UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)

Dr Seth Graham

Dr Seth Graham

Associate Professor



Joined UCL
25th Sep 2006

Research summary

My broad interests are Russian and Soviet culture (especially film) from the 1950s to the present, cultural studies, gender studies, humour theory, Central Asian film, and language pedagogy. I am at work on a book examining the category of genre in Russian cinema since the late-1980s, as well as an article examining the chronotope of the camp/prison/zone in Soviet and post-Soviet cinema.

I have published articles and chapters in Russian Review, The Dictionary of Literary Biography, Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema, Studia Filmoznawcze, and in several essay collections. My monograph, Resonant Dissonance: The Russian Joke in Cultural Context, was published by Northwestern University Press in 2009. I am editor of Necrorealism: Contexts, History, Interpretations (U. of Pittsburgh, 2001) and co-editor (with Olga Mesropova) of Uncensored? Reinventing Humor and Satire in Post-Soviet Russia (Slavica, 2009). I am co-editor of the online journal KinoKultura. I have also done quite a bit of translating from Russian, including Valeria Narbikova's experimental novel Day Equals Night and subtitles for Nikita Mikhalkov's film Twelve and Fedor Bondarchuk’s Stalingrad.

I am happy to supervise research students writing on topics related to late-Soviet and post-Soviet Russian culture, especially projects on cinema, humour, gender, cultural politics and urban folklore.


University of Pittsburgh
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2003
University of Texas at Austin
Other higher degree, Master of Arts | 1994
University of Texas at Austin
First Degree, Bachelor of Arts | 1990


I was born near the banks of the Hudson River in Troy, New York. I began studying Russian in 1986 at the University of Texas at Austin, where I also developed interests in juggling, puns, and barbecue. I first visited the USSR in 1989 as a 'citizen diplomat' on a trip organised by United Campuses to Prevent Nuclear War, and have made many trips to Russia since, including two year-long sojourns in Moscow in 1992-93 and 1998-99.
I completed my PhD in Russian literature at the University of Pittsburgh in 2003. I subsequently taught at the University of Washington, Seattle (2003-2004) and held a post-doctoral Humanities Fellowship at Stanford University (2004-2006) before joining SSEES in September 2006.
I have a keen extra-curricular interest in Russian popular music, which I indulge by organising student sing-a-longs and occasional performances.
I often use a walking stick because I have an artificial knee, the result of a 1982 baseball injury.