Olga Petri

Dr Olga Petri

BA MA MSc PhD

Olga’s research interests are divided two strands: firstly, geographies of gender and sexuality, and, secondly, animal geographies and the relations between humans and nonhuman animals.

Olga Petri

Olga is an urban historical geographer and a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Research Fellow in the Department of Geography. Born in St Petersburg, Olga received a Bachelor and Master degree in Geography from St. Petersburg State University, Russia. Subsequently to leaving Russia for Serbia, where she lived and worked for three years, Olga graduated from the MSc Urban Studies program at University College London, working under the supervision of Professor Richard Dennis. In 2017, Olga completed her doctoral research under the supervision of Dr Philip Howell at the Geography Department, Cambridge University, Emmanuel College.

She is currently undertaking postdoctoral research funded by the Leverhulme Trust and the Isaac Newton Trust and working on the project entitled Beastly St Petersburg: humans and other animals in Imperial Russia. In April 2018, Olga became a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College. 

Research interests

Olga’s research interests are divided two strands: firstly, geographies of gender and sexuality, and, secondly, animal geographies and the relations between humans and nonhuman animals. Her research has focused on late Imperial St. Petersburg, which offers an opportunity to explore largely untapped archival evidence carrying the street-level impress of an idiosyncratic, internally conflicted and ultimately over-written urban modernity.

Her current project about urban animals and animality in late Imperial St. Petersburg (1881-1914) contributes to the rapidly expanding field of animal-human historical geographies. It is a continuation of her interests in the study of power, fashion and reform in the city. She pursues four animal stories, including racehorses, rodents, canaries and domestic cats. These stories highlight the mechanisms by which the city reconciled conflicting tendencies of conservation and reform with a contested national identity and the intensifying external influences during the final years of St. Petersburg's abortive transformation into a modern metropolis.