Professor Muireann Maguire
Professor of Russian and Comparative Literature
Muireann Maguire is Professor in Russian and Comparative Literature at the University of Exeter. She is Principal Investigator on the ERC-funded Horizon 2020 project 'RusTRANS: The Dark Side of Translation: 20th and 21st Century Translation from Russian as a Political Phenomenon in the UK, Ireland, and the USA,' grant agreement no. 802437. This project, which is active until December 2023, explores the dynamics of Russian-English literary translation through a series of historical and/or contemporary case studies.
Professor Maguire's other research interests include gender studies, specifically the depiction of pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding in Russian and Western literature; her book Hideous Agonies: Myths of Maternity in Russian and Comparative Literature is in progress. In 2021-22, she is Principal Investigator on an AHRC Networking Grant, 'Salt Babies: Narrating Maternity in Russian and Comparative Literature'.
She is a member of the University of Exeter's new Centre for Classical Reception and is working on an article on classical reception among Lev Tolstoy's literary contemporaries. She maintains an interest in contemporary Russian literature, in particular the fiction of Vladimir Sharov and Evgenii Vodolazkin; she has recently published articles/book chapters on both.
In 2021, Professor Maguire co-edited (with Timothy Langen) an Open Access edited volume called Reading Backwards: An Advance Retrospective on Russian Literature, based on the idea of "anticipatory plagiarism" as applied to Russian literature and previously explored at this conference, organized by Dr Maguire. The book may be downloaded here.
She has taught courses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian literature and on comparative literature. Her book Stalin’s Ghosts: Gothic Themes in Early Soviet Literature (Peter Lang, 2012) examines the unexpected interaction between Soviet Socialist Realism and the European Gothic tradition. Other publications are listed below. Professor Maguire is also active as a freelance translator from Russian to English: a collection of Russian twentieth-century ghost stories, Red Spectres, was published in 2012. A second anthology, White Magic: Russian Emigre Tales of Mystery and Terror, appeared in 2021 from Russian Life.
Professor Maguire's published articles and book chapters include:
- “Master and Manxman: Reciprocal Plagiarism in Tolstoy and Hall Caine”, in Muireann Maguire and Timothy Langen, eds. Reading Backwards: An Advance Retrospective on Russian Literature (Cambridge: Open Book Publishers, 2021).
- ‘Dostoevsky’s Forgotten Children: Lost Babies and Baby Loss in The Adolescent’, in Slavonic and East European Review 99:1 (2021), pp. 98-123. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5699/slaveasteurorev2.99.1.0098
- 'From Dostoevsky to Yeltsin: Failed Translations and Russian Literary Landings in the Irish Language,’ in Rus: Revista de Literatura e Cultura Russa 11:17 (2021), pp. 1-39. DOI: https://doi.org/10.11606/issn.2317-4765.rus.2020.178520
- ‘Climbing the Mountain and Crossing the Wall: Translating Alisa Ganieva and Guzel’ Yakhina’, in a special issue of the UK Institute of Translation and Interpreting Research Network eBook, ed. by H. Vassallo and O. Castro, 2020
- “Time Machines and Metamorphoses: H.G. Wells’s Influence on Mikhail Bulgakov and Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky”, in Galya Diment, ed. “The Eastern Wall of Europe”: H.G. Wells and All Things Russian (Anthem: London, 2019), pp. 31-49.
- “Lazarus on the Ark: Heterotopias in the Novels of Vladimir Sharov and Evgenii Vodolazkin”, in Per-Arne Bodin and Mikhail Suslov, eds. The Post-Soviet Politics of Utopia: Language, Fiction and Fantasy in Modern Russia (Bloomsbury/I.B. Tauris: London, 2019), pp. 81-101.
- ‘Institutional Gothic in the novels of Vladimir Sharov and Evgenii Vodolazkin’, Canadian Slavonic Papers, 61:4 (2019), pp. 420-38. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00085006.2019.1648986
- “The little man in the overcoat: Gogol and Krzhizhanovsky”, in Russian Writers and the Fin de Siècle: The Twilight of Realism, ed. by K. Bowers and A. Kokobobo (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), pp. 180-96.
- 'Aleksei N. Tolstoi and the Enigmatic Engineer: A Case of Vicarious Revisionism', Slavic Review (72:2, Summer 2013)
- 'The Wizard in the Tower: Iakov Brius and the Representation of Alchemists in Russian Literature', Slavonic and East European Review (90:3, July 2012), pp. 401-427.
- 'Crime and Publishing: How Dostoevskii Changed the British Murder', chapter in A People Passing Rude: British Responses to Russian Culture, ed. Anthony Cross (Cambridge: Open Book Publishers, 2012).
- ‘Ghostwritten: Reading Spiritualism and Feminism in the Works of Rachilde and Vera Kryzhanovskaia-Rochester’, Modern Language Review (106: 2, 2011), pp. 313-332.
- ‘Post-Lamarckian Prodigies: Evolutionary Biology in Soviet Science Fiction’, New Zealand Slavonic Journal (43: 2009), pp. 23-54.
- ‘A “dreadful predilection”: The Gothic-Fantastic in Soviet Socialist Realist Literature’, Gothic Studies (13:1, May 2011), pp. 75-94.
- ‘“Kto umeet zhit’ obmanom”: Wizards and Diviners in Late Eighteenth-Century Russian Theatre’, Study Group on Eighteenth-Century Russia Newsletter No. 34 (July 2006).
- Articles on ‘Russian Gothic’ and ‘Sigizmund Krzhizhanovskii’ for the online Literary Encyclopedia (www.litencyc.com).
She has co-edited special issues of Tolstoy Studies Journal (XXVII, 2015), Science Fiction Film and Television (8:2, 2015), and Studies in East European Thought (63:2, 2011). Professor Maguire regularly reviews for Modern Language Review and the TLS, amongst other publications.
