Dashkova Centre

Current research

The Dashkova Centre's current research projects are divided into four themes.

Russian in Context

The main focus of the Dashkova research team is the exploration of critical perspectives on the Russian language within political, social, historical and cultural contexts. Both theoretical and empirical studies are carried out in order to advance our understanding of Russian in its relationship with discourses, power, identity, and cultural and social practices.

The objective of Russian in Context is to expand and deepen the ‘linguistic turn’ in the current international scholarly debate within Russian Studies. This research is profoundly inspired by the work of Princess Ekaterina Vorontsova-Dashkova (1743-1810), who gave the role of the Russian language in society a new understanding and significance.

Current research projects

Theme 1: Global Russian

One of the less examined consequences of the collapse of the Soviet Union is the establishment of Russian as a global language, spoken by a proportion of the population in a number of post-Soviet states and other countries across the world. This collaborative project aims to explore approaches for establishing a coherent theoretical paradigm suitable for scholarly examination of global Russian in the context of both the integrating and disintegrating factors. Among the strands of the project are examination of multiple issues connected to the Russian speaker’s identity as a member of a linguistic minority in the new world configuration, language policies in relation to Russian, and the emergence of multiple Russians.

Funded by CRCEES, MAPRYAL, AHRC and Knowledge Transfer Fund

Theme 2: Russian Discourse, Communication and Identity

Identity is a central organising element of the social world. The theme explores various identities and subjectivities in relation to their construction, performance and maintenance in a number of contexts.

Funded by AHRC, CRCEES and the Scottish and Newcastle postgraduate programme.

Theme 3:“Middle” and “Creative”? Emerging Russian Social Groups in Language and Culture

Since the Millennium, Russia has experienced a period of deep social transformations. One of the key developments is the emergence of the educated urban social cluster engaged in entrepreneurship, knowledge technologies and creative professions. Loosely defined labels, such as ‘creative class’ and ‘educated citizens’, have been coined to refer to this group along with the use of a more general notion of ‘middle class’. The emergent socio-cultural groups and networks entail shifts in communication codes, repertoires and practices as they are actively searching for strategies and lifestyles for describing, performing and reflecting their newly perceived identities and values, and for distinguishing themselves from other parts of society. The objective of the project is to facilitate an interdisciplinary investigation into the linguistic and cultural forms, codes and practices associated with the Russian ‘creative/middle class’.

In collaboration with and co-funded by the Russian Humanities University.

Theme 4: Linguistic Violence as the Edge of Words – Testing the Limits of Sayability

This interdisciplinary collaborative project was initiated together with Sodertorn and Stockholm Universities (Sweden). It focuses on an assessment of various understandings and implementations of the notions of linguistic violence and negotiation of violence under totalitarian and authoritarian regimes. The objective of the project is to investigate the performative edge of the word as it is intertwined with, expressed as, or interpreted as violent social behaviour. In addition to the socio-cultural Russian language studies approaches, the project includes perspectives from other disciplines such as German, law, media studies, and translation studies.

Co-funded by Sodertorn and Stockholm Universities, and the LLC Edge of Words project.

For other projects within the Russian in Context group see the research profiles of our staff and students: