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Misha Yakovlev

Research Interests

My research explores the implications of queer and decolonial theorising for the study of the russian screen (cinema, television, 'new media'). More broadly, I am interested in using insights from decolonial and critical race theories to address violent erasures and exclusions in US-centric and Eurocentric queer thinking.

Current PhD Research

Tentative title: Another Heteronationalist Empire? (Un)making New Russian Regimes of Gender, Sexuality and Race on the Transitional Screen (1986-2005)

I am pursuing a PhD in Film and Television Studies at the University of Warwick under the supervision of Professor Karl Schoonover and Professor Rachel Moseley. My research investigates shifting configurations of gender, sexuality and race on the russian screen during the period often imagined in terms of 'transition to democracy' (1986-2006).


I hold an MA in Gender, Society and Representation from the Centre of Interdisciplinary Inquiry at UCL. My MA thesis, written under the supervision of Dr Rachel Morley, applied queer and detcolonial theorising to the exploration of gender normativities and Orientalist tropes in Leonid Gaidai’s popular comedy features from the soviet Thaw (1956-1968). I also hold a BASc (Bachelor of Arts and Sciences) degree from the Department of Arts and Sciences, UCL.

In addition, I have been involved with the Queer Asia Collective in London as a film curator since 2018. I curated screening for the July 2019 Queer Asia Festival at the British Museum and the 'Queer Asia': russia and Decolonisation screening in March 2020.


misha yakovlev, ‘Deepfaking the ‘Acceptable Chechen’ – Orientalist Form and Homonationalist Worlding in David France’s Welcome to Chechnya’, Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema (forthcoming)

misha yakovlev, ‘Queer Ruptures and the Unsoviet Cinematic World of Rashid Nugmanov’s The Needle’, Slovo (forthcoming)

Conference Papers

‘A Cinematic Experiment in Russian Homonationalism: Desiring the ‘Non-Russian’ Masculine Body in Olga Stolpovskaya’s You I Love’, British Association of Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES) Conference, April 2023

‘Queer Ruptures in Soviet Time and Place: The Case of Rashid Nugmanov’s Feature the The Needle’, International Postgraduate Conference at UCL SSEES, November 2022

‘Decolonial Approaches to Queer Russian Culture – Between Theory and Practice’,Queer(ing) Russia: Academic and Activism in Dialogue workshop at Oxford, May 2022

‘Translating Queer Theory to Russian’, inter-university Russian Cinema Research Group at UCL SSEES, November 2020


Podcast: José Arroyo in Conversation With….Misha Iakovlev on SKAM [Shame] [23 March 2021]