About Jesus College/Our community/ People
Dr Margarita Vaysman

Roles and subjects

Associate Professor and Lecturer in Nineteenth-Century Russophone Literature, Culture, and Thought



Academic Background

MPhil (Oxon), DPhil (Oxon), к.ф.н.

Dr Margarita Vaysman is Associate Professor of Russophone Literature, Thought, and Culture (1820-1945) at the University of Oxford, Tutorial Fellow at New College and Lecturer in Russian at Jesus and Merton Colleges.

Professor Vaysman received her MPhil and DPhil degrees in Modern Languages (Russian) from Wadham College, Oxford. She also holds a kandidat filologicheskikh nauk and an undergraduate spetsialist degree from Perm State University in Russia. Since 2016, she worked as Lecturer, and then Senior Lecturer, at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, before coming back to Oxford in 2023.

Professor Vaysman currently serves as chair of the National Research and Development Committee for the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES), as well as a co-convenor for its 19-th Century Study Group.

Undergraduate and Postgraduate Teaching Areas

Professor Vaysman teaches most Russian undergraduate literature papers and specifically those focussing on the nineteenth century, gender and Russophone culture.

She welcomes postgraduate applications for MPhil and DPhil projects and supervision on the topics of history of gender and sexuality in Russia and Ukraine, nineteenth-century Russophone literature, Realist novel, and narrative, gender and queer theory.

Research Interests

Professor Vaysman’s research focuses on literary texts, primarily the Realist novel, and history of gender and sexuality.

Her first monograph Self-Conscious Realism: Metafiction and the Nineteenth-Century Russian Novel was published by Legenda (Cambridge, Modern Humanities Research Association, 2021). This book explores instances of literary self-consciousness – a narrative technique that forces readers to be aware that they are reading a work of fiction – in Russian literature. In 2020, she co-edited a volume Nineteenth-Century Russian Realism: Society, Knowledge, Narrative, which showcased the new interdisciplinary, inclusive approaches to the Russian canon. She is now co-editing The Oxford Handbook of Global Realisms, under contract with OUP, as well as working on a second monograph, provisionally titled A Brave Life: Queer and Transgender Erasure in Russian Culture. This investigation spans the period from the early days of the Russian Empire to present day Russia, where homo- and transphobic state rhetoric co-exists with a vibrant drag culture and successful activist interventions.



Professor Vaysman’s writing has appeared in general interest editions such as Times Higher Education, as well as peer-reviewed journals like The Russian Review, The Slavonic and East European Review, Modern Language Review, AvtobiogafiЯ, Forum for Modern Language Studies, Antropologicheskii Forum, and Tolstoy Studies. Her work had been supported by international awards from the British Council, University of Oxford, British Academy, British Association of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies, Columbia University, Princeton University, Open Society Foundation, Scottish Funding Council, UKRI and CEELBAS.


Recent publications:

  • Vaysman, Margarita. 2023. ‘The Trouble with Queer Celebrity: Aleksandr Aleksandrov (Nadezhda Durova)’s A Year of Life in St Petersburg (1838)’, Modern Language Review, 118.1, 97-113.
  • Vaysman, Margarita. 2022. “‘I Became a Man in a Military Camp’: Negotiating a Transmasculine Identity in Aleksandr Aleksandrov (Nadezhda Durova)’s Personal Documents and Literary Fiction’, AvtobiografiЯ, 11/2022, 33-63.
  • Vaysman, Margarita. 2022. ‘What Is to Be Done with the Socialist Realist Canon: Nikolai Chernyshevskii in Late and Post-Soviet Cultural Imagination’, The Slavonic and East European Review, 2, 286-294.
  • Vaysman, Margarita. 2021. ‘A Woman’s Lot: Realism and Gendered Narration in Russian Women’s Writing of the 1860s’, The Russian Review2 (Spring 2021), 229-245.
  • Vaysman, Margarita. 2021. Self-Conscious Realism: Metafiction and the Nineteenth-Century Russian Novel (Cambridge: Legenda).