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Main interests

  • Late Soviet literature, in particular the 1970s and 'underground' literature
  • Russian poetry in all its forms
  • Religious thought and its bearing on literature
  • The literature and material memory of the Gulag


I teach the full range of 19th and 20th century authors for Papers VIII, X and XI

I am also Convenor for the MSt/MPhil Special Subject “Gender and Representation in Russian Culture from 1800”. 

I also teach Translation from Russian into English. 



  • The Culture of Samizdat: Literature and Underground Networks in the Late Soviet Union (London: Bloomsbury, 2020
  • Poetry and the Leningrad Religious-Philosophical Seminar 1976-1980:  Music for a Deaf Age (Oxford: Legenda/MHRA and Routledge, 2016)

Articles and Book Chapters

  • “The Leningrad Neo-modernists” in A Handbook of the Soviet Cultural Underground, ed. by Mark Lipovetsky, Tomáš Glanc, Maria Engström, Ilja Kukuj and Klavdia Smola (Oxford: OUP, 2022). Available online:
  • “Young Russophonia: New Literature in Russian”, editorial, co-written with Hilah Kohen, Young Russophonia - Words without Borders February 2021
  • “Reading Samizdat” in Reading Russia: A History of Reading in Modern Russia, ed. by Damiano Rebecchini, Raffaella Vassena (Ledizioni, Milan 2020)
  • “Vielseitige Persönlichkeit: Befunde über den Leser des Samizdat“, Osteuropa 1-2 (2019), 149-162.
  • “Self-Canonisation as a Way into the Canon“: the Case of the Leningrad Underground”, Australian and East European Studies 31 (2017), pp. 197-228
  • “‘The Pearl of an Unreasonable Thought’: Religion and the Poetic Imagination” in The Dangerous God: Christianity and the Soviet Experiment, ed. by Dominic Erdozain (DeKalb: Northern Illinois UP, 2017), pp. 117-137
  • “From Underground to Mainstream: The Case of Elena Shvarts” in Reconfiguring the Canon of Twentieth-Century Russian Poetry, 1991-2008, ed. Katharine Hodgson and Alexandra Smith (Cambridge: Open Book Publishers, 2017), pp. 225-264
  • “Reader Questionnaires in Samizdat Journals: Who owns Alexander Blok?” in Dropping out of Socialism, ed. by Juliane Furst and Josie McLellan (Lanham/Maryland: Lexington, 2016), pp. 107-127
  • “Leonid Borodin’s Rasstavanie: Orthodoxy and the Moscow Intelligentsia in the 1970s” in Models of Personal Conversion in Russian Cultural History of the 19th and 20th Centuries ”, ed. Jens Herlth (Bern: Peter Lang,  “Interdisciplinary Studies on Central and Eastern Europe” 2015), pp. 191-209
  • “Religious Verse in Leningrad Samizdat: Origins and Confluences”, Enthymema 12 (2015)
  • “Olga Sedakova’s Journey Poems: The Spirituality of Form and the Journey into Silence”, Literature and Theology  29:2 (2015), pp. 183-198 /early/2014/07/01 /litthe.fru045.full?keytype=ref&ijkey=LvVJHgn269swhxx
  • “Poeziia kak molitva? Elena Shvarts i Oleg Okhapkin” in Vtoraia kul’tura:  Neofitsial’naia poeziia Leningrada v 1970-e-1980-e gody, ed. Jean-Philippe Jaccard (St Petersburg: Rostok), 2013, pp. 346-67
  • “Viktor Krivulin and Aleksandr Mironov: The Quest for Sacred Language in 1970s Russian Poetry”, Modern Languages Review 107 (2012), pp. 872-93