I am interested in the study of Russian and Jewish literary and artistic activities in Central and Eastern Europe. The joint publishing projects between Russian and Jewish agents, together with the migrating ideologies of both groups, have remained a major research interest of my academic career, which includes ten years at Queen’s University Belfast before joining the University of Portsmouth in 2005. A more recent interest is the study of the Russian cultural production abroad during the period 1909-29, including art publishing, Russian Orientalism and Muslim-Jewish interaction in Central Asia.

My latest book on “The Firebird as an Art Journal. Zhar ptitsa: Russia on Display in Berlin, 1921-26” (Vienna 2012; original in German) is the result of extensive research on Berlin as the first capital of post-1917 Russian Emigration. The research was supported by two British Academy Senior Research Fellowships (2004 and 2009-10) and an International Research Fellowship granted by Queen’s University of Belfast.

The book deals with the legendary rise of Zhar ptitsa (The Firebird) as an art journal. It is an original account of a journalistic endeavour that represented an international Russian culture in Berlin. For a short time in the early 1920s Berlin was the scene of a division of labour between Bolshevik elites and emigrated Russians, within their common publishing space outside Russia. The message of this journal challenges the supposed boundaries between Russian Emigration and the Soviet Union that were publicly maintained by both the declared emigrants and Soviet agents.

I am a honorary research associate of the Department for Hebrew and Jewish Studies at the University College London and a fellow of the Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context", a trans- and interdisciplinary network of researchers at the new Institute for Advanced Studies at Heidelberg University (Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies).

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Research Interests

Research Clusters

  • Cohabited Space.

Discipline Areas

  • Russian Cultural Production in Berlin, 1921-26.
  • The History of the Jewish Press in Central and Eastern Europe before the Second World War.
  • Russian Orientalism.
  • Heterotopic Sites in Central Asia.

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