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About the research

The Russian Studies research cluster focuses on the culture, history and politics of Russia and the historical Russian and Soviet empires. It comprises researchers from a range of disciplines with interests in art and photography, film, theatre, history, politics and foreign policy, law, literature and poetry. The cluster promotes collaborative and individual projects grouped around the common goal of investigating continuity and change in Russian culture and society and its relations with the wider world. Russia occupies a key position internationally, because of its enormous geopolitical significance and its history of often extreme cultural, social and political experimentation. Moreover, because of this history, the study of Russia provides critical test cases for social, historical, political and cultural theories that reach far beyond its borders.


Cluster members and research interests

Professor Jacob Edmond

Department of English and Linguistics
Tel +64 3 479 7969

Jacob Edmond is concerned with comparative approaches to literary studies and the cross-cultural encounters that take place in and through literature. He has research interests in modern and contemporary poetry in Chinese, Russian and English, with a particular focus on avant-garde or innovative poetries. In these areas, his research also explores the relationship between politics and aesthetics and the social and material contexts of literary production, including that of late Soviet samizdat and unofficial literary publishing in post-Mao China.

Jacob has received a Marsden Grant for the following research project: A New Global Poetics: Postmodern Poetry in China, Russia and the United States.

Dr Jim Headley

Department of Politics
Tel +64 3 479 8616

Jim Headley researches and teaches on Russian foreign policy. He is interested in debates about Russian foreign policy priorities in the post-Cold War era, and the linkages between domestic and foreign policy. He particularly focuses on Russian conceptions of Europe and there application to the question of 'Russian identity'.

Dr Nigel J. Jamieson

Faculty of Law
Tel +64 3 479 8832

Nigel Jamieson's research interests include jurisprudence, legislation, legal philosophy, legal history, legal system, literature, linguistics, and comparative law.

Dr Timothy Mixter

Tel +64 3 472 8665

Timothy Mixter's research interests mainly relate to Russian History, especially 17th Century Muscovy, Revolutionary Russia, 1861-1932, Russia, 1985-present, and the Social-Political History of Rural Russia. He specifically focuses on the evolution of interactions between villagers and authorities in Saratov Province in the revolutionary period, 1900-1921, and on the socio-political relations of migrant agricultural laborers in Russia & Ukraine, 1830-1917. He is also interested in the question of contested urban spaces in Russia and other countries and am involved in the collection of pre-1917 and contemporary photographs of Russia and Ukraine.

Dr Cecilia Novero

Department of Languages & Cultures
Tel +64 3 479 8694

Cecilia Novero has a PhD from the University of Chicago. After teaching positions in the USA, she is now Lecturer of German at the University of Otago in New Zealand. Her interests are in European avant-garde literature and art, in European Studies, especially contemporary film since 1989, travel literature, gastrosophy/gastronomy, and animal studies. Her method is comparative and her approach is interdisciplinary. German and French theory in the realms of aesthetics (art, but also recent work in word and image) cinema and gender studies inform her work. Novero's forthcoming book is entitled Anti-Diets of the Avant-garde: From Futurist Fast Food to Eat Art (The University of Minnesota Press) and is devoted to the study of the temporal relations between historical and neo-Avant-garde through the analysis of incorporation and consumption. She published and / or presented in the USA and in Italy on topics as varied as cookbooks, nutritional texts, animals in art, contemporary film, Walter Benjamin and Primo Levi.

Professor Robert Patman

Department of Politics

Professor Charles Pigden

Department of Philosophy
Tel +64 3 479 8728
Tel +64 3 4710 626

Charles Pigden has long had a passion for Russian literature and history. He has published on Stalin, on Bertrand Russell and the Bolsheviks, and on Dostoevsky's amoral creation Stavrogin, dark hero of The Devils. He is interested in the implications of the Russian experience for moral philosophy and for the philosophy of history.

Associate Professor Alexander Trapeznik

Department of History and Art History
Tel +64 3 479 8641

Alexander Trapeznik is interested in the role of revolutionary ideology, social and political movements and class conflict in nineteenth and twentieth century Russia. He is also interested in the New Cold War history and his work in this area seeks to reinterpret the Comintern's position in an international and national context.

Associate Professor Erika Wolf

Department of History and Art History
Tel +64 3 479 9012

Prof Stuart Young

Theatre Studies Programme


Russian culture

  • Edmond, Jacob, ed. (with Gregory O'Brien, Evgeny Pavlov and Ian Wedde.) Russia, spec. issue of Landfall 213 (May 2007).
  • Edmond, Jacob, “Lyn Hejinian and Russian Estrangement.” Poetics Today 27.1 (2006): 97-124.
  • Edmond, Jacob, “From Pathos to Parody: Ambivalent Antithesis and Echoes of 'Vycho?u odin ja na dorogu' in 'Obraz tvoj mu?itel'nyj i zybkij' and 'Zolotoj' from Osip Mandel'štam's Kamen'.” Russian Literature 58.3-4 (2005): 357-373.
  • Edmond, Jacob, “Locating Global Resistance: The Landscape Poetics of Arkadii Dragomoshchenko, Lyn Hejinian and Yang Lian.” AUMLA: Journal of the Australasian Universities Language & Literature Association 101 (2004): 71-98.
  • Edmond, Jacob, “'A Meaning Alliance': Arkadii Dragomoshchenko and Lyn Hejinian's Poetics of Translation.” Slavic and East European Journal 46.3 (2002 [2003]): 551-63.
  • Pigden, Charles.(1988) 'Stavrogin: A Critical Study of an Amoralist', Critical Philosophy, vol. 4. pp. 28-50.

