CREES 50th anniversary

The year 2013 marked the 50th anniversary of the Centre for Russian and East European Studies now known as the Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies (CREES). To mark this milestone we held a series of special seminars and an expanded annual conference. See details of our events and the 50 faces of CREES. Find out more about our current staff, research and teaching.

The 50 faces proved so popular and so many people wanted to share their happy memories of CREES that we welcome additional contributions from CREES alumni and former members of staff.

50th anniversary profiles

Posted 25 July 2014

50 faces of CREES #53 - Dr Tim Haughton

I arrived in CREES in September 2003 initially on a three year contract to cover for Judy Batt, but have been here ever since, serving most recently as Director of CREES from 2012-14. In that post, it was a pleasure and an honour to initiate and lead the 50th anniversary celebrations (including arranging the 50+ faces of CREES!), particularly the special annual conference which so many CREESniki attended.

Posted 24 April 2014

50 faces of CREES #52 - Paul Barton, B.Com (Russian Studies) 1964-67

When I arrived in 1964, the Social Sciences buildings were very new. I returned in 1999, when my daughter was visiting potential universities, and it looked very down-at-heel. One of the great advantages of CREES was having our own library, which served as both a study area and a social centre - a common room of sorts - where students from all the years mixed and chatted.

Posted 13 February 2014

50 faces of CREES #51 - Liz Wyman (Nee Armitage) 1989-1994

I am one of a small group of CREES undergraduates. I studied for a BA in Russian and Russian Studies so my time in CREES was combined with language and literature in the Russian Department. I floated between the Ashley Building and the Muirhead Tower with just a few stop offs in the Mermaid Bar in between.

Posted 25 September 2013

50 faces of CREES #44 - Paul Holtom (1997-2003)

I arrived at CREES in the autumn of 1997 and left at the beginning of 2003 with an MA and a PhD in Russian and East European Studies. I am currently director of the arms transfers programme at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Posted 21 September 2013

50 faces of CREES #43 - Marea Arries (1986-) and Tricia Carr (1989-)

Between us we have a total of 51 years of service in CREES, which seems quite fitting for celebrating CREES's 50th Anniversary. Over this time we have interacted with so many people – students, staff and visitors to CREES – and this has made it a fascinating experience. These experiences have not only shaped CREES, but our lives too.

Posted 02 September 2013

50 faces of CREES #42 - Luke March (1994 - 1999)

Judging by some of the other comments here, John Barber should have been paid for his recruitment services to CREES! I am just one of many steered towards Birmingham by his advice. I already had a casual curiosity towards Russia, but it was only after travelling there in 1992 and taking John's fascinating course at Cambridge that it really became a major interest.

Posted 02 September 2013

50 faces of CREES #41 - Donald Male (1955)

When I came to study at Birmingham the B.Com (Russian Studies) seemed an interesting proposition with the attraction of learning a new language and studying what in 1955 was the 'other half'' of the world.

Posted 23 August 2013

50 faces of CREES #40 - Peter Kneen (1969-1976)

From 1969 until 1971 I was a research student at CREES and from 1974 to 1976 a temporary lecturer in Political Science and research fellow on the social history element of the Soviet industrialisation project. In between I spent two periods in the Soviet Union as a British Council exchange student at the universities of Tbilisi and Moscow.

Posted 19 August 2013

50 faces of CREES #38 - Paul Hare (1971-1972)

I was actually only at CREES for one year, academic year 1971-72, when I was a temporary lecturer in economics while someone was away on sabbatical in the US. During my year, I took advantage of the brilliant Russian for Social Scientists course at CREES, then run by Dave Adshead.

Posted 19 August 2013

50 faces of CREES #39 - Melanie Ilic

I joined CREES in 1983 as a postgraduate student in history, and remain at CREES today as an Honorary Research Fellow. 2013 for me, then, marks both CREES's 50th anniversary and the 30th anniversary of my contact with the Centre.

Posted 19 August 2013

50 faces of CREES #37 - Peter Rodgers (1998-2005)

Peter Rodgers, CREES Master's student, 1998-1999, ESRC PhD Student, 2001-2005. Current position: Lecturer in Strategy and International Business, Management School, University of Sheffield.

Posted 09 August 2013

50 faces of CREES #36 - David Clegg (1964-1966)

"We were in the old building near the Chamberlin Tower for my first year, and we were the first occupants in the brand new Muirhead Tower in the following academic year 1964-5. I remember Miss Kouttaisoff and Prof Davies very well."

Posted 31 July 2013

50 faces of CREES #35 - Dennis Biggs

"My memories of my studies at Birmingham University have somewhat faded but I recall spending 3 happy and productive years from 1961 to 1964 in the Department of Russian Studies of the Faculty of Commerce.

Posted 18 July 2013

Testimonials - CREES Annual Conference

Listen to our alumni, honorary and associate staff share their views on the recent 50th anniversary annual conference at the Cumberland Lodge.

Posted 01 July 2013

50 faces of CREES #33 - Mike Pushkin

I arrived at CREES as a postgraduate in autumn 1966. The first person I met in the old Baykov Library on the first floor of the Ashley Building was fellow-postgrad Greg Andrusz. I recall thinking how refreshing it was that CREES had people working on such topics as the sociology of housing in the USSR – the first of many surprises induced by the breadth of the CREES engagement with its subject area.

Posted 01 July 2013

50 faces of CREES #34 - Ann Helgeson

I came to CREES in 1979, quite unexpectedly, when Chris Davis (another American) was going on leave for some reason or other and there was a need for someone to teach the Social Work students in Soviet social policy.

Posted 04 June 2013

50 faces of CREES #30 - Hilary Pilkington (1987-2005)

The academic performance and reputation of CREES is thoroughly evidenced (something to thank the over-regulated British academic system for…?). Less easy to measure or brand is the feeling in CREES, passed down through generations of scholars attached to it, of belonging to a warm and caring family.

Posted 30 May 2013

Podcast: Putin and the Russian Economy

This event brought together two of the world's most respected specialists on the Russian economy to discuss the most important issues relating to economic policy and performance in Russia today.