of the judges of the Rossica Translation Prize. I shall be on research leave during the academic year 2015/16, supported by a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship.


In addition to teaching translation from and into Russian at various levels, I give lectures and tutorials on the full range of nineteenth and twentieth-century authors covered on the undergraduate course. I am particularly interested in interdisciplinary approaches to Russian literature, and have offered lecture series on 'Russian literary classics on the opera stage' and 'Russian literature and the visual arts'.

Graduate Teaching

I have supervised a number of graduates theses and dissertations, including studies of Russian music and literature in interwar Paris, literary and political representation in late Imperial Russia, and the representation and detection of of crime in the novels of Dostoevsky and Zola. I also teach graduate courses on Russian modernism and theories of gender and sexuality in Russian culture.


Books and edited volumes

Russia in Britain, 1880-1940: From Melodrama to Modernism, co-edited with Rebecca Beasley (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013)

Loyalties, Solidarities and Identities in Russian Society, History and Culture, co-edited with Andy Byford, Claudio Nun-Ingerflom, Isabelle Ohayon, Maria Rubins and Anna Winestein (London: School of Slavonic and East European Studies UCL, 2013)

Translating Russia, 1890-1935 (special issue of Translation and Literature, 20/3 (2011), co-edited with Rebecca Beasley)

The Correspondence of Jean Sibelius and Rosa Newmarch, 1906-1939 (Woodbridge: Boydell, 2011)

Rosa Newmarch and Russian Music in Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth-Century England, Royal Musical Association Monographs, 18 (Farnham: Ashgate, 2009)

The Feminine in the Prose of Andrey Platonov (London: Legenda, 2005)

Journal articles and book chapters

'The Mountain of the Mind: The Politics of the Gaze in Andrei Platonov's "Dzhan"', Slavic Review, 73/4 (2014), 751-71

'Intimacy and Distance: Valentin Sil'vestrov's Tikhie pesni', Slavonic and East European Review, 92/3 (2014), 401-29

'"Nemorgaiushchii glaz chelovechestva": Illiustratsii Kirilla Sokolova k "Kotlovanu" Andreia Platonova', in B. V. Dooge [Dhooge], T. Langerak and E. A. Iablokova (eds), Vozvrashchaius' k Platonovu: voprosy retseptsii (St Petersburg: Dmitrii Bulanin, 2013), 496-537

'Introduction: Against Influence: On Writing about Russian Culture in Britain' (co-authored with Rebecca Beasley), in Rebecca Beasley and Philip Ross Bullock (eds), Russia in Britain, 1880-1940: From Melodrama to Modernism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 1-18

'Tsar's Hall: Russian Music in London, 1895-1926', in Rebecca Beasley and Philip Ross Bullock (eds), Russia in Britain, 1880-1940: From Melodrama to Modernism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 113-28

'Not One of Us? The Paradoxes of Translating Oscar Wilde in the Soviet Union', in Leon Burnett and Emily Lygo (eds), The Art of Accommodation: Literary Translation in Russia (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2013), 235-64

'Babel', Pater i ekfrasis po-angliiski', in D. V. Tokarev (ed), 'Nevyrazimo vyrazimoe': ekfrasis i problemy reprezentatsii vizual'nogo v khudozhestvennom tekske (Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, 2013), 269-80

'Platonov and Theories of Modernism', Russian Literature, 1/2 (2013), 301-22

'Wilful Melancholy' or 'A Vigorous and Manly Optimism'?: Rosa Newmarch and the Struggle against Decadence in the British Reception of Russian Music, 1897-1919', in Anthony Cross (ed.), 'A Peole Passing Rude': British Responses to Russian Culture (Cambridge: Open Book Publishers, 2012), 125-32

'Faith or Forgery? Walter Benjamin and Nikolai Leskov's The Sealed Angel', in Carolin Duttlinger, Ben Morgan and Anthony Phelan (eds), Walter Benjamins anthropologisches Denken (Freiburg: Rombach, 2012), 325-41

'Platonov and the Open Text', in Katharine Holt (ed.), Andrei Platonov: Style, Context, Meaning (= Ulbandus, 14 (2012)), 302-17

'Women and Music', in Wendy Rosslyn and Alessandra Tosi (eds), Women in Nineteenth-Century Russia: Lives and Culture (Cambridge: Open Book Publishers, 2012), pp.119-36

‘The Illusion of Transparency’, Translation and Literature, 20/3 (2011), 282-300 (co-authored with Rebecca Beasley)

