About the Project

Soviet era stamp commemorating Burns

Soviet Era Stamp Commemorating Burns

From 2014 the project team has organised a series of events for academics, students and the general public.

We have also developed a freely accessible online repository of cultural materials — some newly translated — in the ARCHIVE SECTION of this site.

We are actively looking for more materials to display.  Please Contact Us with suggestions.


Cultural interchange between Scotland and Russia dates back to the Middle Ages and has weathered all the political storms of the intervening centuries. Since the turn of the millennium, Scottish cities have regularly hosted Russian film festivals and tours of Russian theatrical companies, while Scottish theatres have staged new productions of Russian works, Highland artists mounted exhibitions and Scottish songwriters recorded albums inspired by Russian themes, and Russian and Scottish poets collaborated to translate each other’s verse (The Scotland/Russia Sonnet Exchange project, new Scots translations of Lermontov and original poetry by Russian Scots are only the most recent examples).

Against this background of vibrant engagement, the ‘Scotland and Russia: Cultural Encounters Since 1900‘, project was initiated in 2014 in order to uncover the full spectrum of connections: from passive consumption of the other country’s culture to ethnographic reflection upon it, from creative transformation of the other country’s cultural products to professional collaboration in the creation of joint cultural capital.

The project organised three conferences in collaboration with the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the University of Aberdeen Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies and the Scottish Centre for Global History at the University of Dundee.  These symposia brought together scholars and practitioners with an interest in Scottish-Russian cultural relations to share their research and experience in the fields of music, theatre, literature, art, politics and history.  A selection of literary papers has been published in Studies in Scottish Literature. Programmes and podcasts of the conferences are also available:

Truths and Fictions: Two Centuries of Scottish-Russian Encounters (2016) 
Scotland and Russia: Cultural Perception Since 1900 (2015) 
Scotland and Russia: Performance Since 1900 (2014) 

Glasgow Concerts in the 1930s recital

‘Glasgow Concerts in the 1930s’ Recital

The project’s programme of events also included a talk on ‘Robert Burns in Russia: Translations and Influences’, as well as two concerts featuring works by classical Russian composers, Erik Chisholm’s Celtic Folk Songs and Scottish-Russian songs in translation by the contemporary singer-songwriter Thomas Beavitt, and a performance workshop led by the director and theatre historian Robert Leach, who applied Michael Chekhov’s acting technique to the Scottish play Men Should Weep by Ena Lamont Stewart. These and all other events were open to students, academics, artists and the wider public.


Anna Vaninskaya 4 100x130


Principal Investigator

Senior Lecturer in Victorian Literature

Department: English Literature

Dr Anna Vaninskaya was born in Russia and grew up in the United States, where she completed a BA and MA in English Literature at the University of Denver. She came to the UK as a Marshall Scholar in 2003, and after completing a D.Phil. in English Literature at the University of Oxford, she held a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship with the Cambridge Victorian Studies Group and a Junior Research Fellowship in English at King’s College, Cambridge. She moved to Edinburgh in 2010. Anna is the author of William Morris and the Idea of Community: Romance, History and Propaganda, 1880-1914 (Edinburgh UP, 2010), as well as over forty articles and book chapters on topics ranging from Chesterton, Orwell, Tolkien, Chukovsky and Stoppard to nineteenth-century socialism, education, popular reading, historical cultures, Anglo-Russian relations and immigration. She has edited special issues of Nineteenth-Century Contexts, the Journal of William Morris Studies, the Oscholars, and 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century and is on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of William Morris Studies.

Department Website



Research Assistant

Department: English Literature

Dr Rania Karoula was born and grew up in Greece. She completed her BA in English Literature and Language at the University of Cyprus. She holds an MSc in Writing and Cultural Politics and a PhD in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh. Her thesis examined the position of theatre within the modernist movement as expressed both in Europe and the United States. She teaches a variety of drama classes to undergraduate students (emphasis on Contemporary and Modernist Drama) and guest lectures to postgraduate drama courses. She is currently writing a monograph on the Federal Theatre project.




Dr Maria Artamonova, D.Phil (Oxon), a Russian by birth now based in Oxfordshire, trained as a medievalist at Oxford University and combines research and teaching interests in Old and Middle English with extensive expertise as an English-Russian translator in various fields including art, history, conservation, and law.

Network Contributors

  • Prof Patrick Crotty

    University of Aberdeen

  • Prof Paul Dukes

    University of Aberdeen

  • Dr Murray Frame

    University of Dundee

  • Dr Billy Kenefick

    University of Dundee

  • Dr Rose France

    University of Edinburgh

  • Prof Olga Taxidou

    University of Edinburgh

  • Dr Alexandra Smith

    University of Edinburgh

  • Nicola McCartney

    University of Edinburgh

  • Dr Stuart Eydmann

    University of Edinburgh

  • Dr Ksenija Horvat

    Queen Margaret University

  • Jenny Carr

    Scotland-Russia Forum, Edinburgh

  • Lt Cdr Dairmid Gunn

    Scotland-Russia Forum, Edinburgh

  • Dr Christina Guillaumier

    Royal College of Art

  • Timothy Dean

    Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

  • Olga Ivakina

    Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

  • Arshak Kuzikyan

    Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

  • Rusne-monika Palsauskaite

    Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

  • Prof. Anthony Cross

    University of Cambridge

  • Prof. Michael Hughes

    University of Lancaster

  • Dr Olga Sobolev

    London School of Economics

  • Dr Claire Warden

    De Montfort University

  • Prof. Andrei Rogatchevski

    University of Tromsø

  • Dr Oksana Morgunova

    International Migration and Gender Studies Institute, Brussels

  • Dr Natalia Kaloh Vid

    University of Maribor, Slovenia

  • Dr Dmitry Fedosov

    Russian Academy of Sciences

  • Dr Olga Ushakova

    Tyumen State University, Russia

  • Dr Robert Leach

    Director and Theatre Historian

  • Dr Fiona Noble

    Musicologist, Teacher and Archivist

  • Billy Kay

    Writer and Broadcaster

  • Ken Reynolds

    Theatre Photographer

  • Thomas Beavitt

    Singer and Translator

  • Ewan McVicar

    Singer, Writer and Storyteller

  • Lindy Moore

    Independent Researcher