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Durham University

School of Modern Languages and Cultures: Russian Studies

Staff in the Department of Russian

Professor Andy Byford, MA, DPhil

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

Contact Professor Andy Byford (email at

Current Research

Open World Research Initiative (OWRI)

Andy Byford is Co-I on a large multi-institutional 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, Spanish and Chinese.

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 more detail see the project website.

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

This project looks at the history of Russian research in comparative psychology, ethology, animal neuroscience and behavioural ecology. It examines 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 focus is 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 Professor Byford co-organised an interdisciplinary symposium on the Evidence of Animal Minds, under the auspieces of Durham University's Institute of Advanced Study.

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 of a PhD on religion in Russian Marxism (carried out by George Florin Bocean), as well as of a SGIA-based PhD on the Islamic State’s use of language, narrative and media (carried out by Juline Beaujouan).

I have 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

Edited book

Chapter in book

  • 2019 (co-authored with Doak, Connor & Hutchings, Stephen) 'Introduction: Transnationalizing Russian Studies', in Byford, Andy, Doak, Connor & Hutchings, Stephen (eds.), Transnational Russian Studies, Liverpool University Press, pp. 1-34
  • 2014 'Pamiat' o "repressirovannykh naukakh" v istorii Rossii: Sluchai pedologii', in Lobacheva, G. V. (ed.), Istoricheskaia pamiat’ Rossii proshloe i nastoiashchee materialy Mezhdunarodnoi nauchnoi konferentsii, 11-13 aprelia 2014 goda, Saratovskii gosudarstvennyi tekhnicheskii universitet, pp. 16-29
  • 2014 'Performing ‘Community’ Russian Speakers in Contemporary Britain', in Cairns, Lucille & Fouz-Hernández, Santiago (eds.), Rethinking ‘Identities’ Cultural Articulations of Alterity and Resistance in the New Millennium, Peter Lang, pp. 115-139
  • 2014 (co-authored with Obukhov, Aleksei S.) 'Razvitie psikhologo-pedagogicheskikh nauk', in Obukhov, A. S., Fedoseeva, A. M. & Byford, A. (eds.), Vvedenie v profesiiu: Psikholog obrazovaniia: uchebnik dlia akademicheskogo bakalavriata, Iurait, pp. 23-190
  • 2009 '"The Last Soviet Generation" in Britain', in Fernandez, Jane. (ed.), Diasporas: Critical and Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Inter-Disciplinary Press, pp. 54-63

Journal Article

Book review

Edited Journal

Other (Digital/Visual Media)

Show all publications

Related Links

Selected Grants

  • 2018: HEFCE GCRF (£27,500)
  • 2016: AHRC Open World Research Initative (AH/N004647/1; £943,929)
  • 2016: CREES (£400)
  • 2015: British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship (MD140022; £97,336)
  • 2015: Durham IAS Activity Grant (£1,980)
  • 2015: Durham Seedcorn Award (£3,785)
  • 2012: AHRC Early Career Research Fellowship (AH/J00362X/1; £41,973)
  • 2012: Durham Seedcorn Award (£2,660)
  • 2011: British Academy Small Research Grant (SG101445; £4,200)