Seeing the Warmer Side of Russia

Like many students who decide to study Russian, I fell in love with the country’s literature before I began studying the language. The prospect of developing the skills to read that literature in its original format can be a great motivator. However, the pantheon of great Russian writers can also have a chilling effect for … Continue reading Seeing the Warmer Side of Russia


The Apartment Museum of Lev Gumilev

In the spring of 2015, I moved from my home in Cambridge, England across town to the Ancient India and Iran Trust, the converted home and library of deceased linguist Harold Bailey. The Trust was both my residence and my workplace, where I spent every day combing through the collections of one of the greatest … Continue reading The Apartment Museum of Lev Gumilev

Cultural Capital of the Turkic World

Last month I wrote about Kazan’s reputation as the Sports Capital of Russia. Interestingly enough, Kazan holds the title of capital of more than just sports here in the Russian Federation and Central Asia as well. Coming from a background in Turkish studies and increasingly interested in Turkic relations, I was intrigued to find out … Continue reading Cultural Capital of the Turkic World

The Double

“It was nearly 8 o’clock in the morning when titular councilor Yakov Petrovich Golyadkin woke up after a long sleep, yawned, stretched and, finally, opened his eyes.” I am a BIG fan of Dostoevsky. From short, nonsensical (yet, somehow so sensible) stories to the bulky, great novels. As the creator of the ‘Petersburg Poem’ genre … Continue reading The Double

Am I Funny in Russia?

Ever heard of langua-culture before? If not, you’re in good company- Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and linguistics Paul Friedrich coined the term, which was made famous-ish by University of Maryland linguistics professor Michael Agar in his book “Languashock.” The jist of the book- that language cannot be understood in a vacuum but requires a cultural … Continue reading Am I Funny in Russia?