Professor Judith Pallot

Emeritus Professor

Emeritus Student and Tutor of Christ Church, Oxford

Academic Profile

Prof. Judith Pallot came to Oxford from a lectureship in Leeds University in 1979 and has been responsible for developing teaching and research in Soviet and Russian geography since then. She is active in the University promoting interdisciplinary links in Russian and East European Studies.

Prof. Pallot offered a final year option in the geography honours course on the geography of Russian and East Central Europe and she lectured in the first year course on the political geography of the Cold War. Prof. Pallot supervised graduates working on Russia on topics ranging from environmental issues and rural society to contemporary urban change. Many have gone on to university posts in the UK and elsewhere. She is an active member of the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies and was its Treasurer and committee member in the 1990s.

Prof. Pallot first visited the USSR as a post-graduate exchange student in 1979 and has been a frequent visitor ever since. In the late 1980s she spearheaded exchange agreements with geographers in Russia bringing many geographers who had never before left the USSR to Oxford under a British Council funded scheme. She has especially strong links with researchers in the Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences and has had a ten year collaboration with Tatyana Nefedova, Russia's leading authority on Russian agriculture. She also collaborates with scholars in the Geography Departments of Moscow and Perm' State University, and the Peasant Studies Centre of the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences. She developed links with the Federal Penal Service in the Russian Federation Ministry of Justice negotiating a memorandum of understanding between Oxford University and the Academy of Law and Penal Management in Ryazan' which has led on to a collaborative research project.

Prof. Pallot was on the editorial board of Eurasian Geography and Economics.

Research Interests

Russia's penal geography

Prof. Pallot's current research interest lies in Russia's penal geography. She is the principal investigator for an ESRC funded project 'Space and Gender in Russia's Geography of Punishment'. The project, which due to the sensitivities of working with the Russian penal bureaucracy was in gestation for two years, formally began in November 2006. Her co-researchers are Dr Laura Piacentini a criminologist from the University of Strathclyde, and the geographer and former postgraduate of the School of Geography and the Environment, Dr Dominique Moran, from the University of Birmingham. The project involves collaboration with a newly constituted research group within the Academy of Law and Penal Management in Ryazan'. Seed money for this project was obtained from the University of Oxford Research Development Fund (£20,000) which paid for a pilot study in L'govo juvenile girls colony in March 2006. This was followed in April 2007 by field work in three women's penal colonies in the republic of Mordovia. In December further fieldwork is scheduled in penal colonies in Perm' krai. Prof. Pallot has already presented early findings from these studies at the University of Toronto (Conference 'What it Soviet Now?' in 2006) and the RGS/IBG September 2007. In conjunction with the research on women's experiences of the Russian penal system, Prof. Pallot has applied for funding (Nuffield and Guggenheim) to employ Dr Elena Katz to work with her on extending the research of women's experiences of penal Russia to include prison visitors.

The geography of the Russian peasantry

Prof. Pallot has an established reputation in the field of Russian 'peasant studies'. Her early work focused on the responses of the Russian peasantry to the reform initiatives of the late Imperial government (particularly, the Stolypin Land Reform) and the struggle for common property rights in the Soviet period. In the 1990s she extended this interest to post-Soviet period, to examine rural adaptations and household food production during the transformation to a market economy. The Leverhulme funded project with Tatyana Nefedova involved field work in seven regions and more than thirty rural districts located in contrasting regions (including Moscow, Perm', Archangel, Ryazan', Samara and Saratov oblasts and Stavropol' krai). The results of this research have been published in a variety of English and Russian language journals and in two books. Research is on going with research trips planned for Kostroma and Mordovia in 2007 and 2008.

In August 2007 Prof. Pallot was involved in a film project for the Russian TV station Kul'tura on the history of Russian farming in a global context. The results will be broadcast as a 14 part series in November and December 2007.

Selected Research Projects


Recent Graduate Research Students

Sofya Gavrilova

Completed DPhil in 2019

The present taxidermied: Soviet ‘common unsaids’ in Russian krayevedcheskiy museums

Negar Elodie Behzadi

Completed DPhil in 2018

Gendered coal struggles at the margins: the working lives of men, women and children in Soviet and post-Soviet Tajikistan

Irina Fedorenko

Completed DPhil in 2018

Environmental activism, non-governmental organisations and new generation of civil society in Russia and China

Christopher Lander

Completed DPhil in 2017

Foreign Direct Investment in the Russian Agrarian Sector

Selected Publications

Pallot, J. and Katz, E. (2017) WAITING AT THE PRISON GATE Women, Identity and the Russian Penal System PREFACE, p. XI - +.
Katz, E. and Pallot, J. (2014) EUROPE-ASIA STUDIES, 66(2), pp. 204–224.
452072 - Prisoners' Wives in Post-Soviet Russia: 'For my Hu...