Poetry in the Matador's Cape: Masculinity in the Work of Vladimir Mayakovsky


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


Slavic Languages and Literature


This dissertation explores the intersection of gender, politics, and poetic experimentation in the work of the Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930). It argues that Mayakovsky shifts his representation of masculinity throughout his career, using verse as an instrument to negotiate with the hegemonic masculinities of Tsarist Russia, revolutionary Russia, and the Soviet Union. The methodology involves close readings of Mayakovsky’s texts informed by both theoretical approaches to masculinity and the specific historical and cultural masculinities that existed during this period in Russia and the USSR. The study traces how Mayakovsky responds to and shapes Russian and Soviet masculinity following transformative events such as World War I, the October Revolution, and Stalin’s rise to power.