Darya Malyutina

Darya Malyutina received her PhD in Geography from University College London in 2013. Her thesis focused on friendship and transnationalism amongst Russian-speaking migrants in London. Her book titled Migrant friendships in a super-diverse city: Russian-speakers and their social relationships in London in the 21st century was published by ibidem-Verlag in 2015.

After finishing her PhD, she worked at openDemocracy Russia, researched Ukrainian migrant activism in London since the start of the Euromaidan, and explored the challenges faced by Russian migrant journalists in Ukraine. Her articles came out in journals including Urban Studies, Russian Politics, The Journal of Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society, and Sociological Research Online.

In 2016-2017, Darya Malyutina was a Pontica Magna Research Fellow at the New Europe College in Bucharest, where she has started working on her current project.

Research project: Production of knowledge in the context of armed conflict: the challenges of researching Ukraine during the Euromaidan and Russia-Ukraine conflict

This study explores the challenges of knowledge production faced by researchers of Ukraine-related topics, and the strategies of dealing with them, since the start of the Euromaidan and during the ongoing armed conflict in the East of Ukraine.

Scholarly work against the background of large-scale social protests and armed conflicts is fraught with tensions, practical challenges, and ethical quandaries which affect the processes of production of analytical knowledge as well as the socio-political processes beyond academia. Research that has been conducted on Ukraine-related topics by social and political scientists, historians and culture researchers since the beginning of the Euromaidan is now proliferating. The ethical concerns of researchers who recognize the political tensions accompanying their work seem to be numerous: from avoiding harms and risks to the studied groups and subjects and the scholars themselves, questioning one’s degree of engagement and ability to represent the studied groups, engaging in self-censorship, and finding a language to communicate with different audiences within and beyond academia, to facing the consequences of divergent political positions with colleagues, and challenging misinformation while retaining a sufficiently critical position. However, the ethical dilemmas and practicalities of such research have seen little systematic attention.

The key idea of this research is that politically sensitive situations can both limit and stimulate researchers in their professional activity which is an increasingly multifaceted endeavour based upon interaction with various audiences.

This project will result in a book that will present a more detailed analysis of the experiences of researchers and experts focusing on Ukraine during the Euromaidan and the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

While at PIASt, in addition to data collection (interviews) and analysis, Dr. Malyutina will start working on an early book draft for this project.

Dates of stay: 01 March 2018 - 31 July 2018