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Sarah Badcock

Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts

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Biography

I completed my joint honours Bachelor of Arts in History and Roman Civilisation at the University of Leeds in 1995. I was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) to complete my Masters and PhD theses at the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Durham. I was awarded a Leverhulme Study Abroad Studentship in 2000, and spent 2001 living in the cities of Kazan, Nizhnii Novogorod, Moscow and St. Petersburg. I was appointed to my post here at Nottingham in January 2002, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2007.

Expertise Summary

My work is primarily concerned with exploring the locations of power and the mechanisms of control in the relationships between individuals and the State. I have interrogated these questions through the lenses of revolution, state transformation and punishment in late Imperial and revolutionary Russia. My work emphasizes and prioritises individual lived experience over state practice and policy.

I am interested in comparative perspectives on questions of punishment, free and unfree labour, and penal cultures.

My latest book is

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUdSdcY3Pus&t=3s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e19AUWM194Y&t=44s

I spent several years working on ordinary people's experiences of the Russian revolution. This research culminated in a book published by Cambridge University Press in 2007, Politics and the People in Revolutionary Russia; A provincial history.

My interest in regional perspectives on the Russian revolutions continued with a collaborative project. I recently published an edited collection of essays exploring Russia's revolutions from regional perspective, along with my friends and colleagues Liudmila Novikova (Higher School of Economics, Moscow) and Aaron Retish (Wayne State University). This book is published by Slavica, and is entitled Russian Home Front In War And Revolution, 1914-22: Book 1. Russia's Revolution In Regional Perspective. This book is part of a broader series, Russia's Great War and Revolution, 1914-1922.

I am able to supervise postgraduate students on all aspects of late Imperial Russia, the revolutionary and early Soviet period. I particularly encourage applications from students interested in radical political parties, grassroots political activism, rural Russia, Siberia, and crime and punishment.

I am involved in collaborations with the National Trust property The Workhouse at Southwell, the Galleries of Justice museum, and the British Library.

I was co-editor of the journal Revolutionary Russia between 2010 and 2015.

Teaching Summary

The courses I teach closely reflect my research interests, and give me an opportunity to share my love of these wonderful subjects with students. I constantly re-evaluate and revise these courses to… read more

Research Summary

My work is primarily concerned with exploring the locations of power and the mechanisms of control in the relationships between individuals and the State. I have interrogated these questions through… read more

Selected Publications

The courses I teach closely reflect my research interests, and give me an opportunity to share my love of these wonderful subjects with students. I constantly re-evaluate and revise these courses to reflect the most recent historiography, and to keep in line with my own shifting understandings of these topics.

My second year option, 'Russian State and Society, 1861-1917' examines the modernisation process in Russia from the eve of Alexander II's great reforms up until the February revolution of 1917. It is organised thematically, and tackles question of Empire, citizenship, social and national identity, and the challenges raised for government by profound social and economic change.

My third year special subject, 'Russia in Revolution, 1905-1921' looks in detail at Russian politics and society from the first revolution of 1905 up until the conclusion of the civil war in 1921. This course focuses on the problems of social identities, the importance of symbolism and imagery in understanding revolution, the role of violence and the language of hatred, and the roles of individuals and key political groups within the revolutionary process.

My third year option, 'From Serf to Proletarian: The Russian Peasantry 1825-1932', addresses thematically some of the key issues surrounding the history of the Russian peasantry, from serfdom, through emancipation, revolutions, and up to Stalin's drive for collectivisation.

My MA option, 'Villains, Vice and Violence: Crime and Punishment in Late Imperial Russia', explores different aspects of crime, criminality and punishment in late Imperial Russia, and draws on comparative literature on crime and punishment.

I expect to be on research leave in semester 1, 2019-2020.

Current Research

My work is primarily concerned with exploring the locations of power and the mechanisms of control in the relationships between individuals and the State. I have interrogated these questions through the lenses of revolution, state transformation and punishment in late Imperial and revolutionary Russia. My work emphasizes and prioritises individual lived experience over state practice and policy.

My most recent book, A prison without walls? Eastern Siberian exile in the last years of Tsarism is published by Oxford University Press.This research has been funded by the British Academy. This book presents a snapshot of daily life for exiles and their dependents in eastern Siberia during the very last years of the Tsarist regime, from the 1905 revolution, up until the collapse of the Tsarist regime in 1917. This work focuses on the region of Eastern Siberia, taking the regions of Irkutsk and Yakutsk in northeastern Siberia as its focal points. This book seeks to humanise the individuals who made up the mass of exiles and the men, women and children who followed them voluntarily into exile. This book is structured in a broad narrative arc that moves from travel to exile, life and communities in exile, work and escape and finally illness in exile. This book gives a personal, human, empathetic insight into what exilic experience entailed, and allows us to comprehend why eastern Siberia was regarded as a terrible punishment, despite its apparent freedoms.

I am Consultant and Associate Curator for the British Library's forthcoming exhibition on the 1917 Russian Revolution.

I am involved in a range of collaborative research projects with The Workhouse at Southwell.

Current PhD students

Laura Sumner, 'Competing identities: The construction of social identity among urban workers in Sormovo, 1917-24' (lead supervisor; 1+3 funded by ESRC Doctoral Training Centre, commenced October 2012).

Siobhan Hearne, 'From 'Yellow Ticket' to 'Bourgeois Evil': Female Prostitution in Urban Russia, 1900-1930' (joint supervisor; 1+3 funded by ESRC DTC; commenced October 2013).

