Professor Craig Brandist
BA (CCAT), MA, Dphil (Sussex)
School of Languages and Cultures
Professor of Cultural Theory and Intellectual History
+44 114 222 7413
Full contact details
School of Languages and Cultures
1 Upper Hanover Street
I began work on Cultural Theory as a graduate student in the late 1980s. After completing my doctorate, which included a considerable amount of time and research in Russia, I spent a period as Max Hayward Research Fellow at St Antony´s College, Oxford.
I joined the department at Sheffield in January 1997, originally as a Research Fellow working on a project to uncover the intellectual sources of the ideas of the Bakhtin Circle. From 2003-2009 I directed the AHRC-funded project The Rise of Sociological Linguistics in the Soviet Union, 1917–1938: Institutions, Ideas and Agendas.
I am also Education Officer for Sheffield UCU.
- Research interests
My research is currently focused on the history of cultural theory, particularly as it was affected by the Russian Revolution and its subsequent degeneration. I am particularly interested in highlighting the continuing relevance and influence of early Soviet intellectual history for social and cultural theory today.
I have long been interested in the interaction between Marxism, phenomenology, Gestalt Theory and various forms of linguistic and cultural theory within the specific context of early-Soviet Russia. I am also interested in the changing institutional contexts within which these figures worked and the way in which the shaped the development of the fields to which they contributed. This has developed into work on the parallels between Stalinist and neo-liberal reforms in the public sector and in Higher Education in particular, and the ways in which they affect language, intellectual labour and research.
Most recently I have been working on the relationship between the anti-imperial policies of the revolutionary movement and early Soviet state and the development of an ideology critique of the main trends in European philology and oriental studies. This has significant implications for understanding the origins of post-colonial scholarship and the way in which ideas such as 'hegemony' are employed today. This has resulted in my latest monograph The Dimensions of Hegemony: Language, Culture and Politics in Revolutionary Russia, and in some ongoing research on early Soviet Oriental Studies.
I have also been researching the years Antonio Gramsci spent in Russia, which will result in a collection of articles and archival materials co-edited with Peter Thomas of Brunel University.
- The Dimensions of Hegemony: Language, Culture and Politics in Revolutionary Russia. BRILL.
- Politics and the Theory of Language in the USSR 1917-1938. Anthem Press.
- Politics and the theory of language in the USSR 1917-1938: The birth of sociological linguistics. London: Anthem Press.
- Bakhtinian Perspectives on Language and Culture. Palgrave Macmillan UK.
- Bakhtin in the Fullness of Time: Bakhtinian Theory and the Process of Social Education. London: Routledge.
- Soviet-style bullshit won’t loosen Covid’s grim hold. Times Higher Education.
- Linguistic Turns, 1890-1950: Writing on Language as Social Theory. MODERNISM-MODERNITY, 27(3), 615-617.
- Rethinking the colonial encounter with Bakhtin (and contra Foucault). Journal of Multicultural Discourses, 13(4), 309-325. View this article in WRRO
- Considering ‘non-capitalist modernities’. Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe. View this article in WRRO
- Nikolai Marr’s Critique of Indo-European Philology and the Subaltern Critique of Brahman Nationalism in Colonial India. Interventions: international journal of postcolonial studies. View this article in WRRO
- Marxism, early Soviet oriental studies and the problem of ‘power/knowledge’. International Politics. View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO The perestroika of academic labour: The neoliberal transformation of higher education and the resurrection of the ‘command economy’. Ephemera : Theory and Politics in Organization, 17(3), 583-607.
- Bakhtinian Bildung and the Educational Process: Some Historical Considerations. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 49(9), 867-878. View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO A Discussion on the Bakhtin Circle. Baltic Worlds(1-2), 48-56.
- View this article in WRRO Langage, culture et politique en Russie révolutionnaire: entretien avec Craig Brandist. Période.
- View this article in WRRO Varieties of Ideology Critique in Early Soviet Literary and Oriental Scholarship. Przegląd Filozoficzno-Literacki / Philosophical-Literary Review, 2(47), 53-67.
- View this article in WRRO «Palavra viva», Isegoria e a política da deliberação na Rússia revolucionária. Revista Conexão Letras, 11(16), 15-22.
- View this article in WRRO Reflections on the work of R.O. Šor: Materials from institutional archives. Cahiers de l'ILSL, 47, 71-84.
- Bakhtin’s Historical Turn and Its Soviet Antecedents. Bakhtiniana : Revista de Estudos do Discurso, 11(1), 17-38. View this article in WRRO
- Introduction: the ‘Bakhtin Circle’ in its own time and ours. Studies in East European Thought, 67(3-4), 123-128. View this article in WRRO
- The eastern side of the circle: the contribution of Mikhail Tubjanskij. Studies in East European Thought, 67(3-4), 209-228. View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO An Exclusive Interview With Professor Craig Brandist. Writing Today, 1(3), 18-30.
- View this article in WRRO From “neophilology” to “sociological poetics:” alternatives to formalism in literary scholarship in Leningrad in the 1920s. Knowledge Cultures, 3(4), 17-34.
