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Siggy Frank

Assistant Professor in Russian and Slavonic Studies, Faculty of Arts

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Biography

I studied Russian at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, UCL. I went on to do a PhD at Wolfson College, University of Oxford. I taught at the University of Oxford, the University of Reading and the University of Leeds before coming to Nottingham as a Leverhulme postdoctoral fellow in 2006. In 2008 I was appointed to a lectureship in Russian Studies.

Expertise Summary

  • Modern Russian literature and culture
  • First Wave Russian émigré culture and literature
  • Vladimir Nabokov
  • Nina Berberova
  • Interaction between different art forms

Teaching Summary

R81003 Modern Russian Literature: Texts, Contexts, Approaches R82091 Repression and Resistance: Exiles and Dissidents in Russian Culture R83109 Myths and Memories: Histories of Russia's… read more

Research Summary

My current AHRC-funded project focuses on the cultural production (e.g. literature, theatre, journalism, music) of the Russian emigration in Paris during the German occupation of 1940-44. In tracing… read more

Selected Publications

  • FRANK, S., 2012. Nabokov's theatrical imagination Cambridge University Press.
  • BETHEA, D. and FRANK, S., 2011. Exile and Russian Literature. In: DOBRENKO, E. and BALINA, M., eds., The Cambridge companion to twentieth-century Russian literature Cambridge University Press. 195-213
  • FRANK, S., 2010. Revis(it)ing memories: photographs in Nabokov's autobiography. In: NUMANO, M. and WAKASHIMA, T., eds., Revising Nabokov revising: the proceedings of the International Nabokov Conference in Kyoto Nabokov Society of Japan. 44-49
  • FRANK, SIGGY, 2009. "By Nature I am No Dramatist": Theatricality in Nabokov's Fiction of the 1930s and 1940s. In: WILL NORMAN and DUNCAN WHITE, eds., Transitional Nabokov Peter Lang UK. 167-84
  • R81003 Modern Russian Literature: Texts, Contexts, Approaches
  • R82091 Repression and Resistance: Exiles and Dissidents in Russian Culture
  • R83109 Myths and Memories: Histories of Russia's Second World War
  • R83105 Nabokov's Fiction
  • Russian Language

Current Research

My current AHRC-funded project focuses on the cultural production (e.g. literature, theatre, journalism, music) of the Russian emigration in Paris during the German occupation of 1940-44. In tracing the course of Russian culture during a period of great upheaval and uncertainty the project aims to establish how Russian cultural activities came to reflect shifts in cultural and national identities and the conflicting loyalties of the Russian diaspora in occupied France.

Thematically, the project follows what are three interrelated strands of history, narrative and authorship: reconstructing Russian cultural life under German occupation in Paris; examining the subsequent creation of collective and personal narratives of this history within the Russian émigré community; and analysing the historical archival material not only as a source of empirical evidence, but also as a multi-voiced, contested narrative in itself, which is shaped by a variety of authors (owners, collectors and archivists of papers). Taken together, these three thematic strands examine the interplay between different authorial and narrative agents in the creation of both complementary and competing historical narratives.

In connection with this project I have worked in archives in France, Germany, the US, Switzerland and Russia (funded by the British Academy and the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst).

Past Research

I wrote my doctoral thesis (Wolfson College, Oxford) on the function of theatrical performance in Vladimir Nabokov's Russian and English fiction. My doctoral project offered a comprehensive reassessment of the importance of theatre in Nabokov's thinking and writing, examining theatricality as a central structural device in Nabokov's work, which shapes and informs not only his dramatic writings but also his narrative fiction and literary criticism. Based on this doctoral research I have published a monograph: Nabokov's Theatrical Imagination (CUP, 2012).

As a Leverhulme Postdoctoral Fellowship I have done research on Russian theatres abroad during the interwar period. This project examined the ideology, logistics and artistic programmes which shaped the formation, organisation and creative work of Russian theatres in Berlin, Paris, Prague and New York from the 1920s to the early 1940s. I was particularly interested in the role theatres played in the formation of social, national and cultural identities among First Wave emigres. This postdoctoral research has prepared and fed into my current project on Russian emigre culture under Nazi occupation.

Future Research

Further areas of research include the life and work of Nina Berberova, theories of exile, cultural translation, Russian non-conformist writers in the Soviet Union, the interaction between different art forms.

  • BETHEA, DAVID and FRANK, SIGGY, eds., 2018. Nabokov in Context CUP. (In Press.)
  • FRANK, SIGGY, 2018. Contextualising Nabokov. In: BETHEA, DAVID and FRANK, SIGGY, eds., Nabokov in Context CUP. (In Press.)
  • FRANK, SIGGY, 2018. Nabokov and Émigré Publishing. In: BETHEA, DAVID and FRANK, SIGGY, eds., Nabokov in Context (In Press.)
  • FRANK, SIGGY, 2015. “The Shadow of Fool-Made History”: History as Narrative in Nabokov’s Work Cosmo.
  • FRANK, S., 2012. Nabokov's theatrical imagination Cambridge University Press.
  • BETHEA, D. and FRANK, S., 2011. Exile and Russian Literature. In: DOBRENKO, E. and BALINA, M., eds., The Cambridge companion to twentieth-century Russian literature Cambridge University Press. 195-213
  • FRANK, S., 2010. Revis(it)ing memories: photographs in Nabokov's autobiography. In: NUMANO, M. and WAKASHIMA, T., eds., Revising Nabokov revising: the proceedings of the International Nabokov Conference in Kyoto Nabokov Society of Japan. 44-49
  • FRANK, SIGGY, 2009. "By Nature I am No Dramatist": Theatricality in Nabokov's Fiction of the 1930s and 1940s. In: WILL NORMAN and DUNCAN WHITE, eds., Transitional Nabokov Peter Lang UK. 167-84

School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

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