Russian/Soviet history

  • Mixter, Timothy and Esther Kingston-Mann, eds., Peasant Economy, Culture, and Politics of European Russia, 1800-1921, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991).
  • Mixter, Timothy, "The Hiring Market as Workers' Turf: Migrant Agricultural Laborers and the Mobilization of Collective Action in the Steppe Grainbelt of European Russia, 1853-1913," in Peasant Economy, Culture, and Politics of European Russia, 1800-1921, ed. Esther Kingston-Mann and Timothy Mixter (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991), pp. 294-340.
  • Mixter, Timothy, "Peasant Collective Action in Saratov Province, 1902-1906," in Rex Wade and Scott J. Seregny, ed., Politics and Society in Provincial Russia: Saratov, 1590-1917 (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1989), pp. 191-232, 390-406.
  • Mixter, Timothy, "Of Grandfather-Beaters and Fat-Heeled Pacifists: Perceptions of Agricultural Labor and Hiring Market Disturbances in Saratov, 1872-1905," Russian History Volume 7, Numbers 1-2 (1980): 139-168.
  • Pigden, Charles (2006) 'Popper Revisited or What is Wrong With Conspiracy Theories?' ch. 3 of Coady, David ed. Conspiracy Theories: the Philosophical Debate, London, Ashgate, 2006, pp. 17-47
  • Pigden, Charles (2003) 'Owed to Uncle Joe' (a Review of Martin Amis's Koba the Dread) in The New Zealand Political Review, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 43-45.
  • Pigden, Charles. (1999) 'Interlude I' in Pigden, Charles. R. ed. Russell on Ethics, London, Routledge, pp. 189-193
  • Pigden, C.R. and Gillett, G.R. (1996) 'Milgram, Method and Morality' The Journal of Applied Ethics, vol. 13. no. 3. pp. 233-250.
  • Trapeznik, A. V. M .Chernov: Theorist, Leader, Politician. Newcastle, Cambridge Scholars Press (2007)
  • Trapeznik, A. and Fox, A. (ed) Lenin's Legacy Down Under. New Zealand's Cold War. Dunedin, University of Otago Press (2004)
  • Trapeznik, A. Foreign Intervention from Down Under during Russia's Civil War. New Zealand Slavonic Journal 39: (2005).
  • Trapeznik, A. 'Agents of Moscow?' The Comintern and the Communist Party of New Zealand. Journal of Cold War Studies (forthcoming) 9/3: (Summer 2007)
  • Trapeznik, A. New Zealand's Perceptions of the Russian Revolution of 1917. Revolutionary Russia 63-77 19/1: (June 2006)
  • Trapeznik, A.Worker Unrest in Late Nineteenth Century Russia: Tula a case study. Social History 22-43 25/1: (2000)


  • Jamieson, N. and A. Trapeznik, A Legislative (Logico-Legal) Analysis of the Common Law Components of the Russian Constitution. Journal of Transnational Law and Contemporary Problems (forthcoming) 16/2: (2007)
  • Jamieson, N., 1996 The Russian Legal System in a Nutshell, Otago Law Review 579-587.
  • Jamieson, N., 1995 The Last Indian Summer of Soviet Law Reform: Statute Law Review 125-143 and., 1995 The Last Indian Summer of Soviet Law Reform Statute Law Review 68-89
  • Jamieson, N., 1995 What's New at Emgeoo? New Zealand Law Journal 219-227

Politics and foreign policy

  • Headley, Jim, Russia and the Balkans: Foreign Policy from Yeltsin to Putin, (London: Hurst & Co., forthcoming 2007)
  • Headley, Jim, 'Russia', in Paul Bellamy and Karl DeRouen, eds., International Security and Society {Greenwood Publishing, forthcoming late 2007/early 2008).
  • Headley, Jim, 'Globalization and “New Wars”: The Case of Chechnya', in Robert Patman, ed., Globalization and Conflict: National Security in a 'New' Strategic Era (Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2006), pp. 151-167.
  • Headley, Jim, 'War on Terror or Pretext for Power? Putin, Chechnya, and the “Terrorist International”', Australasian Journal of Human Security, Vol. 1, No. 2, July 2005, pp. 13-36.
  • Headley, Jim, 'Sarajevo, February 1994: the First Russia-NATO Crisis of the Post-Cold War Era', Review of International Studies, Vol. 29, No, 2, April 2003, pp. 209-227.

Russia-related courses

  • ENGL 219 Poetry and Music (Jacob Edmond)
  • ENGL 319 Modern and Contemporary Poetry (Jacob Edmond)
  • ENGL 419 Postmodern Poetry (Jacob Edmond)
  • HIST 412 The Russian Revolutionary Movement (Alexander Trapeznik)
  • HIST 301 Modern Russia and the Soviet Union (Alexander Trapeznik)
  • HIST 217 Russia: Reform to Revolution (Alexander Trapeznik)
  • POLS 409 Russian Foreign Policy (Jim Headley)
  • PHIL 406 'Why Be Moral?' (Charles Pigden)

Student activity

Postgraduate research

Olivia Eaton, Charles Brasch's Landfall and the Cold War (BA Hons Dissertation)


Nadine Brown, Competing regionalisms in Eastern Europe (ongoing 2007; supervisor: Dr Jim Headley)


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