Texas Tech University

Dr. Peter I. Barta


Professor Peter I. Barta, appointed to a Personal Chair in Comparative Literature at the University of Surrey in 2000, was invited to take up a Professorship in Russian and Comparative Literature at the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures at Texas Tech University in 2012.

He specializes in Russian Literature and Culture, Comparative Literature, literary and critical theory [narratology, (post-)structuralism, (post-)modernism, postcolonial studies] and the novel. He has particular expertise in Russian, English and European Modernism (especially James Joyce), 19th-century fiction (especially Pushkin, Turgenev and Tolstoy,); comparative literary studies (Anglo-French, Franco-Russian, East/West); the Classical Tradition (Ovidian metamorphosis in modernist texts; Byzantium and "the Third Rome"). His work focuses on issues of mythic consciousness, post-colonial studies, Empire and identity and contemporary cultural trends in post-Soviet Russia and Europe

He is currently completing a book on Racism in Russian Culture: Postcolonial Representations of Blackness in Literature and Film since the 1950's, and is working on an edited volume on the culture of Central Europe at the end of Habsburg rule.

Prof. Barta has organized several international conferences, including, most recently, The Cultural Representation of the Habsburgs (British Embassy, Vienna, May 2016, with Phil Powrie); Bicultural Literature (University of Surrey, 2010, with Phil Powrie); and The Fall of the "Iron Curtain" and the Culture of Europe: 1989-2009 (University of Surrey, 2009).

He founded The British-French Association for the Study of Russian Culture in 2001 and was its President between 1999 and 2005, and has served on numerous other executive boards of learned societies. He has directed PhD students' dissertations on such topics as the "melancholy style" in Hemingway's short fiction, indigenous culture and translation in the African Novel in English and French, women on the London stage in 1914, Western European educators in Russian literature and imagining England in Russian Literature etc.

Prof. Barta's published books and volumes include: Bicultural Literature and Film in French and English, (London: Routledge, 2016); The Fall of the Iron Curtain and the Culture of Europe (London: Routledge, 2013); Gender and Sexuality in Russian Civilisation (London: Routledge, 2001); Carnivalizing Difference: Bakhtin and the Other (London: Routledge, 2001); Metamorphoses in Russian Modernism (New York: Central European University Press, 2000); Bely, Joyce, Döblin: Peripatetics in the Modernist European City Novel (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1996); Russian Literature and the Classics (Newark, NJ: Harwood, 1996).

Prof. Barta is the author of over 150 publications (including over 60 refereed articles and book chapters in English, French, German and Russian, published in such journals as The Slavic and East European Journal, Russian Language Journal, Irish Slavonic Studies, Studia Slavica, Slavica Occitana, Slavonic and East European Review, Essays in Poetics, La revue russe, L'Atelier du roman, and The James Joyce Literary Supplement. His scholarly work has been supported by numerous grants from The British Academy, The UK Higher Education Funding Council, The Russian and East European Centre at the University of Illinois, the Hardt Foundation of Geneva, and the CAHSS and Humanities Catalyst Grants at Texas Tech.

Prof. Barta has delivered over 200 conference presentations, keynote and invited guest lectures at such venues as Peterhouse College, Cambridge; Oriel College, Oxford; l'Institut du Monde Anglophone at l'Université Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris; The School of Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne in Australia; The National University of Singapore; The University of Sao Paulo in Brazil; Tallinn University, Estonia; The University of Debrecen, Hungary; The Harriman Institute at Columbia University in New York; and Rice University. Most recently, he has spoken on "Intellectuals on the edge of the Habsburg Empire and the historical novel," at a conference on The Cultural Representation of the Habsburgs, which he organized at the British Embassy in Vienna; "UT PICTURA POESIS: The Provenance of Joyce's 'Epiphany'," in the Dept. of English at the University of Sao Paolo; "Global Paradigm Shifts—Cultural Implications: 1989-2014," at UNESCO in Paris, by invitation of the President of the General Conference; "Pussy Riots and Patriarchs: Who is Sailing to Byzantium," at the Harriman Institute in New York; and "Does Post-Soviet Mean Post-European? Shifts in Cultural Paradigms over the Past 25 Years," at the University of Tallinn in Estonia.