CFP: [20th] Russia in Britain, 1880-1940 (London, UK; 25-26 June 2009)

full name / name of organization: 
Rebecca Beasley
contact email: 


Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of
25-26 June 2009

Keynote speakers
Olga Kaznina, Senior Research Fellow, Gorky Institute of World Literature
and Art, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow
Laura Marcus, Regius Professor of English, University of Edinburgh
Laurence Senelick, Professor of Drama, Tufts University, Boston

Rebecca Beasley, School of English and Humanities, Birkbeck College,
University of London
Philip Ross Bullock, Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, University
of Oxford

This international conference will examine the profound impact of Russian
and Soviet culture on British modernism. In 1915, Rebecca West declared
that ‘Russia is to the young intellectuals of to-day what Italy was to the
Victorians’, and the diverse influences of the Ballet Russes, Constance
Garnett’s translations, and Soviet cinema are routinely cited in studies
of modernist writers as different as H.D., Wyndham Lewis, Katherine
Mansfield and Virginia Woolf. British modernists played a central role in
the dissemination of Russian literature and culture: reviewing, editing,
publishing and translating. However, there has been surprisingly little
sustained attention to the structural details of this engagement. This
conference aims to map an intricate and wide-ranging set of
interdisciplinary relations, and will trace the transformative effect of
Russian and Soviet culture from the first translations of Russian realist
novels in the 1880s, to 1940, the eve of the Soviet Union’s involvement in
the Second World War. This ‘long modernist’ perspective is intended to
encourage contributions on a broad spectrum of topics, from the simple
life and socialist communities of the late nineteenth century, through the
cosmopolitanism of high modernism, to the early reception of Soviet
literature, cinema and theatre, the impact of socialist realism, and the
rise of professional Russian studies in Britain.

Participants may wish to address, but are in no way limited to, the
following subjects:

• case studies in the British reception of Russian and Soviet literature,
art, theatre, film, and music
• translators
• theories of reception, translation and comparative literary
• internationalism, transnationalism, cosmopolitanism
• Russophile modernists
• folklore, ethnography and anthropology
• socialism, Fabianism, anarchism, suffrage
• Tolstoyan communities and simple life movements
• interactions between British and Soviet Communists
• the British ‘intelligentsia’
• Russian studies in the modern university
• Russophile publishing houses
• British periodical culture and Russophile editors
• Anglo-Russian and Anglo-Soviet societies
• religion and spirituality
• émigré and refugee culture
• formalism vs. realism debates
• travel writing
• politics, empire and national identity

Please submit a title, 300 word abstract, and brief CV by 15 December 2008
to or Further
information is available at
list/ies_conferences. A limited number of bursaries may be available for
contributors from Central and Eastern Europe, and for British graduate

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Received on Tue Sep 23 2008 - 13:52:27 EDT