The Vladimir Vysotsky Centre for Slavonic Studies

Institute for Area and Migration Studies (AMIS)

Our mission is to bring Eastern European cultures to a Western audience. We want to bridge the gap between Slavonic countries and the UK through facilitating an inter-cultural dialogue and to conduct research in the field of Eastern European thought, literature, music, history, and art.


Our Centre is named after Vladimir Vysotsky (1938-1980). He became a cultural icon for the people of the USSR during his lifetime and continues to exert a considerable influence on cultural developments and national identity in the post-Soviet space. He was a poet, bard and actor. His literary work was largely forbidden by the Soviet authorities, but his songs, as unofficial audio recordings, could be heard from every window.

Vysotsky’s art served as a breath of fresh air in the totalitarian state stifled by ideological control and hypocrisy. It helped people to sustain their human dignity and cultural distinctiveness. Vysotsky was one of those artistic personalities who became a living conscience of the entire nation.

Strategic plans

  • Spearheading Global Research Initiatives: We are working on several ongoing international and interdisciplinary research projects sustained by external grants’ applications.
  • Building Global Cultural Alliances: Establishing strategic partnerships with cultural institutions around the globe to enrich our academic and cultural footprint.
  • Curating a Dynamic Event Programme: Our commitment to Slavonic Studies is brought to life through a diverse lineup of events, from scholarly seminars and workshops to lively festivals, concerts and performances.
  • Nurturing Academic Exchanges: We facilitate numerous academic and cultural exchanges that bring fresh perspectives into our Centre.
  • Collaborating for Collective Impact: Collaborating with other Centres and Institutes within UCLan and beyond to amplify our reach and impact.
  • Empowering the Next Academic Leaders: We foster the next generation of scholars through specialised support for postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

Past events

    • ‘Russian Studies in Kazakhstan from the perspective of teachers and learners’ A Group Presentation by Staff and Students. Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (Almaty), L.N. Gumilyov ENU (Eurasian National University) (Astana), the International School and the Quantum Stem School (Astana), 19 October 2022.
    • ‘Cold War, Love for Russian Culture, and Donation of Books to the Vysotsky Centre at UCLan’ by Ernest and Alastair Price, Wednesday 16 November 2022.
    • ‘Natatlia Goncharova: Between Art and Poetry’ by Giuseppina Larocca (Italy), 5th December 2022.
    • ‘Khokhloma on the British Isles’ by Jeremy Howard (UK), 18 January 2023.
    • ‘Doyv-Ber Levin and Fischel Schneersohn: Stories from Pogromed Children’ by Harriet Murav (USA), 22 February 2023.
    • “Youth is the future of Soviet music”: The Discussion of Young Composers in the Soviet Union after 1953’ by Amrei Flechsig (Germany), 1 March 2023.
    • ‘Dostoevsky and the Russian Literary Unconscious’ by Yuri Corrigan (USA), 22 March 2023.
    • ‘Andrei Tarkovsky’s theatre: staging ‘Hamlet’’ by Yulia Anokhina (Moscow), 4 November 2021.
    • ‘Vysotsky in English’ by John Farndon with Anthony Cable (UK), 8 December 2021.
    • ‘Dostoevsky as Suicidologist: Self-Destruction and the Creative Process’ by Amy D. Ronner (USA), 19 January 2022.
    • ‘The Earth as the Centre of the Universe? Pavel Florensky’s ‘Scientific’ Middle Ages’ by Andrea Oppo (Italy), 9 February 2022.
    • ‘Doctoral student – film director presents her new film ‘Transgressing’ On the heroine of Dostoevsky’s ‘Crime and Punishment’ in modern Britain’ by Anna Kumacheva (Russia-UK), 9 March 2022.
    • ‘Pushkin’s ‘Onegin’ in English, in Opera, Cinema and Ballet’ by Tatyana Boborykina (Russia), 30 March 2022.
    • ‘Searching for home on the banks of the Neva: Russian landscapes of contemporary Irish poetry’ by Alla Kononova (Russia), 14 October 2020.
    • ‘Through imitation to uniqueness: The rise and fall of the classical Russian novel in historical-literary perspective’ by Ivo Pospisil (Czech Republic), 21 October 2020.
    • ‘An overlooked page of Russian-British history: British nannies to the last Russian royals, the case of cultural exchange and human bonding’ by Louise Heren (Lacock-Oxford, UK), 4 November 2020.
    • ‘State against the writer: a story of artistic resilience and political dissent – tragic exile and creative triumph of Georgii Vladimov (1931-2003)’ by Svetlana McMillin (London, UK), 18 November 2020.
    • ‘Former Soviet Republics: a Virtual Exhibition of Central Asian Art (Kazakhstan). ‘The voice of the steppe’. 25 November 2020.
    • ‘Gender, family and religion in contemporary Russia: The continuum of piety and the problem of Russian Orthodox pronatalism. A comparative historical analysis’ by Diana Dukhanova (USA), 2 December 2020.
    • ‘Book launch: Russian-British Intercultural Dialogue in Music and Beyond - a Round Table on the volume of conference proceedings’, 9 December 2020.
    • "Post horses of Enlightenment": from Russian Soviet writing to a contemporary English readership. The short fiction of Aleksandr Vampilov as a challenge for the translator. (Jointly with MOLA/TESOL Seminar Series)’ by James Womack (Cambridge, UK), 6 January 2021.
  1. Major Conference Russian-British intercultural dialogue: Russian music in Britain – British music in Russia Major international academic conference organised jointly with the State Institute for Art Studies (SIAS, Moscow).

    2019 Conference Audience Feedback

    "It was a privilege to hear the opinions and insights of real experts on subjects with which I am only superficially acquainted."

