UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)

Prof Simon Dixon

Prof Simon Dixon

Sir Bernard Pares Professor of Russian History



Joined UCL
1st Oct 2008

Research summary

Simon Dixon is an historian of imperial Russia interested in politics, culture and society. His first book, The Modernisation of Russia, 1676-1825 (Cambridge University Press, 1999), led to a decade of work on the eighteenth century culminating in Catherine the Great (Profile Books, 2009). More recently, he has returned to work on the Russian Orthodox Church, the subject of his SSEES doctoral thesis, supervised by Geoffrey Hosking. His current research has two main focuses: the history of the Orthodox episcopate, 1880-1914, and a study of religion, culture and diplomacy between Russia and Britain, 1833-1878.

Dixon is Chairman of the Literary Committee of the Russian Booker Prize and of the international Study Group on Eighteenth-Century Russia. With Mark Mazower (Columbia) and James Retallack (Toronto), he is joint editor of Oxford Studies in Modern European History.

Teaching summary

Dixon welcomes applications from research students interested in all aspects of the history of imperial Russia. Subjects studied by his past and current students include ‘Prize Law in Russia, c. 1760-c. 1830’; ‘Space, Image and Display in Russian Central Asia, 1881-1914’; ‘The Famine in Tambov Province, 1891-1892’; ‘The Russian Image of Constantinople’.

Courses taught

SEHI3009 Monarchs and the Enlightenment in Russia and Central Europe

SEHI6009 The History of Russia, 1598-1856


University College London
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 1993
University of Cambridge
Other higher degree, Master of Arts | 1986
University of Cambridge
First Degree, Bachelor of Arts | 1982


Simon Dixon read History at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, where he was a Junior Research Fellow between 1987 and 1990. Following a Lectureship at the University of Glasgow, he became Professor of Modern History at the University of Leeds in 1999 and moved to SSEES as Sir Bernard Pares Professor of Russian History in 2008.