Untranslated and Untranslatable? Pushkin’s Poetry in English, 1892-1931’, Translation and Literature, 20/3 (2011), 348-72

‘Sibelius and the Russian Traditions’, in Daniel Grimley (ed.), Sibelius and His World (Princeton, NJ, and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2011), pp.3-57

'Utopia and the Novel after the Revolution', in Evgeny Dobrenko and Marina Balina (eds), The Cambridge Companion to Twentieth-Century Russian Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp.79-96

'The Composer’s Voice, the Post’s Echo: Monologic Verse or Dialogic Song?', in Pauline Fairclough (ed.), Shostakovich Studies 2 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), pp.207-227

'"Lessons in Sensibility": Rosa Newmarch, Music Appreciation and the Aesthetic Cultivation of the Self', in Stefano Evangelista and Catherine Maxwell (eds), The Arts in Victorian Literature (= Yearbook of English Studies, 40 (2010)), 295-318

'The Cruel Art of Beauty: Walter Pater and the Uncanny Aestheticism of Isaak Babel''s Red Cavalry', Modern Language Review, 104 (2009), 499-529

'Andrei Platonov’s Happy Moscow: Tolstoi, Stalin and the Soviet Self', in Marina Balina and Evgeny Dobrenko (eds), Petrified Utopia: Happiness Soviet Style (London: Anthem Press, 2009), pp.201-15

'Padenie v upadnichestvo: Schastlivaia Moskva i literaturnyi stil' mezhdu etikoi i estetikoi', in E. I. Kolesnikova (ed.), Tvorchestvo A. Platonov. Kniga 4 (St Petersburg: Nauka, 2009), pp.107-19

'Ambiguous Speech and Eloquent Silence: The Queerness of Tchaikovsky’s Songs', 19th-Century Music, 32 (2008), 94-128

'The Pushkin Anniversary of 1937 and Russian Art Song in the Soviet Union', Slavonica, 13 (2007), 39-56

'Andrei Platonov’s Happy Moscow: Stalinist Kitsch and Ethical Decadence', Modern Language Review, 101 (2006), 201-11

'Staging Stalinism: The Search for Soviet Opera in the 1930s', Cambridge Opera Journal, 18 (2006), 83-108

'The Musical Imagination of Andrei Platonov', Slavonica, 10 (2004), 41-60

'A Modern Ahasuerus: Jewish Themes in the Works of Andrei Platonov', Essays in Poetics, 27 (2002), 139-61

'Materinstvo kak metafora sploshnoi kollektivizatsii (po tvorchestvi Andreia Platonova', in Z. A. Khotkina, N. L. Pushkareva and E. I. Trofimova (eds), Zhenshchina, Gender, Kul'tura (Moscow: MTsGI, 1999), pp.312-20

Other publications

'Kobyz: Hearing Space, Seeing Silence', in Alim Sabitov and Nariman Skakov (eds), 14 Essays Inspired by the Sculptures of Erkin Mergenov (Stuttgart: Ibidem, 2010), pp.41-8, published in Russian as ‘Kobyz (1977)’, in Nariman Skakov (ed.), 14 esse o skul’pturakh Erkina Mergenova (Almaty: Interprint, 2010), pp.67-76

'Prologo', in Alexander Pushkin, Historias de Belkin, trans. James and Marion Womack (Madrid: Nevsky Prospects, 2009), pp.7-19

'"How it Strikes a Contemporary": Literature and Culture in Contemporary Russia', in Peter J. S. Duncan (ed.), Convergence and Divergence: Russia and Eastern Europe into the Twenty-First Century (London: UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies, 2007), pp.163-8, previously published in Russian in Antopologicheskii forum, 5 (2006), 431-9

'The Songs of Sergei Prokofiev: Texts and Contexts, Imitations and Interrogations', Three Oranges, 11 (2006), 17-22

Twenty entries (including ‘Romans’, ‘Soviet Opera’, ‘Post-Soviet Opera’)', in Karen Evans-Romaine, Helena Goscilo and Tatiana Smorodinskaya (eds), Routledge Encyclopedia of Contemporary Russian Culture (London: Routledge, 2006)

‘Shostakovich and Literature’; ‘Isaak Babel′’ and ‘Konarmiia’; ‘Andrei Platonov’, ‘Kotlovan’, ‘Vozvrashchenie’, ‘Schastlivaia Moskva’ and ‘Chevengur’, in Robert Clark, Emory Elliott and Janet Todd (eds), The Literary Encyclopedia and Literary Dictionary