- O herói no tribunal da eternidade: a teoria jurídica do romance do Círculo de Bakhtin. Bakhtiniana: Revista de Estudos do Discurso, 7(1), 280-308.
- MOSCOW, THE FOURTH ROME Stalinism, cosmopolitanism and the evolution of Soviet culture, 1931-1941. TLS-THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT(5692), 5-5.
- Viktor Žirmunskij on Evolution, Diffusion and Social Stratification in Literary Studies and Linguistics. Russian Literature, 72(3-4), 385-423.
- Linguistica sociólogica em Leningrado: O instituto de Estudos Comparados das Literaturas e Línguas do Ocidente e do Oriente (ILJaZV) 1921-1933. Repensando o círculo de Bakhtin: novas perspectivas na história intellectual, 155-182.
- The cultural and linguistic dimensions of hegemony: aspects of Gramsci's debt to early Soviet cultural policy. Journal of Romance Studies, 12(3), 24-43.
- Semantic palaeontology and the passage from myth to science and poetry: the work of Izrail′ Frank-Kamenetskij (1880-1937). Studies in East European Thought, 1-19.
- Ernst Cassirer: The Last Philosopher of Culture. RADICAL PHILOS(156), 63-65.
- Problems of sense, significance, and validity in the work of shpet and the bakhtin circle, 192-206.
- Rejoinder to Velmezova. HIST LING, 36(1), 198-200.
- Language and its social functions in early soviet thought. STUD E EUR THOUGHT, 60(4), 279-283.
- Les lois du sens: La sémantique marriste. By Ekaterina Velmezova. Historiographia Linguistica. International Journal for the History of the Language Sciences, 35(1-2), 208-212.
- Sociological linguistics in Leningrad: The Institute for the Comparative History of the Literatures and Languages of the West and East (ILJaZV) 1921-1933. RUSS LITERATURE, 63(2-4), 171-200.
- The law of the senses: Marrist semantics. HIST LING, 35(1-2), 208-212.
- The word made self: Russian writings on language. SLAVON E EUR REV, 85(3), 569-571.
- Fiction's overcoat: Russian literary culture and the question of philosophy.. MOD LANG REV, 102, 609-610.
- Philosophical Arabesques. RADICAL PHILOS(137), 54-56.
- The Bakhtin circle: In the master absence.. HIST LING, 33(1-2), 252-253.
- The rise of Soviet sociolinguistics from the ashes of Völkerpsychologie.. J Hist Behav Sci, 42(3), 261-277.
- Marxism and the philosophy of language in Russia in the 1920s and 1930s. Historical Materialism, 13(1), 63-84.
- R. Bracht Branham (ed.), Bakhtin and the Classics. Studies in East European Thought, 56(1), 82-84.
- Bakhtin and the classics. STUD E EUR THOUGHT, 56(1), 81-84.
- Olga Freidenberg's works and days. SLAVON E EUR REV, 81(4), 728-730.
- The origins of Soviet sociolinguistics. J SOCIOLING, 7(2), 213-231.
- Bakhtin and religion: A feeling of faith. MOD LANG REV, 98, 538-539.
- The master and the slave: Lukács, bakhtin and the ideas of their time Galin Tihanov. Historical Materialism, 11(2), 239-245.
- Einstein and Soviet ideology. RUSS HIST-HIST RUSS, 30(1-2), 246-247.
- Two routes 'to concreteness' in the work of the Bakhtin Circle. J HIST IDEAS, 63(3), 521-537.
- Workers and intelligentsia in late imperial Russia: Realities, representations, reflections. RUSS HIST-HIST RUSS, 29(1), 117-119.
- The novelness of Bakhtin: Perspectives and possibilities. SLAVIC REV, 61(3), 650-651.
- The hero at the bar of eternity: the Bakhtin Circle's juridical theory of the novel. ECON SOC, 30(2), 208-228.
- Brandist's review of Nihailovic's book on Mikhail Bakhtin's theology of discourse - A reply. SLAVIC REV, 60(3), 703-703.
- Christianity in Bakhtin: God and the exiled author. MOD LANG REV, 96, 290-291.
- Mikhail Bakhtin: An aesthetic for democracy. RADICAL PHILOS(104), 50-51.
- Neo-Kantianism in cultural theory - Bakhtin, Derrida and Foucault. RADICAL PHILOS(102), 6-16.
- Corporeal words: Mikhail Bakhtin's theology of discourse. SLAVIC REV, 59(3), 702-702.
- Exploiting Bakhtin. MOD LANG REV, 94, 903-904.
- Carnival in different contexts: Olesha's 'Envy' and Bulgakov's 'Master and Margarita'. ESSAYS POETICS, 23, 81-95.
- Bakhtin, Cassirer and symbolic forms. RADICAL PHILOS(85), 20-27.
- Deconstructing the rationality of terror: William Blake and Daniil Kharms. COMP LITERATURE, 49(1), 59-75.
- Carnivalization and populism in the Soviet modernist novel: Andrei Platonov and Mikhail Bakhtin. ESSAYS POETICS, 22, 1-30.
