Comments by international visitors
The Bakhtin Centre in Sheffield University is one of the most high-profile and respectable sites on the map of Russian and adjacent studies. It has grown into a multidisciplinary platform for Russian cultural studies and investigation into Russian intellectual history seen as a part of global history of ideas. The scholars of the Centre combine detailed and specific explorations in archival and textual work with a high level of theoretical reflections. Worthy of note are the Centre's organizational activities, from book publishing to hosting conferences. I had a pleasant privilege to participate in the superbly-organised conference on sociological theories of language in early Soviet period, as well as in the Theory Research Seminar based in the Bakhtin Centre. The Centre has a unique collection of books, materials and resources with particular reference to the Russian humanities of the early 20th century. My visits to the Centre have been, and hopefully will continue to be, advantageous and fruitful for my research work."
Dr. Vladimir Feshchenko, Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow
I worked as a Visiting Scholar at the Bakhtin Centre at the University of Sheffield for a period of eight months in 2002 after finishing my PhD and have been a frequent visitor at the Centre ever since. It provides a unique research environment with interdisciplinary orientation for researchers interested in the study of the Bakhtin Circle and the intellectual and institutional history of various academic disciplines in the early Soviet context. It has well-developed infrastructure and excellent facilities including an excellent up-to-date open-access library containing rare and invaluable materials. The Centre is a high-profile research institution which has hosted several important conferences and its prominent role in the field of Bakhtin Studies and Russian intellectual history is widely recognized both in Russia and the West.
Dr. Mika Lähteenmäki, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
The Bakhtin Centre at Sheffield University is an excellent research facility for preliminary, as well as further expertise, academic study of Bakhtin, the Bakhtin Circle, as well as of Modern Russian intellectual history (philology, psychology, linguistics and philosophy). It boasts a rich library (some of the editions very early and therefore rare) which constitutes part of the general open-minded climate of academic support and multi-lingual interdisciplinary orientation.
Dr. Yana Rowland, Plovdiv University, Bulgaria
The Bakhtin Centre at the University of Sheffield provides a welcoming research facility with exceptional academic expertise. The open-shelf library at the Centre is internationally renowned for its comprehensive, multi-lingual collections on intellectual history related to the Bakhtin Circle as well as to Russian cultural, linguistic and literary theory at large. The stimulating, multidisciplinary academic environment, together with the helpful staff, makes the Bakhtin Centre an ideal place to visit for overseas scholars and graduate students alike.
Ms. Tintti Klapuri, University of Turku, Finland
During the autumn of 2001 I was privileged to be a visiting research scholar at the Bakhtin Centre of Sheffield University. Throughout my stay there, I encountered on a daily basis an environment which was at once intellectually stimulating and challenging. All of this took place in the special social milieu of genuine hospitality, warmth and fellowship created by both faculty members of the Department of Slavonic Studies as well as other research scholars at the Centre.
Since leaving the Bakhtin Centre, my own research has been much influenced by the theoretical ideas and frameworks I developed during my stay in Sheffield and I have made a special point of acknowledging the intellectual debt I owed to the Bakhtin Centre.
Throughout four decades of university employment in the United States, Belgium, Hungary and Norway, I have been told constantly how fortunate I was to be a member of all manner of excellent research environments. However, it was only at the Bakhtin Centre eight years ago when I first felt that this ideal had been attained.
Professor Michael Seltzer, Faculty of Social Sciences, Oslo University College, Norway
My dream of visiting the Bakhtin Centre finally came true in an English spring of June 2014. I was not disappointed. The experience of being a Visiting Researcher was not only enriched by the exclusive library and data base that has been so carefully nurtured over the years at Sheffield University, but also by the atmosphere of scholarly generosity that accompanied my studies. From attending a stimulating seminar on "Late Stalinism and East European Literatures" to informal meetings with Bakhtinian scholars who make up this vibrant community, my understanding and appreciation of the Bakhtin Circle and its work within a unique period in Russian history has been greatly enhanced by this experience. I return to New Zealand with much to contemplate as a result of my visit and look forward to many future liaisons with this vibrant community of scholars and friends - both those who are virtually affiliated and others who have the good fortune to work in this unique intellectual space.
E. Jayne White, University of Waikato, Aotearoa, NZ