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Professor John Russell

Emeritus Professor

Faculty/Dept/School School of Social Sciences
(Faculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences)


John Russell commenced work at the University in September 1989 as lecturer in Russian Studies, then Senior Lecturer and Professor of Russian and Security Studies until his retirement 23 years later in 2012. During that period he served as Head of Modern Languages (1996-2002), Languages & European Studies (2002-4) and Peace Studies (2010). Previously he had taught at the universities of Surrey and Brighton (then a polytechnic), having gained his first degree at Surrey and a PhD at the University of Birmingham (including three separate work/study periods of up to one year in the USSR).  He represented Bradford internationally on the Conseil of CIUTI (the organisation for universities training interpreters and translators) and contributed to the International Conference of Slavonic and East European world conferences from 1990 until 2010.  Nationally he served as interpreting representative on the Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies Committee and was Secretary of the British Association for Soviet and East European Studies. He worked professionally as an interpreter for NBC News (1984-1991), British athletics, Leeds United and Bradford City and was an expert witness both in trials and immigration hearings.  After retirement, he continued to represent Bradford at international, national and local fora, both at conferences and on the media.


All aspects of Russian/Soviet culture, history, politics, Chechnya and the Caucasus, East-West security issues, international terrorism and counter-terrorism


Teaching highlights

1978-2001 Associate Professor for University of Maryland European Division providing courses in Russian/Soviet/East European Studies (culture, economics, history, politics) and Political Terrorism.

1985-88 Taught Russian language, society & culture at University of Surrey.

1988-89 Senior lecturer in Russian Studies, teaching ab initio language, history of art and politics at Brighton Polytechnic.

Michaelmas Term, 1989.  Delivered course in Soviet History at University of Cambridge.

1989 Developed very successful Russian ab initio course at University of Bradford.

1996 Redesigned Diploma/MA in Interpreting & Translation (French/German/Russian/Spanish) playing leading role in simulated conferences. Contributed from outset to new MA in Cultural Studies.

1998 Redesigned undergraduate BA (Hons) in Modern Languages.

2000 Delivered range of lectures on Russia/USSR and (Counter)Terrorism to Ministry of Defence courses at the `Universities of Bradford, Leeds and St. Andrews.  Course organiser/leader on MoD course on Developments in the Communist world in 2010

2004 Developed extremely popular new double module in International Terrorism.

2006 With Dr Martyn Housden created new cross-faculty double module in Perspectives on International Crime. Developed new double module on Resurgence of Modern Russia.

2009 Team-taught modules on International Terrorism and Modern Russia for Monash University (Australia) in Prato, Italy.

Teaching interests

Courses for Ministry of Defence on Russia, Chechnya and counter/terrorism. Russian language courses from ab initio to simultaneous interpreting.