Reading Groups

In this section, you will find information and materials relating to our previous and forthcoming Reading Groups, previously held on a termly basis at Pushkin House, Bloomsbury. Given current circumstances, they will be held online for the foreseeable future.

The network convenes discussions around key texts (translated from Russian or written in English) that mediate a vital cultural relationship – whether literary, aesthetic, linguistic, economic or political.

Topics of interest include:

  • The translation and reception of Russian literature, film and visual art in Britain.
  • The role of Russian literature, culture and politics in the development of British modernism.
  • Bolshevism and the British left.
  • The reporting and discussion of the Russian Revolution and Soviet Russia in the British press.
  • Internationalism and Soviet Russia.
  • Britons in Russia / Russians in Britain.
  • The development of cold war attitudes and the ‘Iron Curtain’.

Each reading group focuses on a pre-circulated text or texts selected and introduced by a member of the network or an invited expert.

Forthcoming Reading Group

The next event will be announced soon.

Previous Reading Groups

24 May 2022: Jeremy Hicks on British films of the Volga famine

25 January 2022: José Vergara on Joyce and Russian Literature

7 December 2021: Marina Tsvetkova, ‘The reception of Marina Tsvetaeva in Britain’

21 July 2021:  Sveta Yefimenko, ‘Tolstoy On & In England’

21 June 2021: Maria Krivosheina on Russian literature, modernism and the British press

4 May 2021: Katherine Bowers on ‘Ghost Writing: Radcliffiana and the Russian Gothic Wave’

22 April 2021: Robert Henderson on Lenin in London

1 April 2021: Katya Rogatchevskaia on Anglo-Russian Research Network of 100 years ago

11 December 2020: ‘Contemporary Russian Literature in Translation: Not the Next Tolstoy’ – Sarah Gear

4 December 2020: ‘The “other side of the picture”: the Soviet City and Countryside in 1930s British Travel Accounts’Nicholas Hall

27 November 2020: ‘Translating Great Russian Literature – Penguin Russian Classics’ – Cathy McAteer

 20 November 2020: ‘Around and About the Other Shore: Russian Political Émigrés in London’Ben Phillips

13 November 2020:Marian Fell – Translation Work as a Reflection of Life Ventures’Anna Maslenova

17 May 2019: Nick Hall on British Travellers to the Soviet Union

22 February 2019:  Claire Warden on ‘Translation and Travel: Rediscovering the Lost Women of Anglo-Russian Theatre’

5th October 2018: Henry Stead on the Union of Soviet Writers and 1950s Britain

5 May 2018: Charlotte Alston on Siberia and the British Imagination

1 December 2017: Timothy Phillips on ‘When British Intelligence Saw Battleship Potemkin

12 May 2017: Pauline Fairclough on ‘What Did Cultural Diplomacy Ever Do For Us – and Them? Performing the Musical State in Britain and Russia’

3 March 2017: Claire Davison on ‘Never more close, intimate and cordial’: The ‘Projection of Russia Campaign’ on the BBC Home Service, 1941-45

28 October 2016: Elinor Taylor on James Barke: The Novel, The Nation and the International

4 March 2016: John Connor on Harold Heslop and the Novelists’ International [podcast now available]

27 November 2015: Barbara Emerson on Anglo-Russian Relations in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries [podcast now available]

19 June 2015: Anna Vaninskaya on Russian Foreign Correspondents in Edwardian Britain

20 March 2015: Louise Hardiman on Madame Pogosky

21 November 2014: Ben Harker – Jack Lindsay reads the Short Course

2 May 2014: Simon Dixon on Orthodoxy and Anglicanism in the Nineteenth Century

21 February 2014: Phillipa Burt on Theodore Komisarjevsky

4 October 2013: Kimberley Reynolds on Children’s Literature on the USSR

7 June 2013: Emily Lygo on the Society for Cultural Relations with the Soviet Union

15 February 2013: Michael Hughes on Stephen Graham and Russia

28 November 2012: Angus Wren and Olga Soboleva on George Bernard Shaw and Russia

24 February 2012: Laura Marcus on Soviet Cinema and British Modernism

4 November 2011: Stuart Eagles on John Kenworthy

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