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School of Modern Languages & Cultures: Department of Russian

Staff in the Department of Russian

Dr Andy Byford, MA, DPhil

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 43432
Room number: A18, Elvet Riverside I

Contact Dr Andy Byford (email at andy.byford@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

2013-present: Senior Lecturer in Russian, Durham University
2009-2013: Lecturer in Russian, Durham University
2007-2009: Research Fellow, Wolfson College, University of Oxford
2004-2007: Junior Research Fellow, Wolfson College, University of Oxford
2000-2004: DPhil in Russian, University of Oxford
1999-2000: MA in Comparative Literature, University College London
1995-1999: BA in French and Russian, SSEES, University of London

Current Research

Science of the Child in Late Imperial and Early Soviet Russia (1881-1936)

The project investigates how children became objects of scientific study, professional expertise and public interest in modern societies, focusing on Russia as a key example. It explores the historical contingencies of the rise and fall of a multiprofessional/crossdisciplinary movement that claimed child development and socialisation as a territory of specialist investigation, including: developmental and educational psychology; child psychiatry and special education; hygiene and pediatrics; juvenile criminology and the social anthropology of childhood. The project is envisaged as a case study in the social history of the human sciences and professions in the distinctive context of late 19th- and early 20th-century Russia, a period of rapid modernization, socio-political restructuring, and cataclysmic revolutionary upheaval. Further details see the project website.

An Ontology of Animal Minds: A Cultural History of Russian ‘Zoopsychology’ (1890s-1990s)

The project focuses on the history of Russian research in comparative psychology, ethology, animal neuroscience and behavioural ecology. It looks at the work of figures such as V.A. Vagner (1849-1934), Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936), N.N. Ladygina-Kots (1889-1963), Vladimir Durov (1863-1934) and many others. The project focuses on different ways in which Russian scientists constructed animal mentality, a phenomenon that they ambivalently both troubled over and assumed, denied and kept returning to, skirted around and yet could not do without. As part of this project Dr Byford co-organised an interdisciplinary symposium on the Evidence of Animal Minds, under the auspieces of Durham's Institute of Advanced Study. Further details on this event are available on the symposium webpages.

Open World Research Initiative (OWRI)

Andy Byford is Co-I on a large multi-institutional and interdisciplinary programme of research, Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community, led by Professor Stephen Hutchings (University of Manchester) and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, as part of its Open World Research Initiative. Together with Professor Anoush Ehteshami (SGIA), he is responsible for the Transnational Strand of the project, which investigates political, social and cultural interactions across communities sharing a single language, but dispersed across multiple states and cultures, with emphasis on Russian, Arabic, Chinese, and Spanish. For more detail see the Durham-based project website.

Postgraduate Supervision

I welcome enquiries from those wishing to pursue a Masters by Research (MAR) and/or a PhD on topics related to the social and cultural history of the intelligentsia, professions, sciences and education in 19th- and 20th-century Russia. At present I would especially encourage proposals on topics relating to human-animal relations in Russia.

I am currently main supervisor of a PhD on the history of industrial sociology in the late Soviet Union (carried out by Sheila Pattle) and co-supervisor on a SGIA-based PhD on the Islamic State’s use of language, narrative and media (carried out by Juline Beaujouan).

I have recently supervised to successful completion the PhD by Polina Kliuchnikova on the anthropology of language among Russian-speaking migrants in the UK, and the MAR by Sheila Pattle on the history of domestic tourism in the USSR during the period of late socialism.

Research Interests

  • History of the biological, human and social sciences in Russia
  • History of the Russian intelligentsia, professions and education
  • History of humanities scholarship in Russia
  • Human-animal relations in Russia
  • Russian migrancy and diaspora

Selected Publications

Authored book

Chapter in book

Edited book

Journal Article

Book review

Edited Journal

Other (Digital/Visual Media)

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Related Links

Selected Grants

  • 2016: AHRC Open World Research Initative (AH/N004647/1; £943,929)
  • 2016: Language and Identity in post-Soviet spaces (£400.00 from CRCEES)
  • 2015: British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship (MD140022; £97,336)
  • 2015: Durham IAS Activity Grant (CC290576; £1,980)
  • 2015: Durham Seedcorn Award (CC290204; £3,785)
  • 2012: AHRC Early Career Research Fellowship (AH/J00362X/1; £41,973)
  • 2012: Durham Seedcorn Award (CC290164; £2,660)
  • 2011: British Academy Small Research Grant (SG101445; £4,200)

Supervises