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Dr Kelsey Rubin-Detlev

Foote Junior Research Fellow in Russian


Originally from the US, I received my BA in Russian and French from Christ Church, Oxford, and my MA in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Columbia University in New York. I then returned to Oxford for my DPhil, joining the first group of graduate students in the Mica and Ahmet Ertegun Scholarship Programme in the Humanities. I then moved to Queen’s in October 2015 as the first Foote Junior Research Fellow in Russian.


I teach both Russian and French literature and language. Recently I have offered lecture courses to Prelims and Final Honours School undergraduates on eighteenth-century literature (Derzhavin, Enlightenment Texts and Contexts, and Radishchev) and an introduction to Russian versification for Prelims. 


My DPhil thesis was on the letters of Catherine the Great: I studied her correspondences with a wide range of addressees and in French, Russian, and German, examining how she reinvented contemporary literary discourses to make her letters effective instruments of rule and lasting vehicles of her own image. I am also a researcher on a pilot project for a Digital Correspondence of Catherine the Great online database, funded by the British Academy/Leverhulme and the John Fell Fund (Principal Investigator: Professor Andrew Kahn). My work as a Junior Research Fellow focuses on revising my thesis as a book and beginning a new project on friendship in eighteenth-century Russia.


Critical edition of ‘Lettres et réponses de M. Palissot et de Monsieur de Voltaire’, in Voltaire, Œuvres complètes de Voltaire, ed. by Theodore Besterman and others (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 1968-), vol. 51A (2015), pp. 245-339.

Review of Prince Charles-Joseph de Ligne, Correspondances russes, 2 vols, ed. by Alexandre Stroev and Jeroom Vercruysse (Paris: Honoré Champion, 2013), French Studies, 68, 2 (April 2014), 249.

Review of Julia V. Douthwaite, The Frankenstein of 1790 and Other Lost Chapters from Revolutionary France (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012), Journal of European Studies, 43 (June 2013), 175-77.

Contributed editorial notes to Voltaire, Corpus des notes marginales, 8: Rollin-Sommier, ed. by Natalia Elaguina, (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2012).

‘Voltaire and the Affair of the Bottle Conjuror: the authorship of the review of Tristram Shandy in the Gazette littéraire de l’Europe (20 March 1765)’, Revue Voltaire, 12 (June 2012), 285-92.

‘La Correspondance de Voltaire et Catherine II: un jeu de rôle littéraire’, Revue Voltaire, 11 (June 2011), 237-56.