Dr Robin Aizlewood
Senior Lecturer in Russian, Director of SSEES
020 7679 8750
020 7679 8755
I am currently the Director of SSEES (from 2006), having been Deputy Director for three years before that. I am also the Director of the inter-university Centre for East European Language-Based Area Studies (CEELBAS) which UCL SSEES leads in a consortium with the Universities of Oxford and Birmingham and with seven other leading universities working together in the CEELBAS network.
I studied Russian at Brasenose College Oxford, where I went on to complete a DPhil on the semantics of verse form in the poetry of Vladimir Maiakovskii in 1984. I joined SSEES in 1989 and have played a leading role in the School for much of that time, especially in recent years as part of UCL. I have taught a wide range of courses, including Russian language at all levels, Russian literature and Russian thought.
I have also played a prominent national role in the modern languages world in general and in the promotion of Russian and East European languages in particular. This has included a central contribution to the establishment of the SOAS-UCL Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning, Languages of the Wider World. Alongside my wide-ranging research interests in Russian literature and thought, I have also written on Russian language teaching and syllabus and I have recently published the Routledge Intensive Russian Course (2007) in this major language textbook series.
My research has a number of areas of concentration alongside a wide range of publications in nineteenth and early twentieth century Russian literature and thought. I have written seminal studies of the semantics of verse form in Maiakovskii (Verse Form and Meaning in the Poetry of Vladimir Maiakovskii  and Two Essays on Maiakovskii's Verse ); I have worked extensively on Daniil Kharms and the OBERIU; and I have a long-standing interest in Russian thought, focussing especially on key problematics in the Russian tradition of philosophical thought. Beyond this my research has covered Russian Futurism, modernism, and verse theory more generally, as well as taking in individual projects on a range of Russian writers: most recently I have published a major study of Leskov's Ledi Makbet Mtsenskogo uezda.
Teaching and supervision
Despite being Director of SSEES, teaching remains an important part of what I do even if it no longer extends to the wide range of courses I have taught over the years. Currently I teach mainly Russian Thought at both BA and MA levels.
I have supervised a large number of PhD students over the last 15 years, who have worked on topics in both Russian thought and literature. These include studies of: Rozanov, Solov'ev, Populism, Eurasianism, the interaction of European and Russian thought, Bakhtin and Benjamin, anti-Semitism in Russian culture, Pushkin's poetry, a comparative study of Kharms, Russian Futurist poetry, women and violence in contemporary Russian literature.
Alongside my main continuing project on aspects of Russian thought, I am also working on a study of the poetics of monotony in Lermontov.
This page last modified
Wednesday 30 September 2009.