Monday, September 9, 2013

Reading Group: Children's Literature about the USSR, introduced by Professor Kimberley Reynolds

The Anglo-Russian Research Network will be holding its autumn reading group at 5:00 on Friday 4 October at Pushkin House, Bloomsbury ( The discussion will be led by Kimberley Reynolds, Professor of Children’s Literature at Newcastle University.

The readings are:

1 Draft of Kimberley’s chapter on children’s books about the Soviet Union published in Britain in the 1930s and 1940s.

2 Extract from Geoffrey Trease, Red Comet: A Tale of Travel in the U.S.S.R. (1936): chapter 6, ‘A New Kind of Park’

3  Extracts from Marjorie Fischer, Palaces on Monday (1937): chapters 6 ‘Upside Down’, 7 ‘And the Moral of That is’, and 9 ‘Black Boy on the Volga’

4 Extract from Pearl Binder, Russian Families (1942): start from bottom of page 47 ‘Mamma Pavolova’

‘The material to be discussed is based on a chapter I am writing for a book about the radical children’s books of the early twentieth century that do not feature in established histories of children’s literature. This chapter looks at representations of the Soviet Union in children’s books published in the 1930s and 1940s in the UK. The chapter will also cover books from the USSR that were published here in translation, but I have not included any of these in the extracts for discussion. Most of the works I discuss are forms of travel writing in that the children in them move between different cities, resorts and regions and give their impressions of the people and projects they see. My interest, and where I will particularly appreciate guidance from the group, is in the way the Soviet experiment was being presented to British children.’

Kimberley Reynolds is Professor of Children’s Literature in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics at Newcastle University. She has lectured and published widely on a variety of aspects of children’s literature, most recently in the form of an audio book, Children’s Literature Between the Covers (Modern Scholar, 2011) and the volume on Children’s Literature in the Oxford University series of Very Short Introductions (2011).  With Matthew Grenby she edited Children’s Literature Studies: A Research Handbook (Palgrave, 2011). She currently holds a Major Leverhulme Fellowship to research ‘Modernism, the Left and Progressive Publishing for Children, 1910 – 1949’. She is the 2013 recipient of the International Brothers Grimm Award.

It would be helpful if you could let Rebecca Beasley ( and/ or Matthew Taunton ( know if you plan to attend, and you will be supplied with digital copies of the reading. All are welcome. The discussion will finish at 7, and anyone available is very welcome to join us for dinner nearby.

The Anglo-Russian Research Network organises termly reading groups for those interested in the interactions between British and Russian culture and politics in the period 1880-1950. These are informal events with plenty of discussion and wine.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

ARRN Podcast 3: Emily Lygo on the Society for Cultural Relations with the USSR

The third ARRN podcast is now available for streaming or download. Click below to hear Emily Lygo introduce text relating to the Society for Cultural Relations with the USSR. If you would like to be sent these texts by email, please contact Matthew Taunton or Rebecca Beasley.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Emily Lygo on the Society for Cultural Relations with the USSR, 7 June, Pushkin House

Anglo-Russian Research Network Reading Group, 7 June, 5-7pm, Pushkin House

At our next reading group, we are delighted to welcome Dr Emily Lygo, Lecturer in Russian at the University of Exeter.  Emily will be introducing texts relating to her research on the history of The Society For Cultural Relations Between the Peoples of the British Commonwealth with the USSR. The reading materials are as follows:

1. An article by Emily Lygo, 'Promoting Soviet Culture in Britain: the History of the Society for Cultural Relations Between the Peoples of the British Commonwealth and the USSR, 1924–45', Modern Language Review Vol. 108 No. 2 (April, 2013)

2. Preface and argument to the book The New Spirit in the Russian Theatre by Huntly Carter, 1929

3. A 1946 edition of the Anglo-Soviet Journal, available online here.

If you would like to attend, please contact Matt Taunton or Becky Beasley and we will send you the reading materials in pdf format.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

ARRN Podcast 2: Michael Hughes on Stephen Graham

Our second podcast is now available for download or streaming. Here, Professor Michael Hughes discusses the British travel writer and novelist Stephen Graham at an Anglo-Russian Research Network reading group in Spring 2013. 

Please contact Matthew Taunton or Rebecca Beasley if you would like to be sent copies of the reading materials. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

ARRN Podcast 1: Angus Wrenn and Olga Soboleva on George Bernard Shaw

We are pleased to bring you the first Anglo-Russian Research Network podcast. Here Angus Wrenn and Olga Soboleva discuss readings relating to George Bernard Shaw and the Russian Revolution. Please contact Matt Taunton or Becky Beasley if you would like us to send you the readings associated with this discussion. We will be making future presentations from our termly reading groups available in this format so please check back.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Michael Hughes on Stephen Graham and Russia, Pushkin House, Friday 15th February 5-7pm

We are delighted to welcome Professor Michael Hughes (Professor of Russian and International History at the University of Liverpool) to our next reading group. Michael will be introducing texts by the British travel writer and novelist Stephen Graham, and a chapter that he has recently authored on Graham in A People Passing Rude: British Responses to Russian Culture, ed by Anthony Cross and available online (and for free!) here

Michael also maintains an excellent website about Graham, here.

The reading group will take place at Pushkin House on Friday 15th February from 5-7pm. Please contact the organizers Matt Taunton and Rebecca Beasley if you would like to attend, and we will send you the reading material in advance of the meeting. We look forward to seeing you there.