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Modern Languages and Cultures

Kremlin building, Russia

Russian and East European Studies research

Our Russian and Eurasian Studies Network facilitates collaboration in research across a range of specialisms.

Our research in Russian and East European Studies has informed policy-makers and the public on relationships between government and the media in Russia.

Staff in Russian and East European Studies conduct research of an interdisciplinary nature across a broad range of subjects including:

  • Nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature and intellectual history;
  • Soviet and post-Soviet cinema and the media;
  • Russian and Soviet popular culture;
  • Gender studies;
  • Nationalism and ethnic politics in Russia and Eastern Europe;
  • Medieval Slavic cultures; 
  • Balkan Studies; 
  • Post-communist transition in East Central Europe.

Conferences and workshops organised by staff in Russian and East European Studies include 'Representing Islam: Comparative Perspectives' and 'The Mass Media, Freedom of Speech and the War on Terror in Russia and the UK'. 

Regular events including talks, seminars, workshops and conferences provide a focal point for the discipline's research activity, featuring a mix of internal and external speakers and promoting debate between staff and postgraduates across the full spectrum of their research interests.

Centres, networks and clusters

  • Russian and Eurasian Studies Network - Created in 2004 to facilitate collaboration in research, teaching and postgraduate supervision between academic staff across The University of Manchester with expertise in Russia, other countries of the former Soviet Union and Eastern and East Central Europe
  • The Manchester Migration and Diaspora Cultural Studies Network was an AHRC-funded network studying the cultural transformations brought about by the global movement of peoples, languages, objects, images, sounds, beliefs and ideas.

    It embraced a wide range of fields, with a strong core in language-based disciplines, giving it a distinctive, internationally comparative dimension, and illuminating the interpenetration of cultures from within. Themes included intercultural communication, cultural memory, representation, and diasporic subjectivities, across a spectrum of modes of migration, from refugee studies, through border studies and language contact to transnational cinema and 'queer diasporas'. Between 2006 and 2008 it organised three workshops and an international conference in July 2007 on ‘Creolising Europe’.

    Co-directed by Encarnación Gutiérrez Rodríguez and Margaret Littler, the network resulted in a number of publications and its work continues in the form of ongoing collaborative projects such as ‘Queer Cinema from Spain and France: The Translation of Desire and the Formation of Transnational Queer Identities’ (Christopher Perriam, Darren Waldron), ‘Cosmopolitanism and the Jews’ (Cathy Gelbin, Sander Gilman), ‘Multilingual Manchester’ (Yaron Matras), work on Francophone (Barbara Lebrun, Joseph McGonagle), Lusophone African (Hilary Owen) and Turkish-German (Margaret Littler) culture. Much of this work continues under the auspices of CTIS (the Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies), CIDRAL (The Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in the Arts and Languages) and ILLS (The Centre for Language and Linguistics Studies).

Featured projects

Current and recently completed projects in Russian studies include:

  • Mediating Post-Soviet Difference: An Analysis of Russian Television Representations of Inter-Ethnic Cohesion Issues (Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded)
  • An Analysis of Post-Soviet Russian Television Culture (AHRC-funded)
  • European Television Representations of Islam as Security Threat: A Comparative Analysis (AHRC-funded)
  • Housing as a Gendered Issue in Twentieth-Century Russia (AHRC-funded)
  • Oriental Studies and Russian National Identity (AHRC-funded)
  • Singing the Self: Guitar Poetry, Community and Identity in the post-Stalin Period (AHRC-funded)
  • The Memory of the Second World War in East Central Europe post-1989 (funded by the Leverhulme Trust)