Professor Derek C Offord

B.A.(Cantab.), Ph.D.(Lond.)

  • BS8 1TE

1977 …2020

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Personal profile

Research interests

Derek Offord is a specialist in pre-revolutionary Russian history, thought and literature and in language usage and language attitudes in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Russia. He has published books on the revolutionary movement in its Populist phase, on the debates in the nineteenth-century intelligentsia (especially between its radical wing and its liberal and romantic conservative wings) and on the ways in which Russian writers travelling in the West used their travels to shape notions of national identity as Russia entered the European world. Together with William Leatherbarrow, he co-edited a documentary history of Russian thought in 1987 and a new History of Russian Thought published by Cambridge University Press in 2010. From 2011 to 2015 he led a multidisciplinary project funded by the AHRC on the history of the French language in Russia from the mid-eighteenth century to the early twentieth century. The project yielded three co-edited volumes, two clusters of articles, and a 700-page monograph co-authored with Vladislav Rjeoutski and Gesine Argent and published by Amsterdam University Press in 2018. This monograph, The French Language in Russia: A Social, Political, Cultural, and Literary History, was awarded The Marc Raeff Book Prize for 2019 by the Eighteenth-Century Russian Studies Association, an affiliate of the American Association for East European and Eurasian Studies. The website of the AHRC project, which includes twelve documents or sets of documents from primary sources accompanied in each case by an explanatory article, is at http://www.bristol.ac.uk/arts/research/french-in-russia. Derek Offord is also the author of two widely used books on the modern Russian language. He is currently beginning work on a history of the role and image of the River Volga in Russian civilisation.

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