- The official and the popular in Gramsci and Bakhtin. THEOR CULT SOC, 13(2), 59-74.
- Gramsci, Bakhtin and the semiotics of hegemony. NEW LEFT REV(216), 94-109.
- The Origins of Marxist Oriental Studies in the USSR and Its Stalinist Distortion In Ray S & Gupta S (Ed.), PROBINGS AND RE-PROBINGS: Essays in Marxian Reawakening (pp. 78-105). New Delhi: Aakar Books.
- Os primordios da Linguistica Sovietica e os ensaios de Mikhail Bakhtin sobre o romance dos anos 1930 In Zandwais A & Vidon L (Ed.), A Pesquisa sob o enfoque dos estudos do Cirulo de Bakhtin (pp. 41-72).
- Bakhtin’s Idealism and What it Means for Applications of his Ideas In de Paula L & Stafuzza G (Ed.), Círculo de Bakhtin: concepções em construção (pp. 237-254). Campinas: Mercado de Letras.
- O idealismo de Bakhtin e o que ele significa para as aplicações de suas ideias In de Paula L & Stafuzza G (Ed.), Círculo de Bakhtin: concepções em construção (pp. 117-136). Campinas: Mercado de Letras.
- Language, Culture and the Politics of Delimitation in Revolutionary Russia: Some Forgotten Origins of Postcolonial Theory In Bharucha N, Rajeswaran S & Stierstorfer K (Ed.), Beyond Borders and Boundaries: Diasporic Images and Representations in Literature and Cinema (pp. 19-36). New Delhi: Navvishnu.
- From Indo-European Philology to the Bakhtin Circle In Bandlamudi L & Ramakrishnan EV (Ed.), Bakhtinian Explorations of Indian Culture: Pluralism, Dogma and Dialogue Through History (pp. 21-36). Springer: Springer. View this article in WRRO
- 'Zhivoe slovo', Isegoria and the Politics of Deliberation in Revolutionary Russia, Zhivoe slovo: Logos-golos-dvizhenie-zhest (pp. 66-75). Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie.
- Otchet o deitel'nosti gosudarstvennogo instituta slova v sviazi s istoriei ego vozdniknoveniia In Brandist C (Ed.), Zhivoe slovo: Logos-golos-dvizhenie-zhest (pp. 87-104). Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie.
- The Marrist Critique of Indo-Europeanism Revisited: Reconsidering Its Roots and Heritage In E.I. Riekhakainen EI & Slepokurov, NA (Ed.), K 150-letiiu kafedry obshchegoiazykoznaniia Sankt-Peterburgskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta: sbornik statei (pp. 12-20). St. Petersburg: SPBGU.
- Rhetoric, agitation and propaganda: Reflections on the discourse of democracy (with some lessons from early Soviet Russia), Language, Ideology, and the Human: New Interventions (pp. 94-112).
- Linguistica sociólogica em Leningrado: O instituto de Estudos Comparados das Literaturas e Línguas do Ocidente e do Oriente (ILJaZV) 1921-1933 In Campos MIB & Hohlenwerger Schettini R (Ed.), Repensando o círculo de Bakhtin: novas perspectivas na história intellectual (pp. 155-182). Editora Contexto
- Introduction: Thinking Culture Dialogically, Bakhtinian Perspectives on Language and Culture (pp. 1-19). Palgrave Macmillan UK
- Introduction: Appropriation in History, Materializing Bakhtin (pp. 1-2). Palgrave Macmillan UK
- Introduction, Politics and the Theory of Language in the USSR 1917-1938 (pp. 1-16). Anthem Press
- Early Soviet Linguistics and Mikhail Bakhtin's Essays on the Novel of the 1930s, Politics and the Theory of Language in the USSR 1917-1938 (pp. 69-88). Anthem Press
- Psychology, Linguistics and the Rise of Applied Social Science in the USSR: Isaak Shpil'rein's Language of the Red Army Soldier, Politics and the Theory of Language in the USSR 1917-1938 (pp. 151-168). Anthem Press
- Soviet Orientalism and Anti-Imperialism. In The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies John Wiley & Sons Limited.
- View this article in WRRO The Soviet System, Neoliberalism and British Universities.
- View this article in WRRO Back in the USSR: The risks of Soviet-style managerialism in UK universities. Times Higher Education, 30-30.
- Interview with Prof. Craig Brandist. Frontier.
- My rallies of endeavour will ensure the impact our dear leaders desire (A very Stalinist management model). Times Higher Education(2154).
- Research group
Research students currently supervised
- Julia Allison
- Elena Platonova
- Teaching activities
- MDL103 Introduction to European Cinema
- MDL6001 Research Methods for Modern Languages
- MDL6002 Dissertation Support
- RUS117 The Soviet Union 1917-1991
- RUS120 Introduction to Russian Culture
- RUS312 Politics and Culture in the USSR 1917-38
- MDL6700 Critical Theory I
- MDL6710 Critical Theory II
- Professional activities
President of Sheffield UCU