    "It was very enriching to meet scholars from Russia."

    "I have thoroughly enjoyed both concerts. Live, contemporary performances are rare, and this is a fabulous endeavour."

    "Never listened to Russian music before now."

    "Beautifully played and impactful."

    "Today’s concert meaningfully contributed to widening my cultural horizons."

    Events and research seminar series in Slavonic Studies for 2019-2020

    • Russian-British Intercultural dialogue: Russian music in Britian - British Music in Russia.  A major international academic conference organised jointly with the state institute for Art Studies (SIAS, Moscow).
    • A seminar ‘Pushkin for Historians: The Case of Vasilii Kliuchevskii (1841–1911)’ by Dr Frances Nethercott (University of St Andrews), 4 December 2019.
    • Russian-English Poetry Translation Day: Poetry Translation workshop for students of Russian by award winning poets and translators. Round Table and Q&A Session on Poetry Translation: Poetry Translators in Conversation (Stephen Capus, Peter Daniels, Veniamin Gushchin and Olga Tabachnikova present their work in progress on the pioneering bilingual anthology of WWI poetry, and answer questions on the craft of literary translation), 22 January 2020.
    • ‘Fairy Tales in Russia and England’: A Course of Guest Lectures on Alexander Pushkin’s Fairy Tales (by Prof Olha Chervinska, Chernivtsy, Ukraine) and A Comparative Analysis of Russian and English Fairy Tales (by Dr Aliona Matiychak, Chernivtsy, Ukraine), 23-31 January 2020.
    • An Award Winning Film ‘Oscar’ Presented by its Co-Director Alexander Smoljanski (Russia-Germany). 12 February 2020.
    • Presentation of INTEGRUM: the electronic portrait of RUSSIA and the CIS by the IT company director Alexander Smoljansky, 13 February 2020.
    • A seminar ‘Does one need to engage a detective to learn a language?’ by Ignaty Dyakov (London), 11 March 2020.
    • Lecture: ‘An introduction to health for linguists: a holistic approach’ (Jointly with the Worldwise Centre) by Ignaty Dyakov, 11 March 2020.
  2. Since the Centre’s foundation on 25 January 2018, we have organised:

    Events and research seminar series in Slavonic Studies for 2018-2019

    • A seminar ‘The City in the Culture and Literature of the Russian Silver Age, 1900-1910s’ by Professor Leah Bushkanets (Kazan Federal University, Russia), 31 October 2018.
    • A seminar on the topic of ‘Anton Chekhov and Russian music’ by Professor Arnold McMillin (UCL), 21 November 2018.
    • Russia Day was a day packed with events and lectures on Russian culture and history; it took place on 5 December 2018. Our main guest speaker was a prominent Russian writer Alexander Melikhov.
    • Concert of Russian and Western European Music: given by a trio of internationally renowned musicians: Lana Trotovšek (violin), Elena Artamonova (viola) and Boris Bizjak (flute), 16 January 2019.
    • A (replacement) seminar ‘Old-Believers and Russian Symbolism’ by Dr Elena Artamonova (UCLan), 23 January 2019.
    • Translation workshop for students of Russian and Lecture on the translation of Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate by the award-winning translator Robert Chandler, 13 February 2019.
    • Concert and Lecture on Russian Music and Eurasian Philosophy: Dr Javier Ares Yebra (guitar) and Dr Elena Artamonova (viola), 1 March 2019.
    • Chekhov Theatre Experience: ‘The Seagull’. Theory and Practice by Theatre Director Stiliyan Petrov and Professor of Russian Literature Lyudmil Dimitrov (Bulgaria), 5-8 March 2019.
    • A seminar ‘Dostoevsky on Atheisms, Atheists, and the Question of God’ by Professor George Pattison (University of Glasgow), 13 March 2019.
    • Prof Galima Lukina (SIAS, Moscow) and The Gold Trio (England). Lecture and Concert.
    • A seminar ‘The poetic circle in Stalin-era Russia: the case for cultural continuity’ by Professor Katharine Hodgson (University of Exeter), 27 March 2019.
    • Professor Vera Zabotkina (RSUH, Moscow). Lecture ‘How to get to grips with the changes in the conceptual worldviews of Russian and English cultures’, 3 April 2019.


We publish high quality research in the form of peer-reviewed books and articles in international academic journals. Our activities bridge the gap between cultures, assisting the non-academic world to acquire in-depth knowledge of the cultural past and present of Eastern Europe and beyond, thus facilitating cultural enrichment and transnational understanding.

By organising a diverse programme of events within and outside UCLan, we bring Slavonic cultures to the English North-West, facilitating an inter-cultural dialogue and mutual awareness at a grassroots level. In our research, we engage in international collaboration with Social Scientists, Literary Scholars, and Cultural Studies experts from around the globe to produce pop-up exhibitions and ground-breaking documentaries, and to help socio-political practitioners and policymakers.

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Academic expertise

Dr Olga Tabachnikova
Reader in Russian
School of Psychology and Humanities

Olga teaches Slavonic Studies which runs an extensive programme of academic and cultural activities. Olga’s main area of expertise is Russian literature and cultural history from the 19th century to the present. She is a prolific researcher, collaborating in numerous internationa…

Dr Elena Artamonova
Lecturer in Russian Studies
School of Psychology and Humanities

Dr Elena Artamonova is a Lecturer in Russian Studies, a Member of the Vladimir Vysotsky Centre for Slavonic Studies and a Member of the Lancashire Research Centre for Migration, Diaspora and Exile (MIDEX). She teaches a range of modules on Russian Culture and Language, and succes…

F.M. Dostoevsky
F.M. Dostoevsky