Dr James Rann

  • Lecturer (School of Modern Languages & Cultures)

Research interests

While I am officially James Rann, I am most often known as Jamie Rann and most of my less academic work has appeared under that name. It's like having a very bad secret identity. 

I'm lucky that I've been able to turn my life-long interest in Russia into not just one job, but many, and as well as being a researcher and teacher, I have worked as a translator, journalist, literary agent and more. 

My research primarily focuses on the literature of the Russian avant-garde and especially Russian Futurism. I am particularly interested in the question of originality — how can writers ever hope to create something genuinely new? — and how this affects the way they think about history, identity and society. This means reading a lot of poems, manifestos and memoirs written by enormously ambitious, extremely talented, slightly mad writers and artists living through a period of political and cultural upheaval and renewal — people like Vladimir Mayakovsky, Velimir Khlebnikov, Alexei Kruchenykh and Vasily Kamensky. 

Before joining the University of Glasgow, I worked at the universities of Birmingham, Oxford, Queen Mary University of London, and UCL, where I completed my doctoral research at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies.

Until I succumbed to the irresistable glamour of academia, I worked on different projects related to contemporary Russia. I have translated novels, short stories and poems and, most recently, I translated and edited Subkultura, a book on Russian subcultures. I was an editor of The Calvert Journal, an online magazine about East European culture and am currently a trustee of the Calvert 22 Foundation. Other articles of mine have appeared in The Guardian, Times Literary Supplement and on the NYU All the Russias blog.

I am still very interested in what's going on in Russia right now, especially in digital cultures, and am doing more and more research in this area. 

 

 

 

Publications

List by: Type | Date

Jump to: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011
Number of items: 32.

2020

Rann, J. (2020) The Unlikely Futurist: Pushkin and the Invention of Originality in Russian Modernism. Series: Publications of the Wisconsin center for Pushkin studies. University of Wisconsin Press: Madison, Wisconsin. ISBN 9780299328108

2019

Rann, J. (2019) Review of Katharine Hodgson, Joanne Shelton, Alexandra Smith, Twentieth-Century Russian Poetry: Reinventing the Canon. Modern Language Review, 114(1), pp. 176-177. (doi: 10.5699/modelangrevi.114.1.0176)[Book Review]

2018

Rann, J. (2018) The Rehearsals by Vladimir Sharov. Times Literary Supplement, [Book Review]

2017

Rann, J. (2017) Russian Absurd by Daniiil Karms. Times Literary Supplement, [Book Review]

Rann, J. (2017) Invisible, angry: some sights of the Russian populace. Times Literary Supplement, [Book Review]

Rann, J. (2017) Living as a legend: Modernist theatricality and Stalinist self-fashioning in the lifewriting of Vasilii Kamenskii. Modern Language Review, 112(4), pp. 953-980. (doi: 10.5699/modelangrevi.112.4.0953)

Rann, J. (2017) Inferiority Complex: Why the New Film Adaptation of Lady Macbeth is Too Subtle for its Own Good. [Website]

Rann, J. (2017) How to make a Russian salad: food, art and patriotism on the internet in Russia. Digital Icons: Studies in Russian, Eurasian and Central European New Media, 16, pp. 51-78.

Rann, J. (2017) Vladimir M. by Robert Littell. Times Literary Supplement, [Book Review]

Rann, J. (2017) Voiceless Vanguard: The Infantilist Aesthetic of the Russian Avant-Garde by Sara Pankenier Weld. Modern Language Review, 112(1), pp. 289-291. (doi: 10.5699/modelangrevi.112.1.0289)[Book Review]

Troitskii, A. (2017) Subkultura: Stories of Youth and Resistance in Russia 1815-2017 [Editor and Translator]. [Scholarly Editions]

2015

Rann, J. (2015) Evil empire: why is the post-Soviet world so obsessed with Star Wars? [Website]

Rann, J. (2015) Chiselled features: the hard-nosed politics of Moscow’s St Vladimir statue. [Website]

Rann, J. (2015) Go forth and multiply: notes from an accidental fertility tour of Central Asia. [Website]

Rann, J. (2015) Islands in the stream: the strange charm that for centuries has been luring people to Solovki. [Website]

2014

Rann, J. (2014) Universal Pictures: Zvyagintsev, Dostoevsky and the Politics of the Particular. [Website]

Rann, J. (2014) Beauty and the east: allure and exploitation in post-Soviet ruin photography. [Website]

