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Address: New College, Holywell Street, Oxford, OX13BN


Dr Vaysman’s research focuses on literary texts, primarily the Realist novel, and history of gender and sexuality. Her first monograph Self-Conscious Realism: Metafiction and the Nineteenth-Century Russian Novel was published by Legenda (Cambridge, Modern Humanities Research Association, 2021). This book explores instances of literary self-consciousness – a narrative technique that forces readers to be aware that they are reading a work of fiction – in Russian literature. The book has been reviewed in Russian Review (‘valuable’); Slavic and Eastern European Review (‘original’); Russian Literature (‘sophisticated and free from stereotypical approaches to its subject’) and Canadian Slavonic Papers (‘theoretically grounded, meticulously researched and well-argued’). In 2020, she co-edited a volume Nineteenth-Century Russian Realism: Society, Knowledge, Narrative, which showcased the new interdisciplinary, inclusive approaches to the Russian canon. The volume was featured in the ‘Best books of 2021’ list by the major Russian news portal; and reviewed in Slavic Review as ‘pioneering’, ‘formidable’, an ‘essential reading for anyone who studies or teaches nineteenth-century Russian prose’.

Dr Vaysman is now co-editing The Oxford Handbook of Global Realisms, under contract with OUP, as well as working on a second monograph, provisionally titled A Brave Life: Queer and Transgender Erasure in Russian Culture. This investigation spans the period from the early days of the Russian Empire to present day Russia, where homo- and transphobic state rhetoric co-exists with a vibrant drag culture and successful activist interventions. 

Dr Vaysman currently serves as chair of the National Research and Development Committee for the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies BASEES), as well as a co-convenor for its 19th Century Study Group. Her work has been supported by international awards from the British Council, British Academy, British Association of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies (BASEES), Columbia University, Princeton University, Open Society Foundation, Scottish Funding Council, UKRI and CEELBAS


Dr Vaysman’s writing has appeared in general interest editions such as Times Higher Education, as well as peer-reviewed journals like Russian Review, Slavonic and Eastern European Review, Modern Language Review, AvtobiogafiЯ, Forum for Modern Language Studies, Canadian Slavonic Papers, Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie, Antropologicheskii Forum, and Tolstoy Studies.


  • Vaysman, Margarita. 2021. Self-Conscious Realism: Metafiction and the Nineteenth-Century Russian Novel (Cambridge: Legenda). 

  Edited volumes

  • The Oxford Handbook of Global Realisms, Bowers, Katherine, Vaysman, Margarita (eds.). Contracted by Oxford University Press: forthcoming 2025.
  • Vaysman, Margarita; Vdovin, Aleksei; Kliger, Ilya; Ospovat, Kirill (eds). 2020. Nineteenth-Century Russian Realism: Society, Knowledge, Narrative (in Russian) (Moscow: NLO).

Refereed journal articles

  • ‘‘To Become a Warrior and a Son to My Father’: Aleksandr Aleksandrov (Nadezhda Durova)’s Notes of a Cavalry Maiden (1836) as Transgender Autobiography’, Narrative. Accepted for publication, forthcoming 2024.
  • Vaysman, Margarita. 2023. “‘I Became a Man in a Military Camp’: Negotiating a Transmasculine Identity in Aleksandr Aleksandrov (Nadezhda Durova)’s Personal Documents and Literary Fiction’, AvtobiografiЯ, 11, 33-63.
  • Vaysman, Margarita. 2023. ‘The Trouble with Queer Celebrity: Aleksandr Aleksandrov (Nadezhda Durova)’s A Year of Life in St Petersburg (1838)’, Modern Language Review, 118.1, 97-113. 
  • Vaysman, Margarita. 2022. ‘What Is to Be Done with the Socialist Realist Canon: Nikolai Chernyshevskii in Late and Post-Soviet Cultural Imagination’, The Slavonic and East European Review, 100.2, 286-294. 
  • Vaysman, Margarita. 2021. ‘A Woman’s Lot: Realism and Gendered Narration in Russian Women’s Writing of the 1860s’, The Russian Review 80.2 (Spring 2021), 229-245. 
  • Vaysman, Margarita. 2017. ‘“Unnecessary Melodrama”: Ideology and Narrative Legacy in Nikolai Chernyshevskii’s What Is to Be Done? (1863) and William Godwin’s Caleb Williams (1794)’, Modern Language Review, 2017 (112), 1-19. Published: 8,000 words. 
  • Vaysman, Margarita. 2012. ‘A Man and A Steamship: Truth and Fancy in Creating the Myth of Nikolai Chernyshevskii, The Great Soviet Writer’, Wadham Journal, 2012 (1), 4-5. 
  • Vaysman, Margarita. 2011. ‘Problems of Interpretation of Nikolai Chernyshevskii’s What Is to Be Done? in Academic and Literary Criticism’, Vestnik Permskogo Gosudarstvennogo Universiteta, 2011 (1), 130-139 (in Russian).
  • Vaysman, Margarita. 2011. ‘Nikolai Chernyshevskii’s What Is to Be Done? and William Godwin’s Caleb Williams: Typological Parallels’, Vestnik Permskogo Gosudarstvennogo Universiteta, 2011 (1), 104-110 (in Russian). 
  • Vaysman, Margarita. 2009. ‘Melodramatic and Ideological Modes of Narrative in Nikolai Chernyshevskii’s What Is to Be Done?’, Vestnik Pyatigorskogo Gosudarstvennogo Lingvisticheskogo Universiteta, 2009, 3 (2), 193-196 (in Russian).


