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Teaching Fellow in Russian Studies

School of Modern Languages and Cultures, Durham University - Durham, England

The closing date for applications is 25 April 2022 at midnight. Durham University

Durham University is one of the world’s top universities, boasting a welcoming and vibrant international community. Durham is an exceptional place in which to base your career. Our strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences see us listed as a top 5 UK and top 100 global university with our students and our world leading academics sitting at the heart of delivering our ground-breaking work. As part of our ambitious strategy we are growing and we look forward to welcoming your application.

About Durham University

As one of the UK’s leading universities, Durham is an incredible place to define your career while enjoying a high quality work/life balance. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives.

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.

Less than 3 hours north of London, and an hour and a half south of Edinburgh, County Durham is a region steeped in history and natural beauty. The Durham Dales, including the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, are home to breathtaking scenery and attractions. Durham offers an excellent choice of city, suburban and rural residential locations. If you’d like to find out more about the University, please visit https://www.dur.ac.uk/jobs/recruitment/

The School

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures at Durham University seeks to appoint a talented individual to the role of Teaching Fellow in Russian Studies. The appointment will be on a fixed-term basis for twelve months, and we invite applications from those with research expertise in Russian Studies. The post is a teaching position; independent research is not part of the role, although the postholder will be able to participate in the research community of the School.

This post offers an exciting opportunity to make a major contribution to the development of internationally excellent teaching while allowing you unrivalled opportunities to progress and embed your career in an exciting and progressive institution. At the forefront of our current activity is a programme of decolonisation, in which a commitment to antiracism is accompanied by a commitment to combating all forms of marginalisation in the workplace and classroom. Our goal is to decolonise the School of Modern Languages and Culture in all its aspects, including research and education. Details of our approach can be found at https://www.durham.ac.uk/departments/academic/modern-languages-cultures/decolonising-mlac/. For more information, please visit our School pages at https://www.dur.ac.uk/mlac/.

The School is one of the largest and most successful Schools of Modern Languages in the UK bringing together research in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hispanic Studies, Italian, Japanese and Russian Studies. It is consistently ranked in the top five in national league tables, such as the Guardian University Guide. The School’s reach spans Europe, the Arab world, Russophone Eurasia, Hispanic America, and East Asia, and their mutual socio-cultural, intellectual and linguistic relations. The School federates expertise to generate innovative research practices and activities that cross historical, geographical and methodological boundaries. Its research focuses on the transnational study of literatures, cultures and histories. The School has particular strengths in medieval and early modern studies, visual arts and culture, and the relationship between the sciences and the humanities, with further strong research interests in 19th to 21st century literature and culture, textual scholarship, gender and sexuality studies, critical and cultural theory, travel literature, creative writing, and translation. Indeed, translation – understood in its broad sense of transmission, interpretation and sharing of languages, ideas and histories – underpins the School’s collective practices. The School’s forward-thinking research agenda was highlighted in its major conference “Our Uncommon Ground”, held in Durham in 2018. This conference brought together speakers from across the world to articulate and embrace the values of a discipline equipped to study cultures and their interactions in historical perspective.

In the School, staff and postgraduates are brought together in interdisciplinary discussions and collaboration through a set of research groups. These currently include Bodies, Texts, Nations; Digital Studies; Performance and Performativity; Living Texts; Linguistics and Translation; Decolonisation; and Transnational Cinema. The School plays a leading role in the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, the Centre for Culture and Ecology, the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture, and the Institute of Medical Humanities, and has an important role in the University’s prestigious Institute of Advanced Study, which promotes world-class research across the Faculties. The School is also a key contributor to one of four major research programmes to which the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) awarded funding in 2016 as part of its Open World Research Initiative (OWRI). It is part of a consortium headed by the University of Manchester, which has been awarded c. £4 million to develop a large interdisciplinary research programme titled ‘Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community’. The School is also a significant contributor to the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) project Living Deltas (https://www.durham.ac.uk/research/institutes-and-centres/hazard-risk-resilience/research/current-projects/gcrf-living-deltas-hub/). As part of its commitment to local regeneration through internationalisation, the School is engaged in collaborative activities with The Auckland Project around the Spanish Art in County Durham initiative (https://www.aucklandcastle.org/spanish-gallery/) and the Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art (https://www.dur.ac.uk/zurbaran/).

