Queen of Russian Poetry Abroad hosts UCLan’s first major international conference in Russian studies

10 May 2016

Global Russian culture experts head to UCLan

Experts in Russian culture have travelled to Preston from all over the world for a major international conference in Russian studies organised for the first time by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

The delegates, representing ten different countries from the USA to Azerbaijan, gathered together to discuss Russian culture including literature, history, art, theatre, cinema and poetry. A total of 34 research papers were presented.

Hosted by Dr Olga Tabachnikova, lecturer in Russian studies, the visitors enjoyed a fascinating programme of cultural events including a selection of Russian films presented by the director Evgeny Tsymbal, the only living Russian director to receive a BAFTA. There were also a range of poetry readings including a reading from the award-winning and celebrated Queen of Russian Poetry Abroad herself, Dr Tabachnikova.

Dr Tabachnikova commented: “This conference has been distinguished by being included into the official list of events to be conducted in 2016 – the special UK-Russia Year of Language and Literature. The conference theme offered an important and original angle from which to view Russia’s past and present. It has been an honour to host an event that gives voice to so much fantastic research into Russian culture and history.

“I am also very proud of the fact that two of my first year students gave talks at the conference which is a ground-breaking practice.”

The conference was addressed by the Russian Ambassador to the UK, His Excellency Dr Alexander Yakovenko and UCLan Pro Vice-Chancellor Dr Lynne Livesey who is responsible for academic development, employability and partnerships. 

"I am also very proud of the fact that two of my first year students gave talks at the conference which is a ground-breaking practice"

Dr Yakovenko said in his address: “Against the backdrop of complicated current political situation, culture is nearly the only realm of effective bilateral cooperation between Russia and Britain. The wide-ranging programme of the conference gives a detailed insight into history and modernity of Russian culture. We know how great the demand is for Russian culture outside of London and do our best to enhance cultural links.”

The conference comes shortly after Dr Tabachnikova attended a prestigious reception event at the Russian Embassy in London, hosted by Dr Yakovenko and the Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation, Dr Vladimir Medinsky. The reception was dedicated to the opening of a Russian stand of the London Book Fair.

Dr Tabachnikova, who earlier this year received the We ♥ you teaching award from the UCLan Students’ Union, continues to develop and champion Russian studies and culture at UCLan. Under her leadership Russian has leapt up the league table in the recent Complete University Guide by three places.

Dr Tabachnikova was awarded the title of the Queen of Russian Poetry Abroad last year, after she won the international Russo-phone poetry contest, "Pushkin in Britain". In addition to the monograph published last year with Bloomsbury Academic, she has now published a collective volume with Brill-Rodopi.