Maria Mileeva is a specialist in Soviet and Post-Soviet art and culture. Her research and teaching focus on the production, circulation, and consumption of socialist art practices across the globe during the late Imperial, Soviet, Stalinist, late Soviet, and post-Soviet periods. Maria’s current major research project interrogates the linkages between the cultural policies of socialist realism and socialist internationalism in the former Soviet Republics, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Her research centres around postcolonial and decolonial narratives of the Russo-Soviet imperial projects and Soviet multinationalism.
Maria received a BA in History of Art at the University of Cambridge (2005), and MA (2006) and PhD (2011) at The Courtauld Institute of Art. Her doctoral thesis examined exhibitions of international art in the Soviet Union in the 1920s and 1930s with a particular focus on the history of the State Museum of New Western Art (GMNZI), Moscow. Maria has also worked as an Assistant Curator of ‘Cold War Modern: Design 1945-1970’, held at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London in autumn 2008.
Since finishing her PhD, Maria has taught at The Courtauld Institute of Art and University College London (UCL). In 2016-17, she was an Associated Researcher in the Faculty of Art History, at the European University, St Petersburg. She continues to serve as the Co-Director of the Cambridge Courtauld Russian Art Centre (CCRAC) and the Co-Convenor of PPV (Perverting the Power Vertical: Politics and Aesthetics in the Global East), an art and research platform based at University College London.
Current & Future
- MA History of Art: Beyond Utopia: Soviet and Post-Soviet Art
- BA History of Art Year 3: Global Constructivism: Art Politics and the Everyday
- BA1Foundations: Art, Industry, and Politics in the Late-Nineteenth and Mid-Twentieth Centuries.
- BA1 Topic Course: Avant-Garde and Neo-Avant-Garde
- BA2: Lessons in Interpretation
- BA 2 Frameworks: Postcolonialism
- BA 2 Constellations: Cold War Cultures: Art in a Divided World, 1945-1991
- BA 3: Strands of Non-Objectivity: Russian Constructivism and its International Context 1918-1937
- MA History of Art: Contacts and Contexts in Russian Art c. 1905-1945
- Cultural exchange and artistic production during the late Imperial, Soviet, Stalinist, late Soviet, and post-Soviet periods.
- Soviet multinationalism and the arts in Central Asia and the Caucasus.
- Postcolonial and decolonial narratives of the Russo-Soviet imperial projects.
- Soviet anti-imperialism and socialist internationalism in the postcolonial world.
- The politics of international exhibition design.
- International constructivism; material culture of the everyday.
- Issues of centre and periphery; exile and emigration; national identity and empire in Soviet and Post-Soviet art and culture.
“Imagined Solidarities: Soviet Involvement in the Struggle for Progressive Realist Art in Postcolonial North Africa”, in a special issue of Art History “Red Networks: Postwar Art Exchange”, edited by Vivian Li (Forthcoming November, 2022)
“The Creative Mistakes of Socialist Realism”, in New Narratives of Russian and East European Art: Between Traditions and Revolutions, eds. Galina Mardilovich and Maria Taroutina (London: Routledge, 2019)
- Utopian Reality: Reconstructing Culture in Revolutionary Russia and Beyond, Christina Lodder, Maria Kokkori and Maria Mileeva (eds.) (Brill: Leiden and Boston, 2013)