Dr Zoe Knox

Associate Professor in Modern Russian HistoryZoe Knox

  • Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2711
  • Email: zk15@le.ac.uk
  • Office: Room 508, Attenborough Tower
  • Office Hours (Semester 2 2017/18): Tuesdays 11am - 12pm and Thursdays 11am - 12pm
  • Dissertation Office Hour: Thursdays 12pm - 1pm

Personal details

Fellow of the Royal Historical Society

My doctoral research at Monash University (Melbourne, Australia) examined the Orthodox Church’s social and political role and its relationship to civil society in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia.

I held a Faculty of Arts Postdoctoral Fellowship at Monash and worked at The University of Melbourne before moving to Rice University (Houston, USA) in 2004 to take up an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities Research Center. In 2006, I was appointed to a lectureship in modern Russian history at Leicester.

Since arriving in the UK from the USA, I have sought to establish and strengthen cross-institutional links with researchers throughout Britain and to maintain my connections with colleagues abroad.

In 2007, I was invited to join the Editorial Board of 'Religion, State and Society'. In 2009, I co-founded a BASEES Study Group on Religion and Spirituality in Russia and Eastern Europe (with Miriam Dobson, University of Sheffield) and, under its auspices, have organised seminars, a symposium and conference panels.

In 2010, I was elected to the Council of Management of the Oxford-based charitable organisation the Keston Institute, founded in 1969 to study religion under communist regimes.

In 2012, I accepted an invitation to join the Editorial Board of the BASEES/Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies.


My teaching at Leicester includes a wide range of modules, at all year levels, on modern Russian history and on religious history. These range from an introductory course on Soviet history (i.e. the second year Option The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union) to a very detailed examination of religion in modern Russia (i.e. the year-long Special Subject Church, State and Belief in Soviet Russia, 1941-1991).

I supervise third year dissertations and MA dissertations across a broad range of subjects relating to late Imperial, Soviet and post-Soviet Russia as well as the history of religion in modern Europe. There is a close link between my teaching areas and research interests.

Examples of modules that I teach:

Recent Publications


  1. Jehovah's Witnesses and the Secular World: From the 1870s to the Present (Palgrave Macmillan,2018)
  2. Russian Society and the Orthodox Church: Religion in Russia after Communism (Routledge, 2005; paperback 2009)

Articles and chapters

  1.  ‘The History of the Jehovah's Witnesses: An Appraisal of Recent Scholarship’, Journal of Religious History 41, no. 2 (June 2017), 251–260.
  2. (with A. Mitrofanova), ‘The Russian Orthodox Church’ in L. Leustean (ed.), Eastern Christianity and Politics in the Twenty-first Century (Routledge, 2014), pp. 38-66.
  3. ‘Jehovah's Witnesses as Un-Americans? Scriptural Injunctions, Civil Liberties, and Patriotism’, Journal of American Studies 47, no. 4 (November 2013), pp. 1081 – 1108.


I would be pleased to supervise PhD research on religious tolerance and intolerance in the modern world, particularly in relation to Christian minority groups; religion and society in twentieth-century Russia; Orthodox churches in the Soviet Union; and religion and dissent under communist regimes. I currently supervise doctoral projects on church-state relations in the Gorbachev years and on Holocaust remembrance in contemporary Russia.


    Share this page: