We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.


View Profile

Dr Andy Byford, MA, DPhil

Senior Lecturer [Research Leave 2015-16] in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 43432
Room number: A18, Elvet Riverside I

Contact Dr Andy Byford (email at


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 on the project are available here.

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 is currently co-organising 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 here.

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, science and education in 19th- and 20th-century Russia.

I currently supervise a PhD thesis that examines the cultural identities and social networks of Russian-speaking migrants living and working in Britain. The project, carried out by Ms Polina Kliuchnikova, is based on ethnographic fieldwork in the Russian migrant community, in-depth semi-structured interviews, and the analysis of published, internet and other media sources.

I co-supervise a PhD thesis on representations of female suffering in Russian literature from the late 18th to the late 20th century. This project is carried out by Ms Nicola Ophelia Lavey, a Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership award holder.

I have recently supervised to successful completion an MAR dissertation that investigated domestic tourism in the USSR in the period of late socialism.

Research Interests

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

Selected Publications

Books: authored

Books: edited

Books: sections

  • Byford, Andy & Obukhov, Aleksei S. (2014). Glava I: Razvitie psikhologo-pedagogicheskikh nauk. In Vvedenie v profesiiu: Psikholog obrazovaniia. Obukhov, Aleksei S. Iurait. 23-190.

Edited works: journals

Essays in edited volumes

  • Byford, Andy (2014). Pamiat' o "repressirovannykh naukakh" v istorii Rossii: Sluchai pedologii. In Istoricheskaia pamiat' Rossii: Proshloe i nastoiashchee. Lobacheva, G. V. & al. Saratov State Technical University. 16-29.
  • Byford, Andy (2014). Performing "Community": Russian-speakers in Contemporary Britain. In Rethinking Identities: Cultural Articulations of Alterity and Resistance in the New Millennium. Cairns, Lucille & Fouz-Hernández, Santiago Peter Lang. 115-139.
  • Byford, Andy. (2009). "The Last Soviet Generation" in Britain. In Diasporas: Critical and Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Fernandez, Jane. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press. 54-63.
  • Byford, Andy & Jones, Polly. (2006). Policies and Practices of Transition in Soviet Education from the Revolution to the End of Stalinism. In Making Education Soviet, 1917-1953. Byford, Andy & Jones, Polly 419-426.

Journal papers: academic

Other publications: research

  • Byford, Andy (2013). Cold War Entanglements of Social Science. Science as Culture 22(3): 401-406.
  • Byford, Andy. (2012). Childhood Studies: Russia. New York: Oxford University Press. Oxford Bibliographies Online: Childhood Studies
  • Byford, Andy (2010). Evraziia, prishedshaia v dvizhenie. Antropologicheskii forum 13: 317-323.
  • Byford, Andy. (2005). Russian Literary Scholarship (1830-1917). The Literary Encyclopaedia

Show all publications


Selected Grants

  • 2015: British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship (MD140022; £97,336)
  • 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)