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Russian Studies

Durham University was ranked 2nd nationally in the 2021 Complete University Guide table for Russian and East European Languages and 2nd nationally in the 2022 Good University Guide for Russian.

Research in Russian Studies at Durham’s School of Modern Languages and Cultures covers the period from the 17th Century to the present day. Staff in Russian have particular research expertise in:

  • 19th and 20th century social and cultural history, especially the history of sciences and professions in Russia and the USSR (Professor Andy Byford)
  • 19th and 20th century Russian poetry, especially Anna Akhmatova (Professor Alex Harrington)
  • Russian and Soviet cinema, literary and critical theory, especially Bakhtin (Dr Dušan Radunović)
  • 17th to 20th century Russian literature and culture, especially material culture and gender (Dr Viktoria Ivleva)
  • History of gender and sexuality in Russia in the 19th and 20th centuries (Dr Siobhan Hearne)
  • Russian and Soviet linguistics (Dr Ekaterina Chown)
  • Russian and Soviet music, cultural life and aesthetic theory (Professor Patrick Zuk)
  • 19th Century Russian literature and material culture with a focus on dress (Dr Daniel Green)
  • 19th and 20th Century Russian literature, translation theory and practice (Dr Sarah Vitali)
  • Russophone diasporic culture, indigenous communities and environmental humanities (Dr Angelos Theocharis)

This expertise is reflected in a range of general and specialist undergraduate modules in Russian language, literature, cinema, history and culture more broadly.

Our language courses are taught at all levels, from beginners to advanced, by highly experienced language instructors (Mrs Branka GrundyMrs Olga Zabotkina and Dr Ekaterina Chown).

In the first year, students who have no prior experience in studying Russian take an intensive ab initio course; those with an A-level or equivalent in Russian are enrolled on an intermediate course. Both strands build on this in the second-year core language courses, intensive for the post-beginners and standard for the post-A-level students. All students then normally spend three to four months of their third year abroad at different Russian universities.  when unable to go to Russia, students can study at one of our partner institutions in the Baltic States, Georgia or Kyrgyzstan.

Students of all years are involved in regular extracurricular events (concerts, plays, celebrations) and benefit from engagement with students from our partner universities.

Please find a list of language and culture related internet resources on Russia and beyond here

Enquiries about degree programmes or internships should be addressed to Dr Viktoria Ivleva, Director of Russian Studies.