Rann, J. (2014) Manifesta destiny: what does the St Petersburg-set art biennial mean for Russia? [Website]

Rann, J. (2014) Narkomfin: can a utopian housing project survive in modern Moscow? [Website]

Rann, J. (2014) Taboo Pushkin: Topics, Texts, Interpretations by Alyssa Dinega Gillespie; The Poetics of Impudence and Intimacy in the Age of Pushkin by Joe Peschio; Pushkin's Historical Imagination by Svetlana Evdokimova. Modern Language Review, 109(2), pp. 584-586. (doi: 10.5699/modelangrevi.109.2.0584)[Book Review]

Starobinets, A. and Rann, J. (2014) The Icarus Gland and Other Stories of Metamorphosis [Translator]. Skyscraper: Newbold on Stour. ISBN 9780955181054

2013

Fedorova, A. and Rann, J. (2013) A day on the Moyka, St Petersburg, Russia. [Website]

Rann, J. (2013) Meanwhile, in Russia: Buzzfeed, Russia and the west. [Website]

Rann, J. (2013) Double trouble: conceptualist masters John Baldessari and Ilya Kabakov at Moscow Biennale. [Website]

Rann, J. (2013) Letter from the fascinating, forbidden land of Dagestan. [Website]

2012

Reyes, H., Rann, J. and Samsonova, M. (Eds.) (2012) St Petersburg. Series: City-pick. Oxygen Books. ISBN 9780956787620

Bykov, D. and Rann, J. (2012) Mozharovo [Translator]. In: Shubina, E.D. and Bouis, A. W. (eds.) Read Russia! An Anthology of New Voices. Read Russia: New York.

Kostin, P. and Rann, J. (2012) It’s Time [Translator]. Urban Romantics: London. ISBN 9781907832185

Rann, J. (2012) Building the Revolution: Soviet Art and Architecture 1915-35 at the Royal Academy [Exhibition Review]. Opticon 1826, 12,

Rann, J. (2012) Maiakovskii and the mobile monument: alternatives to iconoclasm in Russian culture. Slavic Review, 71(4), pp. 766-791. (doi: 10.5612/slavicreview.71.4.0766)

Starobinets, A. and Rann, J. (2012) The Living [Translator]. Hesperus Press: London. ISBN 9781843913771

2011

Carr, D. and Rann, J. (Eds.) (2011) A New Chapter, Part 2: Russian Writing from the 21st Century. Series: Rossica. Academia Rossica: London. ISBN 9781905345083

This list was generated on Thu Aug 13 06:36:25 2020 BST.
Number of items: 32.

Articles

Rann, J. (2017) Living as a legend: Modernist theatricality and Stalinist self-fashioning in the lifewriting of Vasilii Kamenskii. Modern Language Review, 112(4), pp. 953-980. (doi: 10.5699/modelangrevi.112.4.0953)

Rann, J. (2017) How to make a Russian salad: food, art and patriotism on the internet in Russia. Digital Icons: Studies in Russian, Eurasian and Central European New Media, 16, pp. 51-78.

Rann, J. (2012) Building the Revolution: Soviet Art and Architecture 1915-35 at the Royal Academy [Exhibition Review]. Opticon 1826, 12,

Rann, J. (2012) Maiakovskii and the mobile monument: alternatives to iconoclasm in Russian culture. Slavic Review, 71(4), pp. 766-791. (doi: 10.5612/slavicreview.71.4.0766)

Books

Rann, J. (2020) The Unlikely Futurist: Pushkin and the Invention of Originality in Russian Modernism. Series: Publications of the Wisconsin center for Pushkin studies. University of Wisconsin Press: Madison, Wisconsin. ISBN 9780299328108

Starobinets, A. and Rann, J. (2014) The Icarus Gland and Other Stories of Metamorphosis [Translator]. Skyscraper: Newbold on Stour. ISBN 9780955181054

Kostin, P. and Rann, J. (2012) It’s Time [Translator]. Urban Romantics: London. ISBN 9781907832185

Starobinets, A. and Rann, J. (2012) The Living [Translator]. Hesperus Press: London. ISBN 9781843913771

Book Sections

Bykov, D. and Rann, J. (2012) Mozharovo [Translator]. In: Shubina, E.D. and Bouis, A. W. (eds.) Read Russia! An Anthology of New Voices. Read Russia: New York.

