Dr Michal Murawski will present a talk at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, on 31 October at 18:30. His talk is entitled "Late Putinist Hellenism? Zombie Monumentality, from Palmyra to Moscow." For more information, please visit

In the recent Complete University Guide, Queen Mary University of London's Department of Russian was ranked fourth in the country, the top Department in London. Commenting on this news, Chair of the Department, Dr Jeremy Hicks, said 'this is a recognition of the high quality of the Department's teaching and research.'

Dr Michal Murawski has been awarded a prestigious Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship and joined the Russian department in September for the next three years. Dr Murawski's research project is entitled 'Moscow Makeover: Architecture and Politics in Putin's Paradise'. It deals with Zaryadye Park, a grand architectural project currently under construction next to Red Square.

On the one hand, Zaryadye is fabled as a top-down initiative of Putin’s, the President’s ‘gift’ to Moscow. On the other, Moscow's Mayoralty frames Zaryadye as the flagship element in a fresh drive to 'democratise' and 'de-monumentalise' Moscow's urban landscape. Dr Murawski's research will comprise an in-depth, ethnographic study of Zaryadye-under-construction.

Situated at the intersection of urban anthropology, architectural theory and political theory, its key objective is to scrutinize widely-held understandings of how shapes and styles attach themselves to political and economic ideologies and processes. Did the utopian fantasies and totalitarian excesses of the 20th century find their natural urban expression in grand monuments, sprawling plazas and soaring towers? Do – or should – the democratic cities of the 21st century incline towards humbler, more organic, ephemeral forms? And what happens when Moscow, a city governed today by the iron hierarchy of Vladimir Putin’s ‘power vertical’ (vertikal’ vlasti), suddenly decides to undergo a ‘democratizing’ aesthetic makeover? These are some of the questions Dr Murawski will address through the case study of Zaryadye.

Professor Schonle gave a paper at ‘The Centre Cannot Hold’? The Non-Deaths and Afterlives of the High Modernist City, a conference hosted by the UCL SSEES FRINGE Centre, the Calvert 22 Gallery, the UCL Grand Challenges Fund and the UCL School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies on June 10-11 2016. Prof Schonle's paper was on "The Post-Post-Socialist Condition in Moscow: Centripetal Nostalgia in the Re-purposing of VDNKh." Professor Schonle's ideas about VDNKh can be read here.

Dr Ananieva spoke on 8th May 2016 about Russian Garden History during the 20th International Freising Garden Fair in Germany. The three day event "The World of Gardening as a Guest at Freising – Welcome Russia!" was dedicated to Russia and its great horticultural tradition and expertise and welcomed the gardening world within the inspiring atmosphere unique to the courtyards of the former Cloister Freising-Neustift (25 miles north of Munich in Bavaria).
See for further information in English:
and in German:

Dr Ananieva, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow, attended the annual workshop of the Cambridge New Habsburg Studies Network on 4 March 2016 at Gonville and Caius College. She gave a talk on the journalism of the “elegant world” in Habsburg Hungary.
For programme and abstracts:

Prof Schonle and Elisabeth Schimpfossl (SEESS/UCL) gave a paper entitled "The pursuit of distinction and the justification of privilege: the Russian elite in 1815 and 2015" at Pushkin House on 4 May 2016. This talk will compared and contrasted the Russian aristocracy of the early nineteenth century with Putin's oligarchs, focusing on the ways these elites account for their privileges and understand the "service" they render to society, as well as the narratives they develop to justify why they should be treated as equals by the West.

Dr. Jeremy Hicks has been awarded the 2013 Wayne S. Vucinich Book Prize for the most important contribution to Russian, Eurasian, and East European studies in any discipline of the humanities or social sciences in recognition of his monograph First Films of the Holocaust: Soviet Cinema and the Genocide of the Jews, 1938-1946 (University of Pittsburgh Press). The prize was awarded at the Annual conference of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies in Boston November 2013.

Prof. Andreas Schonle has won the Alexander Nove Prize, 2011, awarded at the 2013 Annual Conference of the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies for his book Architecture of Oblivion: Ruins and Historical Consciousness in Modern Russia, published by Northwestern University Press.

Prof. Galin Tihanov, the George Steiner Chair of Comparative Literature, whose work is partly devoted to Russian and Soviet intellectual history, has been elected as a new member of the Academy of Europe. For full details, see


Subscribe to News