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Julie Curtis, M.A., D.Phil. Oxon.
Professor of Russian Literature and Fellow of Wolfson College (Emerita).



Professor Curtis's published research has largely been focused on subversive writers of the early Stalin Period (1920s and 1930s). She spent a great deal of time working in archives in Russia and abroad, and this enabled her to publish a range of analytical and biographical studies of the life and works of the satirical novelist and playwright Mikhail Bulgakov (1891-1940). She has also explored the life and works of Bulgakov's friend and contemporary  Evgeny Zamiatin (1884-1937), an anti-utopian writer much admired by George Orwell. In 2013 she published the first full biography of Zamiatin to appear in any language, and a Russian-language translation of it appeared in 2020; she has also co-edited (with a St Petersburg colleague) a scholarly edition in Russian of his most famous novel, We / Мы, based on a unique typescript she discovered in an American archive.

She published a second biography of Mikhail Bulgakov in 2017 (Reaktion Books and University of Chicago Press: Critical Lives, 2017), twenty-five years after her first, which came out in the year the USSR was dissolved: Manuscripts Don't Burn. Mikhail Bulgakov – A Life in Letters and Diaries (London: Bloomsbury, 1991). These two biographies have been translated into seven languages. She has also written A Reader's Companion to Mikhail Bulgakov's 'The Master and Margarita', (Boston, USA: Academic Studies Press, 2019).

Professor Curtis also has a particular interest in Russian drama. She has been involved in helping with productions of Russian plays in several British theatres (the RSC at Stratford, the Barbican and National Theatres in London, the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry) by providing cast workshops, writing programme features, working on translations, and advising directors and design staff. AHRC/OWRI-funded research projects running over several years, which involved three workshops in Oxford with contemporary independent Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian theatremakers, led to the publication of an edited volume on Russian-language drama in the Putin era: New Drama in Russian: Performance, Politics and Protest in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2020).




  •  J.A.E. Curtis (ed.), New Drama in Russian: Performance, Politics and Protest in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (London: Bloomsbury Academic, June 2020), 276 pages:

  • J.A.E. Curtis, A Reader's Companion to Mikhail Bulgakov's 'The Master and Margarita', (Boston, MA: Academic Studies Press, December 2019), 178 pages:


  • J.A.E. Curtis, Mikhail Bulgakov, (London and Chicago: Reaktion Books and University of Chicago Press: Critical Lives, 2017), 198 pages; translated into Turkish (2023):

  • J.A.E. Curtis, The Englishman from Lebedian'. A Life of Evgeny Zamiatin (1884-1937), (Boston: Academic Studies Press, October 2013), 420 pages:…. This was translated into Russian as: Англичанин из Лебедяни. Жизнь Евгения Замятина   (Boston, MA: Academic Studies Press, ‘Sovremennaia Zapadnaia Rusistika’ series, June 2020)

  • J.A.E. Curtis, ‘A Theatrical Battle of Wits: Bulgakov, Maiakovskii and Meierkhol'd’, Modern Language Review, July 2013, pp. 921-46.

  • E.I. Zamiatin, My. Tekst i materialy k tvorcheskoi istorii romana, M.Iu. Liubimova and J.A.E. Curtis (eds), (St Petersburg: Mir, 2011), 600pp.…

  • Julie Curtis, ‘Neizvestnye pis'ma E.I. Zamiatina iz amerikanskogo arkhiva (Vstupitel'naia stat'ia, publikatsiia i kommentarii Dzhulii Kurtis)’, in Evgenii Zamiatin i kul'tura XX veka - Issledovaniya i publikatsii, (Sankt Peterburg: Rossiiskaia Natsional'naia Biblioteka, 2002), pp. 301-51.

  • M. Bulgakov, Flight, edited with introduction, notes and vocabulary by J.A.E. Curtis, (London: Bristol Classical Press, 1997, now republished by Bloomsbury Academic), 88pp.

  • ‘Mikhail Bulgakov and the Red Army’s Polo Instructor: Political Satire in The Master and Margarita’, in The Master and Margarita - A Critical Companion, ed. L.D. Weeks, (Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 1996), pp. 213-26.

  • J.A.E. Curtis, Manuscripts Don’t Burn - Mikhail Bulgakov: A Life in Letters and Diaries, (London: Bloomsbury, 1991), 306 pp.: republished in British paperback and American editions, and translated into German, French, Dutch, Italian and Finnish; pirated in Farsi. Reissued in Britain and the USA in 2012/13.

  • ‘Literature under Gorbachev - a Second Thaw?’, in Perestroika - The Historical Perspective, ed. C. Merridale and C. Ward, (London: Edward Arnold, 1991), pp. 168-80.

  • ‘Down with the Foxtrot! Concepts of Satire in the Soviet Theatre of the 1920s’, in Russian Theatre in the Age of Modernism, ed. R. Russell and A. Barratt, (London and Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1990), pp. 219-235.

  • J.A.E. Curtis, Bulgakov’s Last Decade - The Writer as Hero, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), 250pp; reissued 2009.