Academic Background: DPhil Sussex. I did my MA at Queen Mary, London in a very interdisciplinary department of cultural studies. My BA was from Lancaster in English and Sociology
My research in a nutshell: Basically I use micro-methods to talk in a novel way about macro social and economics issues. More specifically this means adopting the classic method of anthropology – ethnography: living in the community you are studying, participating, engaging and taking seriously what people say and do while remaining objective. I then use that as a lens to study things like neoliberal policies (changes in welfare conditions for families and unemployed, the degree of control and surveillance at work, the general ‘common sense’ discourse in the media and society at large about how an individual should look after themselves). Other things that are more ‘macro’ are how bureaucracies work and interact with people, informal economy, civic activism, etc.
What is your favorite place in Russia? I really love Moscow because it’s the biggest global city in Europe and you can pretty much do/see/hear anything there. People don’t realise how fast Moscow changes. It’s as hypermodern as any Chinese or Japanese city, and yet right at its centre you can meet old wooden houses with pensioners living in them and beautifully quiet garden yards, family-run shops and genuine local music or culture scenes. My research is in a small town, so coming back to Moscow from time to time is a real treat. I just love walking around with my Russian friends and talking about the buildings and streets we explore together.
Academic Background:I have a PhD in Russian as a foreign language from the University of Leningrad (Skt. Petersburg) and have taught Russian at university for over 40 years both in Russia and in Odense and Aarhus.
My research in a nutshell: I have done research in the field of ethnolinguistics – how language reflects culture – but as a teaching associate professor, the focus of my work is teaching rather than research, so I use my expertise in ethnolinguistics to show our students how the language can help them understand the culture. Recently I have devoted my time to developing teaching materials to help our students pick up the Russian language more effectively. I have also been participating in a project financed by the National Center of Foreign Languages, where my students are partnered with Russian students who are learning Danish, so that they can practice with each other and discuss various topics, which is tremendously helpful both for learning the language and familiarizing themselves with the culture.
What is your favorite book?My favorite book is Dostoyevskij’s “The Brothers Karamazov”. First of all, this novel captivated me the way a great piece of crime fiction does. And while it is indeed a crime novel, as many of Dostoyevskij’s novels are, the most important thing about it is Dostoyevskij’s thoughts about the “Russian mentality” and about concepts such as the meaning of life, responsibility, what love is and so on.
Academic Background: I hold a Ph.D. from the Johannes-Gutenberg-University of Mainz, Germany, awarded with distinction 2014, and an M.A. in Comparative Literature with Russian form the University of Copenhagen. I am author of an illustrated monograph on contemporary Russian book design and print culture The New Russian Book. A Graphic Cultural History (New Directions in Book History, Palgrave, 2017). Before entering academia, I have worked as curator at the Workers’ Museum in Copenhagen and as Danish teacher at the Maxim Gorky Literary Institute in Moscow.
My Research in a Nutshell: My research is focused on Russian visual and material culture, Soviet and post-Soviet print culture, and media history. Recent research projects are related to Soviet children’s books, the history of Soviet paper, and late Cold War ‘book diplomacy’.