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Professor Andy Byford

Professor / Director of Research

Professor / Director of Research in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures+44 (0) 191 33 43432


Current Research

An Ontology of Animal Minds: A History of Russian ‘Zoopsychology’

This research looks at the history of comparative psychology, ethology, animal neuroscience and behavioural ecology in Russia and the USSR. It explores the different ways in which Russian scientists constructed animal mentality, a phenomenon they ambivalently both troubled over and assumed, denied and kept returning to, skirted around, yet could not do without. The current focus is on the history of Soviet primate research, in the broader context of negotiations of the boundary, continuum and relationship between humans and animals.

Science of the Child in Late Imperial and Early Soviet Russia

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 and 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. The current focus is on juvenile crime, delinquency, and social deviance as a field of knowledge in the context of Russia's modernization and socio-political upheavals between the 1860s and the 1930s.

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.

Research interests

  • History of knowledge and science in Russia, especially biological, human and social sciences
  • History of the intelligentsia, professions, academia and education in Russia
  • Human-animal relations in Russia


Authored book

Book review

Chapter in book

Edited book

Journal Article

Other (Digital/Visual Media)

Supervision students