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Dr Ruth Coates

Dr Ruth Coates

Dr Ruth Coates
B.A.(Bristol), D.Phil(Oxon.)

Senior Lecturer

17 Woodland Road,
Clifton, Bristol BS8 1TE
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 928 8190


Ruth Coates specialises in nineteenth-century Russian literature and nineteenth and early twentieth-century intellectual history. Her research interests are in the work of the twentieth-century philosopher and literary theorist Mikhail Bakhtin; in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Russian thought; and in Russian Orthodox culture and its influence on secular Russian thought. She has edited a book entitled The Emancipation of Russian Christianity (1995), is the author of Christianity in Bakhtin: God and the Exiled Author (1998), and most recently has co-edited, with Robin Aizlewood, Landmarks Revisited: The Vekhi Symposium 100 Years On (2013).

She is the co-organiser, with Dr Sarah Hudspith of Leeds University, of the BASEES 19th-century Study Group.

Ruth Coates' current project concerns the reception of the doctrine of deification in Russian culture, with a focus on the thought of the late imperial period.


(BA 1986, DPhil 1994) graduated in Modern Languages (German and Russian) from the University of Bristol in 1986, and obtained a DPhil from the University of Oxford in 1994. She held a Laming Junior Fellowship at Queen’s College, Oxford (1992-94), during which time she was resident in Russia. She then held temporary lectureships at the University of Manchester (1995-97) and the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, London (1997-99). She joined the Russian department at Bristol in 1999.


At undergraduate level, Ruth Coates teaches units on Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, 19th-century Russian thought, the thought of the Silver Age (1890-1919), and Orthodox Culture. She also contributes to first-year courses in literature, history, and culture, and has contributed in the past to the Department's Russian language teaching at all levels.

At postgraduate level, she teaches a unit on Dostoevsky and native-soil conservatism, and co-teaches a unit on the rise of the 19th-century European novel.

She has recently supervised PhD theses on the doctrine of deification in the work of Vladimir Solov'ev and the representation of female characters in early Dostoevsky; and an MPhil thesis on the reception of Dostoevsky in Russian journals of the 1890s.



  • 19th-century Russian literature and thought
  • the thought and culture of late imperial Russia
  • Russian Orthodox culture
  • Orthodox theology.



Department of Russian

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