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Dr Victoria Donovan, Lecturer

Dr Victoria DonovanContact Details
Phone: 01334 462948
Office: Quad 43

Module surgery hours:
Tuesday 11am-1pm 

Full research profile

Research and Teaching

My research activities contribute to several interlocking fields of scholarship, including identity politics, cultural memory, heritage studies, and cross-border cultural studies in modern Russia. My book project is Chronicles in Stone: Preservation, Patriotism, and Identity in Northwest Russia, a study of the ways the Soviet state exploited the architectural heritage of the Russian Northwest to craft visions of Russified Sovietness that could stimulate popular patriotic consciousness. I have published a number of articles on my research in Russian and English-language journals in the field of Russian Studies, including Antropologicheskii forum, Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, Slavonica, and Slavic Review. I have also contributed book chapters to volumes dedicated to Russian identities and contemporary Russian politics and culture.

In recent academic years, I have begun to lay the groundwork for a second research project on the local and transnational forces behind the twentieth-century transformation of Hughesovka-Stalino-Donetsk. This research has formed the basis for an impact project at the University of St Andrews, engaging Welsh and migrant communities in the South Wales Valleys, Welsh and Ukrainian artists and musicians, in a constructive and timely discussion about migration, culture, and European identity. For more on this project see:

My teaching reflects my interests in Russian memory politics, local and national identities, and contemporary culture. I co-ordinate Honours modules on: “Issues in Cultural Identity”; “The City in Soviet and Russian Cinema”; and “Russian Village Prose, 1956-1980”. I also teach components of first-, second-, and third-year language, lead seminars in Comparative Literature, and supervise undergraduate and M.A. theses. I welcome enquiries from post-graduate students on all aspects of modern and contemporary Russian history and culture, cultural memory, Soviet and Russian identities, heritage politics, and cross-border cultural and migration studies.

In 2016- 2017 I was appointed one of the UK’s ten AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinkers, a role that has allowed me to develop radio and television programmes based on my research for a broad audience. Over the past two years I have contributed regularly to BBC radio, on programmes such as Radio 4’s "The Cultural Front", Radio 3’s "Free Thinking", Radio 3’s "The Essay", and Radio 4’s "Science Stories".


Militarized memory: patriotic re-branding in post-Soviet Pskov
Donovan, V. S. 23 Jan 2018 Russia's regional identities: The power of the provinces. Clowes, E., Kokobobo, A. & Erbslöh, G. (eds.). London: Routledge, p. 73-95 23 p. (Routledge contemporary Russia and Eastern Europe series; vol. 80)
Research output: ResearchChapter

Soviet comedies for ‘our time’: cinematic remaking in twenty-first-century Russia
Donovan, V. S. 21 Nov 2017 Ruptures and continuities in Soviet/Russian cinema: Styles, characters and genres before and after the collapse of the USSR. Beumers, B. & Zvonkine, E. (eds.). London: Routledge, p. 24-36 (Routledge contemporary Russia and Eastern Europe series)
Research output: ResearchChapter

‘Monument and Memory in Erkin Mergenov’s Ertek’
Donovan, V. S. 2010 14 Essays Inspired by the Sculptures of Erkin Mergenov. Stuttgard: ibidem-Verlag
Research output: ResearchChapter


How well do you know your krai? The kraevedenie revival and patriotic politics in late Khrushchev-era Russia
Donovan, V. S. 2015 In : Slavic Review. 74, 3, p. 464-483 20 p.
Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

The ‘Old New Russian Town’: Modernization and Architectural Preservation in Russia’s Historic North West, 1961‐1982
Donovan, V. S. 1 Apr 2013 In : Slavonica. 19, 1, p. 18-35 18 p.
Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

‘“Idya nazad, shagaem vpered”: Vozobnovlenie traditsii kraevedeniya v muzeyakh Severo-Zapada v poststalinskom SSSR’
Donovan, V. S. 2011 In : Antropologicheskii Forum/Forum for Anthropology and Culture. 7, p. 211-230
Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

‘Povestvovatel’nye konstruktsii provintsial’nosti v ustnykh rasskazakh zhitelei severo-zapada Rossii’ / ‘The Narrative Construction of Provincialism in the Oral Testimonies of North West Russians’
Donovan, V. S. 2010 In : Antropologicheskii Forum/Forum for Anthropology and Culture. 12, p. 297-326 29 p.
Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle


Soviet and post-Soviet identities
Donovan, V. S. 1 Jan 2014 In : Modern Language Review. 109, 1, p. 307-308 2 p.
Research output: Research - peer-reviewBook/Film/Article review

The Socialist Car: Automobility in the Eastern Bloc, ed. by Lewis Siegelbaum (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2011)
Donovan, V. S. 2013 In : Slavonica. 2
Research output: Research - peer-reviewBook/Film/Article review

Mark B. Smith, Property of Communists: The Urban Housing Program from Stalin to Khrushchev
Donovan, V. S. Apr 2012 In : Slavonica. 1
Research output: Research - peer-reviewBook/Film/Article review

Irina Paperno, Stories of the Soviet Experience: Memoirs, Diaries, Dreams (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009)
Donovan, V. S. Apr 2011 In : Slavonica. 1
Research output: Research - peer-reviewBook/Film/Article review

Stephen Lovell, The Shadow of War: Russia and the USSR, 1941 to the Present (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010)
Donovan, V. S. 2011 In : Slavonica. 2
Research output: Research - peer-reviewBook/Film/Article review