Russian Studies

Russian Studies at Durham University is one of the best performing academic units with this specialism in the UK. It is consistently placed among the top-ranked equivalent departments in major national league tables. In 2021, it was ranked 2nd in the Complete University Guide, and in 2022, 2nd in the Good University Guide, contributing strongly to Durham University’s top-20 placing for Arts and Humanities in the THE World Reputation Rankings.

There are currently eight full time members of staff in Russian Studies at Durham, not including postdoctoral fellows and honorary faculty. Staff specialise in a wide range of research topics in Russian and Soviet culture and history, to include poetry, music, cinema and the visual arts, literary and critical theory, history of the sciences and professions, material culture, gender and sexuality, and historical linguistics. This expertise is reflected across a wide range of general and specialist undergraduate modules. Staff in Russian also contribute to the cross-cultural taught Masters programmes offered by the School and supervise PhD and Masters by Research projects on Russian-related topics.

Russian language courses are taught at all levels, from beginners to advanced, by highly experienced language instructors. In the first year, students who have no prior experience of studying Russian take an intensive ab initio course; those with an A-level or equivalent in Russian are enrolled on an intermediate course. Both strands build on this in the second-year core language courses, intensive for the post-beginners and standard for the post-A-level cohort. All students then normally spend their third year abroad at different universities in Russia and beyond, with which Durham has long-established exchange agreements. In the final year, in addition to the core language option, students can also take an optional language course in Russian for Professional Communication.

More detailed information on the unit, its staff and modules, is available from Russian Studies - Durham University and related webpages.

The Role

Applications are invited for a Teaching Fellow in Russian Studies. You will have research expertise and teaching experience in Russian Studies. You should be able to teach Russian literature, culture and history in a holistic way across different periods, with particular emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries. You should have excellent Russian and also the ability to teach translation from Russian into English at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

If successful you will be fully integrated in the Russian Studies team within Durham University’s School of Modern Languages and Cultures and you will be expected to contribute to the delivery of teaching on the relevant programme, to include curriculum development, the convening of modules, all aspects of assessment, the supervision of final-year dissertations, and academic advising.

The role of Teaching Fellow offers the opportunity of valuable experience to those early in their academic career. Durham University is keen to maximise the career benefits of this role in terms of exposure to relevant departmental experience. The post of Teaching Fellow will involve a significant but rewarding teaching load, which may extend into the summer period, and includes administrative duties that relate to education.

The post is for a fixed term of 12 months only. It is not anticipated that the post will be extended beyond this fixed term. Successful applicants will ideally be in post by 1st September 2022.

The University provides a working and teaching environment which is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate these key principles as part of the assessment process.

Key responsibilities

Offer lectures, seminars, classes, and dissertation supervisions at all levels, demonstrating awareness of different approaches to and methods of teaching and supporting student learning, as well as the ability to manage one’s own teaching and designing, planning and writing teaching materials where relevant;
Develop and deliver an inclusive curriculum and make an active contribution to an inclusive community in which diversity is embraced and celebrated;
Seek and take on board feedback on teaching, contribute to the educational skills of colleagues, and generally engage with others in continuing professional development by attending relevant training and development courses;
Provide support to students, including the assessment of their academic performance, provision of feedback and dealing with student disciplinary matters and complaints;
Undertake effectively and efficiently any administrative role allocated by the Head of School;
Take part in relevant meetings, such as those of the School's Board of Studies or meetings of the Russian Studies unit;
Contribute to fostering a collegial and respectful working environment which is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect;
Engage in wider citizenship to support the School and wider discipline;
The modules that the successful candidate will be expected to convene and deliver solo are the first-year module RUSS1151 (Introduction to Russian History and Culture) and the second-year module RUSS2231 (Reading Russian Literature);
The module to which the successful candidate will be required to contribute an independently designed 5-week segment based on their own research specialism is the first-year module RUSS1171 (Understanding Russia: Arts and Ideologies);
The successful candidate will also be expected to deliver bi-weekly teaching in Russian to English translation on the final-year core language module (RUSS3031), as well as to teach Russian to English translation on the MA in Translation Studies (MATS);
The candidate will be assigned the supervision of a number of 20- and/or 40-credit final-year dissertations by students in Russian Studies (MLAC3001 and MLAC3012);
The candidate will be integrated in the Russian Studies team, supporting the delivery of the relevant programme, to include curriculum development, convening responsibilities, participating in all aspects of assessment (design, marking, moderation), and student academic advising.

