For the Study of the History, Languages, and Cultures of Azerbaijan, the Caucasus and Central Asia
Rector of the Baku branch of the Moscow State University
Nargiz Pashayeva is the rector of the Baku Branch of the Moscow State University and Vice President of the Azerbaijan Academy of Sciences. A philologist by training, her research areas have centred on 20th century Azerbaijani literature. Her first publication, Sabir’s Innovations (1997), was a study of the satirical poet Mirza Alakbar Sabir, who wrote for the popular Azerbaijani journal Molla Nasraddin. Her doctoral thesis, ‘Human’s Aesthetic Reflection in Literature,’ was on the literature of the 1960s during the period of Khrushchev's Thaw, with a focus on Elchin Afendiyev’s works and existentialist tendencies. She has also written a number of monographs on the literature of the 1960s during the period of the Khrushchev Thaw, including Human – Image – Literature (2003), Human as an Object of Artistic Investigation (2003) and The New Man of Renewed Literature (2004). These works analysed the impact of Western philosophical thought and its reverbarations on the Azerbaijani literature of 1960s.
Born into an academic family on both her father and mother’s side, pedagogy has also been a central aspect of her professional life. She started teaching at the Faculty of Philology at the Baku State University in 1987, giving lectures on early 20th century Azerbaijani literature, and the impact of the transition from Tsarist to Soviet rule. She became Chair of Azerbaijani Literature at the University in 2005, and Vice-Rector of International Relations in 2006. Since becoming rector of the Baku Branch of the Moscow State University in 2008, she has also been appointed Professor of the Higher School of Translation at Moscow State University, Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Education, and Honorary Professor at Moscow State University, as well as being elected Vice President of the Azerbaijan Academy of Sciences in 2018.
Between 2014 and 2019, she started collaboration with the University of Oxford through the Oxford Nizami Ganjavi Programme, which oversaw archaeological excavations of medieval Barda, and organized a number of seminars and book projects related to the medieval history of Azerbaijan. As Chair of the British Foundation for the Study of Azerbaijan and the Caucasus, she facilitated the creation of the Oxford Nizami Ganjavi Centre in 2018.