Irish Cultural Centre, St Petersburg and Riga
The Irish Cultural Centre in St Petersburg, Russia, was founded in 2004 in the Faculty of Philology of St Petersburg State University. In close cooperation with University College Cork, the Centre ran an academic programme of supplementary education titled ‘Irish language and culture’ in the years 2008-12. Best graduate of the programme was awarded a scholarship by the College of Arts, Celtic Sciences and Social Studies, UCC, and completed her MA and PhD studies in 2014-18.
Since its foundation till now the Centre annually organized festivals of the Irish culture and hosted public and academic presentations of different leading figures in the Irish literature, arts and journalism including such primary names as Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, Derek Mahon, Michael O’Rourke, Alan Titley, Fintan O’Toole. The work of the Centre was distinguished by the highest complements of president of Ireland Mary MacAlease in 2010.
Today the Centre is the main partner of the Embassy of Ireland in Russia and Embassy of Ireland in Latvia. It works in close cooperation with the Honorary Consul of Ireland in St Petersburg and related cultural and academic circles in Riga. Its academic base is in the Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, St Petersburg.
Dr Andrey Mashinyan, Director.
Andrey Mashinyan is the Director of the Irish Cultural Centre in St Petersburg (since 2004) and Riga (since 2018). His research interests in Irish culture include history and mythology, the life and works of W.B. Yeats and James Joyce, and connections between the Irish Celtic Revival and the Russian Silver Age. He holds a PhD in Irish Literature (‘Mythological poetics of W.B. Yeats’), and has published two books of translations of poetry and plays by Yeats and a book of translations of works by Joyce. His translations have also appeared in the digital publication Yeats reborn (2015) and he presented his poetry and prose in English at the Cork World Book Fest in 2016. In 2016-17 he contributed eight chapters to Ireland: more than an island, the first volume in a series curated by the Irish Embassy and Russian branch of Enterprise Ireland that presents Ireland’s culture and history to a general readership in Russia. Dr Mashinyan is Associate Professor of the Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, member of the International W.B. Yeats Society, curator of the annual festival of Irish Culture in St Petersburg, of cultural events in which St Petersburg has partnered with Dublin and Cork, and is chair at the annual International Bloomsday Conference Ireland and Russia: the past and the present (2006-18). In September 2018 he translated John Banville’s essay “Fiction and the Dream” into Russian for the EFACIS International Banville Project.
Dr Tatiana Ivanova, Deputy Director, St. Petersburg Office.
Dr Ivanova is interested in various aspects of Irish culture. Her particular field of academic interests in the Irish Studies is the life and works of John Synge, history and scenography of the Irish Celtic Revival, history of the translation of Irish literature of the XX century into Russian. In the recent years she participated in several Irish academic projects and public events organized by the Irish Cultural Centre in St. Petersburg. Since 2014 she’s annual speaker at the International Bloomsday Conference Ireland and Russia: the past and the present where presented talks on John Synge’s playwriting and scenography, Annie Horniman and the history of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. Dr Ivanova is Associate Professor of the Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia. As the President of SPELTA (St. Petersburg English Language Teachers Association) she in the recent years successfully established prolific academic links between scholars at the departments of the English language and literature of the universities of Russia and Europe. She organizes and participates in the annual all-Russian and international conferences on English language and new methods of teaching and translation.
Signe Mainule-Meidropa, Deputy Director, Riga Office.
Signe Mainule-Meidropa is interested in Irish culture, especially Irish history and literature, dance and music. Since 2010 she is the Leader of the Irish Dance Studio “Moonlight Dancers” in Riga. In the recent years, in close cooperation with the Embassy of Ireland in Latvia, she has participated in different Irish cultural events and Irish-Latvian cross-cultural projects. She studied German philology at the University of Latvia and at the University of Rostock, her thesis was focused to comparative translations of poetry and cross-cultural differences. For more than 14 years she has been working at the Germany’s cultural institute Goethe-Institute Riga. In September 2018 she translated John Banville’s essay “Fiction and the Dream” into Latvian for the EFACIS International Banville Project.
Leonid Kudzeevich, Member, St. Petersburg Office.
Leonid Kudzeevich is interested in Irish culture and especially in history of the Russian-Irish relations. His particular field of interests in the Irish studies is the life and career of the prominent figures in the Russian-Irish dynasties of the XVIII-XIX centuries. He studied museum management and management of the cultural projects in the University of Culture and Arts in St. Petersburg. For more than 20 years he has been working as scholar and Seniour scholar at the State Museum of the Political History of Russia, participated in numerous permanent and temporary exhibitions focused on the major political events of the Russian history of the XX century. His sphere of academic and scholarly interests comprises the history of the Russian Masonry and Russian monetary objects. In 2013, together with Dr Mashinyan, presented public talks on the Leading Irish of the XVIII-XIX centuries in the Dublin Hugh Lane Gallery and University College Cork (Ireland).
Aiva Gailite, Member, Riga Office.
Aive Gailite is interested in Irish culture, history, dance and music, participated in the Irish-Latvian cross-cultural projects, has actively cooperated in the recent years with the Embassy of Ireland in Latvia and related institutions for the numerous literary and literary-musical events. She studied English philology and library management in the University of Latvia, worked as bibliographer, head of the department, scholar and manager at the Collection Management Department of the National Library of Latvia, expert in ISBN and ISMN.
Tatiana Ponomareva, Member, St. Petersburg Office.
Tatiana Ponomareva is the Director of the Vladimir Nabokov Museum, since 2007 a department of the St. Petersburg State University. Under her leading role the museum has become the principal public venue for annual Irish cultural festivals and various Irish-Russian conferences, seminars, poetic and literary readings, exhibitions from 1999 till now. In 2005-15 she participated in the festivals of Russian culture in Ireland, presented talks in the Trinity College Dublin and University College Cork on censorship in the Soviet Russia, poets of the “Silver Age” in Soviet Russia, cross-cultural connections of Joyce and Nabokov, the life and fate of Vladimir Petcherin in Ireland, Thomas Mayne Reid and Ethel Voinich, the forgotten Irish writers in Russia of the 20th century. Since 2006 till now, together with Dr Mashinyan, welcomes the International Bloomsday Conference Ireland and Russia: the past and the present held in the library of the Nabokov’s family house in the historical centre of St. Petersburg.
Dr Maxim Rymsha, Member, St. Petersburg Office.
Maxim Rymsha is interested in Irish history and culture, in 2005-18 he participated in numerous Irish-Russian cross-cultural projects and public events organized by the Irish Cultural Centre. His particular field of interests in the Irish studies is the Medieval history of Ireland, Irish-Russian political and cultural links in the Middle Ages, sacred symbolism of the ancient Irish tribes. In 2013 he presented a talk at the annual International Bloomsday Conference Ireland and Russia: the past and the present on the history of Russian-European and Russian-Irish trade relations in the context of the Hanseatic League. He studied history in the St. Petersburg State University, holds a PhD in the Russian Medieval History. Since 2010 till now works as bibliographer and scholar at the Collection Department of the State Hermitage Library in St. Petersburg.