After graduating from the University of Cambridge in 1982, Simon Dixon (b. 1960) became a research student at the University of London’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies under the supervision of Professor Geoffrey Hosking. He returned to Cambridge as Junior Research Fellow of Sidney Sussex College (1987—1990) before taking up a lectureship at the University of Glasgow (1990—1999).
From 1999 to 2008, he was Professor of Modern History at the University of Leeds. Since 2008, he has been Sir Bernard Pares Professor of Russian History at University College London. He has written widely on the cultural history of Russia in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Among his books are The Modernisation of Russia 1676—1825 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999) and Catherine the Great (London: Profile Books, 2009), which was shortlisted for the Longman-History Today Book of the Year Prize.
He is chairman of the international, multi-disciplinary Study Group on Eighteenth-Century Russia, and has co-edited two of its collective volumes: Reflections on Russia in the Eighteenth Century (Cologne: Böhlau, 2001, with Joachim Klein and Maarten Fraanje) and History and Literature in the Eighteenth-Century Russia (London: SGECR, 2013, with Janet M. Hartley and Sergei Bogatyrev).
Among his other edited volumes is: Personality and Place in Russian History and Culture (London: MHRA, 2010). Since 2015, he has been chairman of the literary committee of the Russian Booker Prize.