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Nick Mayhew

Lecturer in Russian, University of Glasgow

Before joining the University of Glasgow, I was a Lecturer in Russian at the University of Oxford (2021-2022) and an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Lecturer in Slavic Languages & Literatures at Stanford University (2018-2021). I received my PhD in Slavonic Studies at the University of Cambridge in 2018.

My research explores queer gender and sexuality in Russian, Ukrainian and Church Slavonic culture. As a gay man living in Moscow when Russia introduced its law against the "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations", I saw first-hand how culture, history and religion can be manipulated to fuel discrimination. My research is premised on telling queer counternarratives about Russian culture and especially religion, to shine light on a rich queer heritage too often obscured from scholarly perception.

I am particularly interested in bringing queerness to light in contexts that are usually deemed conservative and heteronormative, such as within the Orthodox Church. On the one hand, I am interested in thinking through how sexual minorities negotiate their relationships with cultural and religious traditions that have marginalised them, and on the other hand, I look at queerness inherent to the traditions themselves.

My publications focus mainly on the medieval and early modern periods, although I am moving increasingly into the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. I am also interested in the telling of cultural and historical narratives about gender and sexuality in the present, and in queerness in contemporary pop culture.


  • 2022–present
    Lecturer in Russian, University of Glasgow
  • 2021–2022
    Lecturer in Russian, University of Oxford
  • 2018–2021
    Lecturer in Slavic Languages & Literatures, Stanford University


  • 2018 
    University of Cambridge, PhD in Slavonic Studies