Lecturer in Russian, Faculty of Arts
I received my undergraduate degree in Modern and Medieval Languages (Russian and French) from the University of Cambridge, where I went on to study for an MPhil in European Literature and a PhD. Before coming to Nottingham I held the Max Hayward Fellowship in Russian Literature at St Antony's College, University of Oxford (2004-2005) and was a temporary lecturer in Russian at the University of Cambridge (2005-2007), where I taught Russian language and 19th and 20th century literature and culture.
- Introduction to Soviet Culture (R81098)
- Introduction to Russian Literature: 20th Century (R81025)
- Building Sovietness: Russian Culture under Lenin and Stalin (R82090)
- After the Thaw: Russian Culture since Stalin (R83102)
My current project is a monograph on the phenomenon of rock stardom in the last decades of the Soviet Union, which has the working title The Making of the Soviet Rock Star, 1968-1991. The chapters… read more
MCMICHAEL, POLLY, 2010. Uudesti syntynyt neuvostorock Idäntutkimus: The Finnish Review of East European Studies. 3-16 MCMICHAEL, POLLY, 2008. Translation, authorship and authenticity in Soviet rock songwriting Translator: Studies in Intercultural Communication. 14(2), 201-228
MCMICHAEL, POLLY, 2008. Imagining Soviet Rock: Akvarium's 'Triangle'. In: KIVELSON, VALERIE A. and NEUBERGER, JOAN, eds., Picturing Russia: Explorations in Visual Culture Yale University Press. 239-242
My current project is a monograph on the phenomenon of rock stardom in the last decades of the Soviet Union, which has the working title The Making of the Soviet Rock Star, 1968-1991. The chapters examine rock music's creation of meaning in the Soviet context from different perspectives, including the culture of magnitizdat and "officially" released recordings, the significance and mythologies of live performance, the place of the verbal text in rock music, and the modes of individual and collective authorship that rock groups create. I also look at the ways in which rock music, traditionally thought of as a non-official or even oppositional form of expression, co-existed with the cultural institutions of the Soviet state, and examine how its status changed over the course of the periods of stagnation and glasnost. The groups whose careers and creativity are discussed include Mashina vremeni, Akvarium, DDT, Kino and Nautilus Pompilius, and the monograph draws on interviews I carried out with participants in the Soviet era rock scenes of Moscow, Leningrad, Sverdlovsk and Riga.
I am also working on two articles on related topics: officially-supported Soviet electric guitar groups (known as "vocal-instrumental ensembles") and their relationship to Western popular culture; the singer-songwriter Zemfira Ramazanova (front-woman of the group Zemfira, founded 1998) and her reshaping of the genres of Russian popular song.
My PhD focused on the development of rock music culture in Leningrad before glasnost and on the texts, performances and personas of the singer-songwriters Boris Grebenshchikov (Akvarium) and Maik Naumenko (Zoopark).