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Durham University

School of Modern Languages and Cultures: Russian Studies

Staff in the Department of Russian

Dr Viktoria Ivleva

Assistant Professor / Director of Studies in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Contact Dr Viktoria Ivleva (email at

Current Research

Clothing, Society and Culture in Eighteenth-Century Russia

This project examines sumptuary and appearance regulations, related practices and visual and literary representations of dress, in order to explore the ways in which Russian sovereigns harnessed practical and ideological meanings of clothing and appearance to promote social and political changes and implement new normative expectations. The project also studies the ways in which the population of Russia received and responded to these changes, and the extent to which various social groups challenged, internalized and transformed these practices. As a part of the project, I look closely at the role of sartorial discourse in cultural debates around questions of identity and changing social and gender roles.

Research Interests

  • 18th-, early 19th-, and early 20th-century Russian literature and culture
  • Catherine II
  • Dress culture in imperial Russia
  • Gender studies
  • History of cultural import
  • Material culture in Russia
  • Pushkin, Nabokov


Chapter in book

  • Accepted ''Clothing the Body Politic in Catherinian Russia: From Regimental Gowns to Regional Uniforms' (to be published in German)', in Braun, Bettina, Kusber, Jan, & Schnettger, Matthias (eds.), Weibliche Herrschaft im Vergleich: Maria Theresia und Katharina II, Bielefeld: Transcript.
  • 2014 'Frills and Perils of Fashion: Politics and Culture of Eighteenth-Century Russian Court Through the Eyes of La Mode', in Ionescu, Christina & Baird, Iliana (eds.), Eighteenth-Century Thing Theory in a Global Context: From Consumerism to Celebrity Culture, Ashgate, pp. 113-132

Journal Article

Edited Journal

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