Ed Pulford

Ed Pulford


Accepting PhD Students

Personal profile


I am an anthropologist with research interests in the past and present of socialism, transnational and cross-border connections across Eurasia, and indigeneity in northeast Asia. I completed my PhD in Anthropology at the University of Cambridge in 2017, and before joining Manchester in 2020 held postdoctoral research positions at Hokkaido University in Japan and the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

My first book Mirrorlands (Hurst, 2019) is an anthropological and historical account of life in the borderlands between China and Russia, which argues that senses of nationhood and identity in each major power have emerged in reference to the other. My second book, entitled Past Progress (Stanford University Press 2024), explores how socialist projects in China, the Soviet Union and North Korea have shaped local people's understandings of time and 'progress'.

I am also a regular host on the podcast New Books in East Asian Studies.


Courses Taught:

Administrative Responsibilties:

  • Residence Abroad Tutor and Visiting Students Officer, Chinese Studies, September 2020 -
  • Programme Director, Politics/Sociology & A Modern Language, March 2023-

Further information

Office: Samuel Alexander Building S3.34

Email: ed.pulford@manchester.ac.uk

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Areas of expertise

  • GN Anthropology
  • Political anthropology
  • Historical anthropology
  • HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
  • Socialism in China & the USSR
  • JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
  • Borderlands
  • Migration in Eurasia

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester China Institute


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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