Book Reviews

Rann, J. (2019) Review of Katharine Hodgson, Joanne Shelton, Alexandra Smith, Twentieth-Century Russian Poetry: Reinventing the Canon. Modern Language Review, 114(1), pp. 176-177. (doi: 10.5699/modelangrevi.114.1.0176)[Book Review]

Rann, J. (2018) The Rehearsals by Vladimir Sharov. Times Literary Supplement, [Book Review]

Rann, J. (2017) Russian Absurd by Daniiil Karms. Times Literary Supplement, [Book Review]

Rann, J. (2017) Invisible, angry: some sights of the Russian populace. Times Literary Supplement, [Book Review]

Rann, J. (2017) Vladimir M. by Robert Littell. Times Literary Supplement, [Book Review]

Rann, J. (2017) Voiceless Vanguard: The Infantilist Aesthetic of the Russian Avant-Garde by Sara Pankenier Weld. Modern Language Review, 112(1), pp. 289-291. (doi: 10.5699/modelangrevi.112.1.0289)[Book Review]

Rann, J. (2014) Taboo Pushkin: Topics, Texts, Interpretations by Alyssa Dinega Gillespie; The Poetics of Impudence and Intimacy in the Age of Pushkin by Joe Peschio; Pushkin's Historical Imagination by Svetlana Evdokimova. Modern Language Review, 109(2), pp. 584-586. (doi: 10.5699/modelangrevi.109.2.0584)[Book Review]

Edited Books

Reyes, H., Rann, J. and Samsonova, M. (Eds.) (2012) St Petersburg. Series: City-pick. Oxygen Books. ISBN 9780956787620

Carr, D. and Rann, J. (Eds.) (2011) A New Chapter, Part 2: Russian Writing from the 21st Century. Series: Rossica. Academia Rossica: London. ISBN 9781905345083

Scholarly Editions

Troitskii, A. (2017) Subkultura: Stories of Youth and Resistance in Russia 1815-2017 [Editor and Translator]. [Scholarly Editions]

Website

Rann, J. (2017) Inferiority Complex: Why the New Film Adaptation of Lady Macbeth is Too Subtle for its Own Good. [Website]

Rann, J. (2015) Evil empire: why is the post-Soviet world so obsessed with Star Wars? [Website]

Rann, J. (2015) Chiselled features: the hard-nosed politics of Moscow’s St Vladimir statue. [Website]

Rann, J. (2015) Go forth and multiply: notes from an accidental fertility tour of Central Asia. [Website]

Rann, J. (2015) Islands in the stream: the strange charm that for centuries has been luring people to Solovki. [Website]

Rann, J. (2014) Universal Pictures: Zvyagintsev, Dostoevsky and the Politics of the Particular. [Website]

Rann, J. (2014) Beauty and the east: allure and exploitation in post-Soviet ruin photography. [Website]

Rann, J. (2014) Manifesta destiny: what does the St Petersburg-set art biennial mean for Russia? [Website]

Rann, J. (2014) Narkomfin: can a utopian housing project survive in modern Moscow? [Website]

Fedorova, A. and Rann, J. (2013) A day on the Moyka, St Petersburg, Russia. [Website]

Rann, J. (2013) Meanwhile, in Russia: Buzzfeed, Russia and the west. [Website]

Rann, J. (2013) Double trouble: conceptualist masters John Baldessari and Ilya Kabakov at Moscow Biennale. [Website]

Rann, J. (2013) Letter from the fascinating, forbidden land of Dagestan. [Website]

This list was generated on Thu Aug 13 06:36:25 2020 BST.

Supervision

I would welcome the chance to work with post-graduate resarchers working in many different areas of Russian literature and culture of the past 200 years. In particular, I'd be eager to collaborate on projects related to:

  • The literature and culture of the Russian modernist avant-garde, especially Futurism
  • Early Soviet literature and culture
  • Russian poetry 
  • Contemporary Russian culture, especially digital cultures
  • Literary translation from Russian

I have co-supervised postgraduate projects about memory in contemporary Russian media and on translation.

Teaching

I teach on a wide number of courses in Russian culture and language, including:

  • Russian language for beginners
  • Translation from Russian
  • MSc in Translation Studies

In 2019, I will be launching a course based on my own research: 'Brave New Worlds: Russian Culture in the Age of Revolution', which will explore how the explosive events of the 1917 Russian Revolution were anticipated, reflected and in the art, literature and film of the period.