Muireann Maguire is Principal Investigator on the ERC-funded Horizon 2020 project 'RusTRANS: The Dark Side of Translation: 20th and 21st Century Translation from Russian as a Political Phenomenon in the UK, Ireland, and the USA,' grant agreement no. 802437. This project, which is active until December 2023, explores the dynamics of Russian-English literary translation through a series of historical and/or contemporary case studies.
She is also Principal Investigator (with Dr Egle Kackute, University of Vilnius, as Co-Investigator) on an AHRC-funded research network dedicated to Slavic and East European Maternal Studies (2020-21). Under its auspices, Dr Maguire and Dr Kackute will co-organize several academic conferences and public-facing exhibitions and events linked to themes of maternity and parenthood.
Dr Maguire's own research interests in maternal studies focus on maternal fictions, specifically the depiction of pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding in Russian and Western literature; her book Hideous Agonies: Myths of Maternity in Russian and Comparative Literature is in progress. Additonally, she is a member of the University of Exeter's new Centre for Classical Reception and is working on an article on classical reception among Lev Tolstoy's literary contemporaries. She maintians an interest in contemporary Russian literature, in particular the fiction of Vladimir Sharov and Evgenii Vodolazkin; she has recently published articles/book chapters on both.
Another recent book project is an Open Access edited volume called Reading Backwards: An Advance Retrospective on Russian Literature, based on the idea of "anticipatory plagiarism" as applied to Russian literature and previously explored at this conference, organized by Dr Maguire.
I am happy to supervise research on various cross-cultural and/or interdisciplinary themes, as well as topics relating to Russian literature and/or the study of maternal fictions. These include:
- Russian nineteenth-century realist writers, including Dostoevsky and Tolstoy
- Literary translation from Russian to English
- Gender studies (in the context of Russian literature)
- Childbirth narrative in Russian and comparative literature
- Women's writing (including maternal fictions) in Russian and Eastern European literature
- Russian science fiction, including utopian and dystopian fiction
- Gothic literature (in the Russian context)
- Socialist realism (in the Russian context)
Please contact me by email if you would like to discuss working with me.
Current research students:
Christina Karakepeli, co-supervised with Dr Cathy McAteer, "The Dostoevsky Canon in Greece: three eras of translation from 1886 to today"
Sarah Gear, co-supervised with Dr Cathy McAteer, "What do Translations Say About Us? A Comparison Between the Translations of Nationalist and Liberal Writers from Putin's Russia"
Anna Maslenova, co-supervised with Dr Cathy McAteer, "Anglo-Russian Cultural Interactions in 1890-1930: The Microhistories of Translators and their Networks"
Svetlana Yefimenko, co-supervised with Dr Emily Hauser, "The Iliad and War and Peace as Existential Prophecies"
Previous research students:
Maria Selezneva (co-supervised with Dr Richard Mansell and Dr Eliana Maestri), "Homeward bound: How translators negotiate the foreign in tourism. An English-Russian case study"
Julia Sutton Mattocks (co-supervised under AHRC DTP studentship with Dr Rajendra Chitnis, Bristol): "Towards A ‘Healthy Modernity’?: Medicine And Medical Practice In Interwar Russian And Czech Literature And Cinema"
External impact and engagement
In October-December 2017, Dr Maguire co-ordinated an exhibition and lecture series on cultural links between Russian and Devon at the Devon and Exeter Institution. See here for more information and to download a PDF of the exhibition.
Contribution to discipline
From April 2021, I am Slavonic Editor for the MHRA journal Modern Language Review. I welcome suggestions for articles on Russian and Slavonic literature and culture, as well as relevant books for review.
From 2015 to 2019, I was Information Officer for BASEES, the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies, and ex officio Editor of our journal, the BASEES Newsletter.
in 2018-19 I was also Acting Secretary of BASEES. From 2019 I am one of the judges for the BASEES Women's Forum Prizes.
As a referee/reviewer,
- I have contributed book reviews to SEEJ, SEER, Modern Language Review, Translation and Literature, and the Times Literary Supplement, among other publications
- I have reviewed paper proposals for the AATSEEL and BASEES annual conferences
- I have reviewed book manuscripts for Open Book Publishers, Academic Studies Press, and Legenda
- I have reviewed article submissions for Russian Review, Modern Language Review, Comparative Literature, and other publications
- I have reviewed translations submitted to Columbia University Press
As an editor, I have co-edited special issues of the following journals:
- Tolstoy Studies Journal (XXVII (2015))
- Science Fiction Film and Television (8:2, 2015)
- Studies in East European Thought (63: 2, 2011)
I was interviewed by BBC Radio 3 about Dostoevsky for an episode of "Freethinking" broadcast on Jan 6, 2020. The broadcast is currently available at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000qyz5
- MLR1001 - Contemporary Russian Written and Oral
- MLR1030 - Russian Language for Beginners
- MLR2001 - Contemporary Russian Written and Oral I
- MLR2019 - Russian Cinema in Five Films
- MLR2021 - Understanding Russia
- MLR2030 - Intermediate Russian
- MLR3111 - Advanced Russian Language Skills
- SML3015 - Dissertation
- SML3030 - Extended Dissertation
- SML3031 - Advanced Translation Skills
- SML3035 - The Fantastic in 19th and 20th Century Literature
Muireann Maguire is Senior Lecturer in Russian at the University of Exeter. She was Career Development Fellow in Russian Literature and Culture at Wadham College, Oxford, between 2010 and 2013, and has previously taught at Queen Mary College, University of London and at the University of Cambridge. She has a PhD from the University of Cambridge (2009) and a BA (Hons) in European Studies from Trinity College Dublin (2003).