Staff in the Department of Russian
Ms Polina Kliuchnikova
I have been a PhD student at Durham since October 2011, having been awarded the Durham University Student Scholarship (2011-2014). In 2011-12 I also held the John Simpson Greenwell Memorial Fund Award for conducting my fieldwork in the North East of England. I have an МА in Cultural Anthropology from the European University at St Petersburg, Russia (2008-2010). I gained my first degree (Specialist Diploma) in the Sociology of Mass Communication from the Samara State University, Russia (2002-2007).
Linguistic Biographies and Communities of Language of Russian Speakers in Great Britain
My PhD thesis focuses on diverse linguistic aspects of the cultural integration of Russian-speaking migrants in the contemporary UK. This project’s fieldwork is carried out in the socially, culturally and linguistically distinctive region of the North East of England. It includes interviews and participant observation, as well as the discourse analysis of media and online sources. In the context of methodology I also have particular interest in different forms of Participant Action Research (PAR) and the extent of their employability in contemporary migrancy studies.
My research develops the idea of languages as sets of resources that both shape migrants’ life trajectories and influence the way their collective identities and cultural practices are shaped. I examine a broad group of migrants of various backgrounds, coming from different parts of the former Soviet Union. I look at the way they redefine their common identity of ‘Russian speakers’ (using the idea of Russophonism (Russkoiazychie) in the new host environment. The variety of forms this process may take covers a wide range of domains of migrant experience: education and language mastering, career and family ties, child upbringing and cultural bonding, emerging language attitudes and common linguistic biographies.
In my research I am keen to explore both the actual use of languages (Russian, English, in their local varieties) and the (re)produced discourses on language(s) in use. My interest also goes beyond that, to explore different initiatives and forms of entrepreneurships concerning the maintenance or promotion of Russian language abroad, especially in English-speaking countries. In this context I examine especially the way Russian-speaking communities deal with multilingual environments by expressing their linguistic creativity and its ‘ludic’ potential.
Participation in conferences (2012-2013)
- “Celebrating Identity: The winter celebration cycle of Russian-speaking migrants in the UK”, 'Anthropology. Folklore. Sociolinguistic', European University in St. Petersburg, Russia, March 2012
- “Celebration language(s) of Russian-speaking diaspora in the UK” (poster presentation), BASEES Annual Conference, Cambridge, UK, March-April 2012
- “We wish you Merry Christmas(es) and Happy New Year(s): common past, immigrant present and modes of self-presentation of Russian-speaking migrants in Great Britain”, Lancaster University Sociology Intellectual Party, Lancaster, UK, July 2012
- “Protest language of Russian migration: anti-election mass meetings in Europe 2011-2012”, 'Negotiating Ideologies II: Inclusion and Exclusion in Russian Language and Culture', Princess Dashkova Centre, University of Edinburgh, UK, October 2012
- “’The importance of learning Russian’: Strategies of self-imaging, community-building and professional networking in Russian language schools of Great Britain”, 'Migration and Integration in Europe and Russia: New Challenges and Opportunities', Centre for Independent Social Research, Centre for European Studies (EU Centre) and Centre for German and European Studies, St.Petersburg, Russia, November 2012
- “Localism, Transnationalism and ‘European-ness’ of Moscow by Russian-speaking migrants in London”, 'European Identity in the EU and Russia: Everyday and public Discourses', EU Voices Centre, Kazan, Russia, December 2012
- “The language of political protest of Russians abroad: anti-election mass meetings in Europe 2011-2012”, 'Russia in search of its public language', European University in St.Petersburg, Russia, January 2013
- (forthcoming) “’Russian English’ and ‘British Russian’: The Development of a ‘Folk Linguistics’ among Russian-speaking Migrants in the UK”, ‘Language and Superdiversity’, University of Jyvaskyla, Finland, June 2013
- (forthcoming) “’Your mother tongue in your father’s country’: strategies of conceptualizing and implementation of children’s bilingualism by Russian-speaking mothers in transnational families of Great Britain”, ‘Family and Migration’, Vilnius, Lithuania, July 2013
- British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES)
- University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UASEES)
- Migration Studies Group, Centre for Independent Social Research (CISR), St. Petersburg, Russia
- ‘Russians in Britain’ Study Group
- European University at St Petersburg Alumni (Europe) (EUSPA), country representative
- Russian-speaking communities worldwide, Russian language and culture abroad
- Transnationalism studies, multilingualism and superdiversity
- Linguistic anthropology, ethnography of communication, conversation analysis