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  • The Vladimir Vysotsky Centre for Russian Studies

    The Vladimir Vysotsky Centre for Russian Studies

The Vladimir Vysotsky Centre for Russian Studies is a Research Centre of Russian Language and Culture.

Its mission is:

  • To bring Russian Culture to Western audience;
  • To bridge the gap between Russia and the UK through facilitating an inter-cultural dialogue;
  • To conduct research in the field of Russian thought, literature, history and art.

A distinctive feature of the Centre is in addressing the following fundamental questions:

  • What is understood as Russian cultural identity and constitutes the quintessence of Russianness and the kernel of its values?
  • What are its special features, and are they amenable to conceptualisation?
  • How does the phenomenon of Vladimir Vysotsky resonate with the concept of Russian character and embody its essential traits?

Our Centre is named after Vladimir Vysotsky (1938-1980) who became a cultural icon for the Russian nation during his lifetime, and continues to exert a considerable influence on Russian cultural developments and national identity. He was a poet, bard and actor, whose literary work was largely forbidden by the Soviet authorities, but whose songs, as unofficial audio recordings, could be heard from every window. Vysotsky’s art served as a breath of fresh air in the totalitarian state stifled by the ideological control and hypocrisy, and helped Russian people to sustain their human dignity and cultural distinctiveness. Vysotsky was one of those artistic personalities who become a living conscience of the entire nation.

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Expertise and subject areas

Our Centre’s strategic plans include:

  • Working on a number of ongoing international and interdisciplinary research projects sustained by external grants’ applications;
  • Establishing strategic partnerships with Russian cultural institutions in Russia and abroad;
  • Offering diverse programme of events in Russian Studies within and outside academia such as research seminars, conferences, workshops, exhibitions, festivals, concerts and performances;
  • Facilitating academic and cultural exchanges;
  • Collaborating with other Centres and Institutes in UCLan and beyond;
  • Fostering postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows;
  • Hosting Russian cultural and literary materials for the use by UCLan students, academics and members of the general public.

Impact

We publish high quality research in the form of peer-reviewed books and articles in international academic journals. Our activities bridge the gap between Russia and Britain, assisting the non-academic world to acquire in-depth knowledge of Russia's cultural past and present, thus overcoming the hostile stereotypes, counter-productive for cultural enrichment and transnational understanding. By organising a diverse programme of events at UCLan and beyond, we bring Russian culture to the English North-West, facilitating an inter-cultural dialogue and mutual awareness at a grassroots level. We engage in international collaboration with Social Scientists, Literary Scholars and Cultural Studies experts from around the globe in our ongoing study of the legacy of WWI in both Russia and Britain, to produce pop-up exhibitions and a ground-breaking documentary, thus helping socio-political practitioners and policy-makers.

Events and News

Since the Centre’s foundation on 25 January 2018, we have organised:

  • Concert and Lecture on Russian Music by world leading musicians Dr Elena Artamonova (viola) and Cyrill Ibrahim (piano): 21 February 2018 in Cardinal Newman College
  • A Lecture Course on ‘The life and work of Anton Chekhov’ by Prof Andrei Stepanov, the globally renowned Chekhov scholar from St Petersburg State University: 6 lectures over the course of 3 weeks, 7 March 2018 – 21 March 2018.
  • A programme of Events and Research Seminar Series in Russian Studies, given by external speakers on diverse topics of Russian culture, literature, music, history and politics (continuing from previous years, since 2014, when Russian was introduced as a degree subject at UCLan)
  • A Master-class of Russian Orthodox Icon-painting given by nuns from the Sviato-Elisaventinsky Monastery near Minsk, Belorussia, forthcoming in April 2018.

Members

Dr Olga Tabachnikova, The Director of The Vladimir Vysotsky Centre for Russian Studies: Olga is a Reader in Russian at the University of Central Lancashire. She has twin background, with two PhDs, respectively in Mathematics and Franco-Russian Studies. She has previously held positions and was involved in research projects on Russian literature and culture at a number of other institutions, including the Universities of Bath and Bristol (UK), the University of Trier (Germany) and the Sorbonne (France). Her main area of expertise encompasses both classical and contemporary Russian culture (from the 19th century to the present) with the main focus on cultural and literary history and the history of ideas. Olga has published extensively in the field of Russian Studies, and is also an author of two books of poetry (in Russian). Read Olga's full profile

Related research groupings or interdisciplinary collaborations

UK: University of Central Lancashire, University of St Andrews; Russia: Central Economic-Mathematical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Art Education and Cultural Studies of the Russian Academy of Education, Maxim Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Belgium: Catholic University of Leuven, Antwerp Sint-Andries Campus (International Interdisciplinary Collaborative Project Intimate, literary and public representations of Truth: a comparative survey of British and Russian responses to the Great War)

The St Petersburg State University (International Collaborative Project: The Impact of Chekhov’s prose on World Literature)

‘World Literatures and Cinemas Research Cluster’ – collaboration with the School of Humanities and Social Sciences; organising a series of conferences and symposia.

Projects

We are planning to produce

  • A series of 12 documentaries on Vladimir Vysotsky’s songs for BBC 4 (once monthly).
  • Academic exchange: visits by distinguished specialists on Russia from around the globe, with lecture courses and academic project developments
  • Art festivals, workshops and exhibitions – (including icon-painting and Russian crafts workshops, photography/books exhibitions and visual arts)
  • Academic conferences and seminars (to be organised and co-organised with leading HE institutions in Russia and beyond)

Please also see above, under the Related research groupings or interdisciplinary collaborations.