I am a Senior Lecturer in Russian at the University of Bristol, UK. I  am currently serving as Head of Subject in the Department of Russian & Czech.

In broad terms, my research explores the relationship between literature and life, art and society, language and power. My area of specialization is Russian literature, culture and society from the Romantic period to the present day. I have a particular interest in cultural manifestations of gender and sexuality, especially the treatment of masculinity in experimental texts in literature and film.

I have published on queer aspects of Dostoevsky’s novels, on fatherhood in Chekhov’s short stories, and contested national identities and histories in Pushkin and Byron’s narrative poems. I am currently working on a monograph on masculinity and power in the work of Vladimir Maiakovskii. The book deconstructs the popular image of Maiakovskii as a ‘manly’ poet, a myth propagated not only by the writer himself, but by generations of critics in both Russia and the West, seduced by his work, and in possession of a powerful, but unarticulated and uncritical, gender essentialism. The book goes beyond the cliché of Maiakovskii as a manly poet, showing how he uses verse to negotiate the shifting terrain of masculinity in revolutionary Russia and the early Soviet period.

My teaching covers a broad range of topics and themes in Russian literature and culture from 1800 to the present, with occasional forays into earlier periods. At upper levels, my teaching includes research-based classes such as ‘Gender in 20C and 21C Russia’, ‘Writing Revolution: Russian Literature 1910-1940’, and ‘Russia and the World since 1991’. My approach to teaching is explicitly interdisciplinary and comparative, and I regularly contribute to comparative literature and culture teaching both at undergraduate and graduate level. I also have experience teaching Russian language at all levels.


PhD, Slavic Languages & Literatures, Northwestern University, 2013

MSt (with Distinction), European Literature, University of Oxford, 2007

BA (First-class honours), Modern and Medieval Languages (Russian and Spanish), University of Cambridge, 2005


Edited books

●  (with Andy Byford and Stephen Hutchings) Transnational Russian Studies (Liverpool: Liverpool Univ. Press,  2019). Transnational Modern Languages series. 354 pp.

●  (with Katherine Bowers and Kate Holland) A Dostoevskii Companion: Texts and Contexts (Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2018). Cultural Syllabus series. 535 pp.


Journal Articles

●  Myshkin’s Queer Failure: (Mis)reading Masculinity in Dostoevsky’s The Idiot, Slavic and East European Journal (SEEJ) 63.1, Spring 2019, 1–27.

●  The malen’kii chelovek in Almaty: Masculinity in Nariman Turebaev’s Films’, KinoKultura 54, Oct 2016. c. 8000 words.

●  What’s Papa For? Paternal Intimacy and Distance in Chekhov’s Early Stories’, SEEJ 59.4, Winter 2015, 517–541.

●  ‘One Man’s Meat is Another Man’s Poetry: Masculinity and Metaphor in the Work of Vladimir Maiakovskii’, Modernism/Modernity 20.2, April 2013, 239–264.

●  ‘Babushka Writes Back: Grandmothers and Grandchildren in Petrushevskaia’s Time: Night, Forum for Modern Language Studies 47.2, April 2011, 170–181.

●  ‘Poltava at 300: Reading Byron’s Mazeppa and Pushkin’s Poltava in the Post-Soviet Era’, Australian Slavonic and East European Studies (ASEES) 24.1–2, 2010, 83–101.


Chapters in Edited Volumes

●  ‘Queer Transnational Encounters: Russian LGBT Writing across Borders’, in Transnational Russian Studies, ed. Andy Byford, Connor Doak, and Stephen Hutchings (Liverpool: Liverpool Univ. Press, in press, 2020), 213–231.

●  ‘The Emotion as Such: Un/masking the Poet in Mayakovsky’s Early Lyrics and Drama’, in Behind the Masks of Modernism: Global and Transitional Perspectives, ed. Andrew Reynolds and Bonnie Roos. Gainesville, FL: Univ. of Florida Press, 2016, 135–157.

●  ‘Masculine Degeneration in Dostoevskii’s Demons’, in The Twilight of Realism: Russian Writers and the Fin de Siècle, ed. Katherine Bowers and Ani Kokobobo. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2015, 105–125.


●  (with Kevin M.F. Platt and Vlad Strukov) ‘The Transnational Turn in Russian Studies’, NewsNet,  Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES), March 2020, 2-6

●  (with Andy Byford and Stephen Hutchings) ‘Transnationalizing Russian Studies’, British Association of Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES) Newsletter, February 2020, p. 5.


Encyclopedia Entries

●  ‘Russian Futurism’ and ‘Ukrainian Futurism’ in The Routledge Online Encyclopedia of Modernism, ed. Stephen Ross, 2017.

●  Edited and revised entries for The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, 4th ed., 2012:

(i) Burns Stanza; (ii) Dol’nik; (iii) Priamel; (iv) Satanic School; (v) Smithy Poets.


