Dr Tatyana Zhukova

Teaching and Research Fellow in Early Modern History


Starting in London, I embarked on my academic path with a BA in History from Queen Mary, University of London. I then traveled to the University of Oxford, where I specialised in Elizabethan New Year's Gifts for my Master's degree.

Continuing my northward trajectory, I advanced to the University of Nottingham. There, I earned a PhD with a focus on the Diplomatic Gift Exchange between Elizabethan England and Muscovite Russia in 2018.

Before moving further north, I took on the role of Teaching Fellow at the University of Sussex, proceeding to the University of York where I served as a Lecturer in Russian History (2019-20). 

In January 2022, I settled at HCA as a Teaching Fellow in Early Modern History. For now, my northward academic journey has paused. 

Undergraduate teaching

The English Discovery of Russia, 1553-1648 (elective)

Making Men: The History of British Masculinity, c. 1700-1900 (Special Subject, 23/24)

Historical Skills and Methods I (New Diplomatic History)

Historical Skills and Methods II (Dressing the Body)

Postgraduate teaching

Historical Research: Skills & Sources (Dressing the Body)

Historical Methodology (New Diplomatic History)


Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

I am available to supervise student projects that delve into the following areas of research:

  • Elizabethan and Tudor England
  • Pre-1750s Russia and the encompassing North-Eastern region
  • Premodern diplomatic practices
  • Studies related to material culture
  • Sartorial studies and historical garment research

Students interested in these domains are welcome to approach me to discuss potential topics and avenues of research.

Research summary

My research trajectory, akin to my academic journey, leans in a north-easterly direction. Central to my interests is the history of material culture and its interplay with diverse historical disciplines.

One focal point has been the diplomatic gifts exchanged between Elizabethan England and Muscovite Russia. I've delved into the intricacies of why and how these gifts were selected, presented, and retained, as well as their pivotal role in enhancing diplomatic interactions between these peripheral European nations. My upcoming book explores these investigations in more detail.

In another research avenue, I've turned my attention to the Duchy of Courland and Semigalia, located in present-day Latvia. Notably, despite its modest size, the duchy undertook overseas ventures and established a broad network of agents across Europe, all while navigating the political challenges posed by its larger neighbours - Poland-Lithuania, Sweden, and Russia. A core aspect of this exploration is to discern how the duke employed material culture as a conduit for both the projection and encapsulation of power.

In recent endeavours, my academic interests have pivoted towards historical fashion, re-enactment, and the precise recreation of historical garments. This has culminated in the initiation of a nascent research project, tentatively titled 'The Empire's New Clothes: Production and Consumption of Clothing in the Reign of Peter the Great'. This interdisciplinary venture seeks to foster a comparative dialogue surrounding the production and consumption of clothing pre and post Peter's mandate on the adoption of Western attire. The aim is to navigate the evolution of silhouettes, the fluctuating dynamics with the human form, and the diverse reactions to the edict, especially from marginalised non-Russian communities within the Empire. The project will incorporate video material where I undertake recreations of select garments from this era.


Current research interests

* Material Culture * Sartorial Studies * Baltic Studies * Early Modern Russia * Tudor & Elizabethan England


2023: ‘Diplomatic Residences’ & ‘Power and Truth in Eastern Europe’, Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting, San Juan, Puerto Rico (Panel Chair)

Papers delivered

2023: ‘Drink and Diplomacy at the Muscovite Court’, MEMS Festival, University of Kent (Speaker)

2021: ‘The Baltic Conundrum: Small state diplomacy in the example of Anglo-Courland relations in the seventeenth-century’, Splendid Encounters IX, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Dubrovnik, Croatia (Speaker)

2020: ‘A "great present" for the Tsar: The English carriage in Anglo-Muscovite diplomacy of 1604’, CREMS, University of York (Speaker)

2019: ‘Danger and Diplomacy: the voyages of English diplomats to Muscovy’, MEMS Festival, University of Kent (Speaker)

2017: ‘Materiality and Diplomacy: The Culture of Royal English Communication with Muscovite Tsars, Biblioteca National, Lisbon, Portugal (Speaker)

2017: ‘Obligations & Reciprocity in Early Modern Diplomatic Gift-Giving: England and Muscovy’, History Lab Seminar, IHR (Speaker)

2017: ‘Premodern Diplomatic Gift-Exchange: An Anglo-Muscovite Example’, Research Seminar, University of Nottingham (Speaker)