How to Apply
For informal enquiries please contact Professor David Cowling, Head of School (d.j.cowling@durham.ac.uk) and/or Dr Viktoria Ivleva, Director of Russian Studies (viktoria.ivleva@durham.ac.uk). All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence.

We prefer to receive applications online via the Durham University Vacancies Site. https://www.dur.ac.uk/jobs/

Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in the University.

What to Submit

All applicants are asked to submit:

a CV and covering letter which details your experience, skills and achievements in meeting (or the potential to meet) the criteria set out above.
a statement as to your aspirations as a Teaching Fellow in terms of what motivates you, what you would like to achieve and what your broad approaches to teaching excellence and innovation are (maximum 2 pages).

You should provide details of three referees and the details of your current line manager so that we may seek an employment reference (if they are not listed as an academic referee).

Please note:

We shall seek references during the application process. Unless in the case of very early career candidates, referees should not (if possible) include your PhD supervisor(s) and include references from a University other than your own.
We would ask that you alert your referees to this application as soon as possible so that we can quickly obtain references. If you do not wish (some or all) of your referees to be approached during the recruitment process; you must clearly indicate this to us at the time of your application.
References sought for candidates may be made available to the panel during the shortlisting process.
We will seek a reference from your current line-manager if we make you an offer of employment (albeit you may have also nominated your line manager as an academic referee). Please clearly indicate on the application form which referee is your current line-manager and indicate if we should only approach them once an offer has been made.
We will notify you on the status of your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails.

Next Steps
The assessment for the post will include a presentation to staff and postgraduate students in the School, as well as a formal interview. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview and assessment this date is currently anticipated to be 26 May 2022.

Person Specification
Candidates applying for a grade 7 post will have recently completed or be concluding their PhD and, while they may have limited direct experience of the requirements for the post, they must outline their experience, skills and achievements to date which demonstrate that they meet or that they have the potential to achieve the below criteria:

Essential Criteria:
A good first degree in Russian Studies.
A PhD in Russian Studies. (Applications are welcomed from those who are waiting their viva or are close to submitting, but it is expected that the successful candidate will have the PhD before taking up the post).
Demonstrable ability to teach university courses in Russian Studies, especially literature, culture and translation at all levels.
Experience of contributing to the development and delivery of high-quality teaching and/or assessment of learning, including the design and creation of successful learning environments and curricula.
Demonstrable ability to participate in the collegial/administrative activities of an academic department and/or discipline.
Excellent oral and written communication skills with the ability to engage with a range of students and colleagues across a variety of forums.

Desirable Criteria:
Experience of successfully developing innovative teaching methods for the design/delivery of high quality teaching.
Research expertise in Russian Studies that complements the specialisms of existing staff.
Experience of successfully working in an administrative role within an organisation or department.
Experience of providing high quality one-to-one student supervision.
Participation in student-orientated extra-curriculum activities.
Evidence of work undertaken (or which would be undertaken) in preparation for teaching and keeping up to date with developments in the subject area, such as:
active membership and engagement with a professional body;
demonstrable innovation in educational practice;
publication in a scholarly journal or relevant professional publication;
Attending and presenting internal and/or external seminars or at a regional conference; and/or
Materials/curriculum development for wider use in a department.
Candidates may have, or should have the ability to attain the rank of Fellow of HEA.

Posted on March 29, 2022.