Book Reviews

●  Susanne Fusso, Mikhail Katkov and the Great Russian Novel. In Modern Language Review (MLR) 114.3, Jul 2019, 609–610.

●  Dagmar Gramshammer-Hohl, ed. Aging in Slavic Literatures: Essays in Literary Gerontology. In SEEJ 62.3, Fall 2018, 617–619.

●  Rico Isaacs, Film and Identity in Kazakhstan: Soviet and Post-Soviet Culture in Central Asia. In Studies in Soviet and Russian Cinema 12.3, Autumn 2018, 266–268.

●  Sibelan E.S. Forrester and Martha M.F. Kelly, eds. Russian Silver Age Poetry: Texts and Contexts. In SEEJ 60.2, Summer 2016, 358–360.

●  Russell Scott Valentino, The Woman in the Window: Commerce, Consensual Fantasy, and the Quest for Masculine Virtue in the Russian Novel. In Journal of Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society 2.1, Apr 2016. 253–256.

●  Bengt Jangfeldt, Mayakovsky: A Biography. In Slavonic and East European Review 94.1, Jan 2016, 158–160.

●  Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment. A new translation by Oliver Ready. In SEEJ 59.2, Summer 2015, 298–300.

●  Gary Rosenshield, Challenging the Bard: Dostoevsky and Pushkin. A Study of Literary Relationship. In MLR 110.1, Jan 2015, 306–307.

●  Cathy Popkin, ed. Anton’s Chekhov Selected Stories. In SEEJ 58.4, Winter 2014, 707–708.

●  Carmen Bugan, Seamus Heaney and East European Poetry in Translation: Poetics of Exile. In SEEJ 58.1, Spring 2014, 166167.

●  Dennis G. Ioffe and Frederick H. White, eds. The Russian Avant-Garde and Radical Modernism: An Introductory Reader. In SEEJ 57.4, Winter 2013, 687–688.

●  Rina Lapidus, Passion, Humiliation, Revenge: Hatred in Man-Woman Relationships in the 19th and 20th Century Russian Novel.  In Canadian Slavonic Papers 52.1, Mar–Jun 2010, 200–201.

●  Irene Masing-Delic, Exotic Moscow Under Western Eyes: Essays on Culture, Civilization and Barbarism.  In Slavonica 16.1, 2010, 45–46.

●  ‘Men’s Tears and Other Extreme Situations’. Review of D.V. Gromov and N.L. Pushkareva, Muzhskoi sbornik [Masculinities Symposium] vv. 1-3. In Forum for Anthropology and Culture 5, 2009, 459–464; Russian translation by Arkadii Bliumbaum in Antropologicheskii forum 9, 2008, 324–330.

●  I occasionally contribute book reviews to Forum of Modern Language Studies, which publishes short (250–350 words) anonymized reviews of recent academic titles in modern languages/literary studies.


Film Reviews

●  Griaz’ bol’shogo goroda [City Filth], dir. Nariman Turebaev (2017). In KinoKultura 55, Jan 2018. 1700 words.

●  Kletka [The Cage], dir. Ella Arkhangel’skaia (2015). In KinoKultura 51, Jan 2016. 2000 words.

●  Prikliuchenie [Adventure], dir. Nariman Turebaev (2014). In KinoKultura 49, July 2015. 1200 words.

●  The Double, dir. Richard Ayoade (2013). In KinoKultura 45, July 2014. 1300 words.



●  Interview with Nariman Turebaev, film director. In Kinokultura 54, Oct 2016.



●  ‘The Knight of the Air’, a translation of Sergei Gorodetskii’s poem ‘Vozdushnyi vitiaz’’. In Tertia Vigilia, an online journal of Russian Silver Age poetry in translation. 26 April 2016.


Research-Based Blog Posts

●   (with Andy Byford and Stephen Hutchings) ‘All the Russias: A Transnational Approach’. In All the Russias, the blog of the New York University Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia, 7 Mar 2016. 1200 words.

●  ‘Painting the Town Black: A Japanese Take on Brothers Karamazov. Review of Brothers Karamazov miniseries (Fuji TV, Japan, 2013). In All the Russias, 7 Mar 2016.

●  ‘Gender Trouble in The Double: Masculinity in Dostoevsky’s Novella and Ayoade’s Film’. In All the Russias, 30 Oct 2015.

Blog Posts


    I am the elected representative for Slavonic and East European languages on the University Council of Modern Languages (UCML) Executive Board. UCML is the main national organization for promoting research and teaching in the field of modern languages in UK Higher Education.

    Together with Muireann Maguire (Exeter) and Margarita Vaysman (St Andrews), I co-convene the BASEES Nineteenth-Century Study Group.

    Connor Doak

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