Dr James Rann
- Lecturer (School of Modern Languages & Cultures)
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.
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.
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.