Joseph Nicholson, 'Risk and Reward: Anglo-Soviet Economic Relations, 1921-24' (second supervisor; 1+3 funded by ESRC DTC; commencing October 2014).

Michael Carey, 'The Role of Affect in British Responses to the Russian Revolution, 1917-1924' (joint supervisor; funded by AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award in partnership with the British Library; commencing October 2014).

Jonathan Rowson, 'Out-migration in the Russian village between 1880 and 1914; a regional case study.' )joint supervisor; 1+3 funded by ESRC DTC, commencing Masters year October 2015)

Former PhD students

James Phillips, "The Eastern Crisis 1875-1878: British and Russian press perceptions" (AHRC funded) Jointly supervised with Dr Richard Gaunt.

Aaron McGaughey ' "Cultural Imperialism in Siberia: colonial elites in Irkutsk, 1861-1914" (lead supervisor; funded by School studentship)

Past Research

I co-edited the journal Revolutionary Russia, published by Taylor and Francis, between 2010 and 2015.

I co-edited the book Russian Home Front in War and Revolution, 1914-1922: Book 1. Russia's Revolution in Regional Perspective (Slavica, 2015) My co-editors are Aaron Retish (Wayne State University) and Liudmila Novikova (Higher School of Economics, Moscow). This volume is the first to draw together scholarship on Russia's regions in the revolutionary period, and in so doing makes a major contribution to the field, by emphasizing the kaleidoscopic hues of individual experiences, and the multiple state and popular discourses that emerged from Russia's revolutions.This book is part of a series, 'Russia's Great War and Revolution'.

-I edited of a special issue of Europe-Asia Studies, entitled Villains and Victims; Justice, violence and retribution in late Imperial and early Soviet Russia. This collection of essays is the product of international conference held in July 2010 at University of Nottingham. This conference was funded by BASEES, the Economic History Society, and the Centre for Russian and East European Studies.

I was Principal Investigator for two research initiatives at the The Workhouse at Southwell.

  • Joint funding from the National Trust and the Higher Education Initiative Fund in 2011 support a research associate, Dr Paul Carter, for nine months. Dr Carter, who was seconded from The National Archives, developed a database of inmates' life histories, and worked with the volunteer team at The Workhouse. This database will be used by The Workhouse in their redevelopment and reinterpretation of the site.
  • Joint funding from the National Trust and the AHRC Creative Economy Knowledge Exchange Project (19k) supported the project 'Turning archives into assets: developing new interpretations at the Workhouse at Southwell.' This project drew on expertise from archaeology (Dr Chris King) and Horizon (Dr James Goulding) to develop assets for the National Trust's educational programme, and to develop plans for digital presentation of the site. As part of this initative, the Workhouse's exterior was laser scanned, which enabled a virtual model of the workhouse to be created as a basis for future interpretive developments. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3617FtiUz8

- I was Principal Investigator in a collaboration with the Galleries of Justice museum in Nottingham, entitled 'Enhancing visitor experience at the Galleries of Justice museum: A pilot project focusing on young people at work and play in penal institutions at the turn of the century.' (February-December 2013) This project attracted funding of £10,898 from the AHRC Creative Economy Knowledge Exchange Project. The project team includes Bev Baker, senior curator at the Galleries of Justice, and Vicky Shipp, research fellow at Horizon.

-I was academic lead and consultant for the project 'A history of coalmining in ten objects'. (February-December 2013) This project attracted £12,000 funding from the AHRC Creative Economy Knowledge Exchange Project. Working with Dr David Amos, and Paul Fillingham at the digital technology company thinkamigo, we piloted the use of digital technologies to engage with former mineworkers, their families and the public.

- I was a named participant in the AHRC funded project 'Connected communities: Writing our histories, digging our past'. )2012) The Workhouse at Southwell was at the heart of a successful bid to the challenge fund to support the work of a dedicated group of local historians who have focused on the lives of the local Southwell Poor Law Union poor and the way in which the Victorian 'welfare system' was managed and operated there.

Politics and The People in Revolutionary Russia

My first monograph Politics and the People in Revolutionary Russia: A Provincial History was published by Cambridge University Press in 2007. My first monograph presented a thematic analysis of lower class experiences of the 1917 revolution in two provinces. It was based on archival materials from the regional archives. It was recognised as an important contribution to the field on publication, and continues to be widely read and cited. It was issued as a paperback in 2008. It has been widely and positively reviewed, both in Russian history journals and in world and interdisciplinary history journals.

'The volume's greatest contribution is its author's fearless willingness to step outside prevailing narratives to identify some of the principal underlying elements of Russia's political experience during 1917. In a sense, it outlines Russia's political culture without, remarkably, resorting to customary invidious characterizations. It can serve as a guideline for new ways of examining the revolutionary experience.' Michael Melancon, Slavic Review, Vol. 68, No. 2 (Summer, 2009), pp. 436-437.

'She succeeds wonderfully in showing us the power of locality in the revolution and making us appreciate why local interests so quickly overwhelmed the stillborn national agendas of the political elite. To her great credit, she has a light touch with her sources. She lets "ordinary people" speak through their letters and petitions so that we can begin to see what they would have seen-the chaos, the indeterminacy, and the vulnerability as well as the hope and expectation.' Willard Sunderland, Journal of Modern History, Vol. 81, No. 4 (December 2009), pp. 1018-1019.

Department of History

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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