  • Vaysman, Margarita. 2022. ‘Tolstoy as the Subject of Art: Painting, Film, Theatre’, in Tolstoy in Context, ed. by Anna Berman (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022), pp. 323-335. 
  • Vaysman, Margarita. 2020. ‘“An Author of a Different Kind”: Theory and Practice of Literary Realism in Aleksei Pisemskii’s Troubled Seas (1863)’, in Nineteenth-Century Russian Realism: Society, Knowledge, Narrative (Moscow: NLO), pp. 476-503 (in Russian).


  • Vaysman, Margarita. 2023. Review of Writing Fear: Russian Realism and the Gothic, by Katherine Bowers. Slavonic and Eastern European Review, 1, 157-159.
  • Vaysman, Margarita. 2022. Review of Stsenarii peremen: Uvarovskaia nagrada i evoliutsiia russkoi dramaturgii v epokhu Aleksandra II, by Kirill Zubkov. Modern Language Review, 117, 729-30. 
  • Vaysman, Margarita. 2022. Review of How Women Must Write: Inventing the Russian Woman Poet, by Olga Peters Hasty. Canadian Slavonic Papers, 64, 102-104. 
  • Vaysman, Margarita. 2021. Review of Ukrainian Women Writers and the National Imaginary: from the Collapse of the USSR to the Euromaidan, by Oleksandra Wallo. Canadian Slavonic Papers 63, 512-514. 
  • Vaysman, Margarita. 2018. Review of The Image of Christ in Russian Literature, by John Givens, Times Higher Education Supplement, October 2018, 10. 
  • Vaysman, Margarita. 2018. Review of Idolizing Authorship: Literary Celebrity and the Construction of Identity, 1800 to the Present, ed. by Gaston Franssen, Rick Honings, Forum for Modern Language Studies, 2018 (54), 268. 
  • Vaysman, Margarita. 2018. Review of Women’s Experiences of Repression in The Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, ed. by K. Hignett, M. Ilic, D. Leinarte, C. Snitar, AvtobiografiЯ, 2018 (7), 285-288. 
  • Vaysman, Margarita. 2017. Review of How Bad Writing Destroyed the World: Ayn Rand and the Literary Origins of the Financial Crisis, by Adam Weiner, Modern Language Review, 2017 (112), 1052-1053. 
  • Vaysman, Margarita. 2016. Review of Anna Karenina, dir. Clarence Brown (1935), Love, dir. Edmund Goulding, John Gilbert (1927), Tolstoy Studies Journal, 2016 (7), 54-55. 

Programme notes

  • Vaysman, Margarita. 2019. ‘Evgenii Bauer at St Andrews’, Child of the Big City (1914) with Andrew Hill and the New Music Ensemble (St Andrews University, St Andrews: 2019), p. 2.
  • Vaysman, Margarita. 2018. ‘Aleksandr Pushkin and His Collection of Sundry Chapters’, in Eugene Onegin: A Scottish Opera Production (Scottish Opera, Glasgow: 2018), pp. 20-23.

Teaching materials

  • British Council Russian Language and Culture Education Pack, with Jennie Carr, Marta Tomazsewski (PDF and sound files). 

Blog posts

Profiles and interviews


Dr Vaysman teaches most Russian undergraduate literature papers and specifically those focusing on the nineteenth century, gender, history of ideas and Russophone cultures. She welcomes postgraduate applications for MPhil and DPhil projects and supervision on the topics of history of gender and sexuality in Russia and Ukraine, nineteenth-century Russophone literature, Realist novel, and narrative, gender and queer theory.

Conference organisation

2022  Queer (ing) Russia, University of Oxford (co-organised with Nick Mayhew and Connor Doak)

2022  Russian Nihilism as a Literary Project, St Andrews/Russian Academy of Sciences (co-organised with Kirill Zubkov)

2019  BASEES 19th Century Study Group Annual Conference: Russian Realism as Will and Representation, University St Andrews

2018  The Bristol UK-Russia Research Symposium, University of Bristol (funded by the British Academy, co-organised with Connor Doak and Claire Shaw)

2014  Approaches to Narrative in the Russian and East European Context: Theory, Practice, Method CEELBAS Workshop