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Dr Connor Doak

Dr Connor Doak

Dr Connor Doak
BA (Cantab.), MSt (Oxon.), PhD(Northwestern)


Office 1.55
17 Woodland Road,
Clifton, Bristol BS8 1TE
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+44 (0) 117 928 8190


Connor Doak works primarily on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian literature and culture, with a special interest in gender and sexuality and their relationship to war and political change. He has published in journals such as Modernism/modernitySlavic and East European Journal and Forum for Modern Language Studies. He is currently working on a monograph exploring how the poet Vladimir Maiakovskii uses verse to negotiate the shifting terrain of masculinity in revolutionary Russia and the early Soviet period. Connor's work increasingly extends back into the nineteenth century, as evidenced by recent publications on fatherhood in Chekhov's stories and on performing masculinity in Dostoevskii's Demons. He is also beginning to work on a project on how contemporary adaptations of classic texts frame issues of masculinity.

Connor is co-organizer, with Bradley Stephens (French), of 'Transnational Masculinities', an interdisciplinary workshop series funded by Bristol's Institute of Advanced Studies. He is also co-convener, with Muireann Maguire (University of Exeter) and Margarita Vaysman (University of St Andrews), of the Nineteenth-Century Study Group in the British Association of Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES). In 2017, Connor won a British Academy Rising Stars Engagement Award to create the 'UK-Russia Research Forum', which had its inaugural international symposium in January 2018.


Connor Doak has been Lecturer in Russian at University of Bristol since 2013, following the completion of his PhD in Slavic Languages & Literatures (Northwestern University), an Master's (with distinction) in European Literature (University of Oxford) and a BA (first-class honours) in Modern & Medieval Languages (University of Cambridge). He is currently serving as Head of Subject for the Department of Russian and Czech.

Connor's research focuses on Russian literature, culture, and society from 1800 to the present. Broadly, he is interested in the relationship between art and life, culture and politics, and language and power. More specifically, he is interested in gender and sexuality in the Russian context and its relationship to art and politics. He has published on these topics in journals such as Modernism/Modernity, Slavic and East European Journal, and KinoKultura. His research has been funded by the Arts and Humanties Research Council (AHRC) and the British Academy in the UK, and by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies in the USA.

Connor has recently co-edited (with Andy Byford and Stephen Hutchings) Transnational Russian Studies (Liverpool University Press, 2019), a volume that aims to open up the map of Russian Studies beyond Russia, both in research and in teaching. He is currently working on a monograph on masculinity in the poetry and drama of Vladimir Maiakovskii (1893-1930), one of Russia's finest modern poets and the self-styled voice of the October Revolution. The book is expected in 2021. 

Committed to the field of Russian Studies and modern languages, Connor is active in various national organizations beyond Bristol. He is currently Slavonic and East European Studies Representative on the Executive Board of the University Council of Modern Languages (UCML). He co-convenes (with Muireann Maguire and Margarita Vaysman) the BASEES Nineteenth-Century Study Group. In 2018, he organized (with Claire Shaw and Margarita Vaysman) the Bristol 'UK-Russia Research Symposium', which brought together leading academics from the UK, Russia, and elsewhere, to strengthen links between researchers in the two countries at a challenging time for diplomacy.  


Connor's teaching covers a broad range of topics and themes in Russian literature and culture from 1800 to the present, with occasional forays into earlier periods. In line with his research, his approach to teaching is explicitly interdisciplinary and comparative. He also has experience teaching Russian language at all levels, and contributes strongly to the School of Modern Languages comparative literatures and cultures teaching, both at undergradaute and MA level. 

At undergraduate level, Connor regularly contributes to first-year units such as 'Understanding Russia', 'Introduction to Russian Literature', and 'What is Comparative Literature and How do We Practise It?' At second year, he teaches ‘Hedgehogs and Foxes: The Nineteenth-Century Novel’, 'Chekhov on the World Stage', and 'Engineers of the Human Soul: Russian Culture and Politics, 1917-40'. At final year, he teaches research-led units on 'Gender in 20C and 21C Russia' and 'Writing Revolution: Russian Literature 1910-40', as a seminar on advanced Russian-English literary translation.

At postgraduate level, he contributes extensively to the MA in Comparative Literatures in Cultures, including 'Institutions of Culture', 'Gender in the Cultural Imagination', 'Research Skills', 'Tradition and Experimentation in the Twentieth-Century Novel'. He has supervised dissertations on topics including Svetlana Alexievich's representations of childhood, the gender politics of Ding Ling's writing, and the representation of childbirth and pregnancy in 19C English literature. 

Connor welcomes enquiries from prospective postgraduate research students working on any area of nineteenth- or twentieth-century Russian literature, especially those working on topics related to gender and sexuality.

Current supervisees and recently completed projects include: 

●  Suzanne Eade Roberts, 2018–date. PhD Translation. Thesis on ‘Translation theory in the post-Stalin period’. Co-supervisor with Katharine Hodgson and Carol O’Sullivan. Funded by the AHRC through the Southwest and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership.

●  Thomas Saunders, 2018–19. MPhil Russian. Thesis on ‘ Imagining Russian Sexualities in a Queer World’. Co-supervisor with Debbie Pinfold.

●  Tatiana Fry, 2015–16. MPhil Russian. Thesis on ‘The Moscow Text in Russia, 1800–50’. Co-supervisor with Claire Shaw.



  • Russian
  • Modernism
  • Gender and the Body
  • Poetry
  • Revolution
  • War



Department of Russian

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