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Brief Encounter - Hilary Pilkington

First published in CommUnicate issue 314

Professor Hilary Pilkington, Department of SociologyHilary Pilkington is a Professor in the Department of Sociology. She recently attended a workshop in St Petersburg which looked at her four-year research project into racism across Russia – a joint project with Ulyanovsk State University as part of a wider Eu-funded framework project into subcultures and lifestyles.

Favourite Phrase

"Let’s go!"

Least favourite phrase:


Magazines read

Don’t read magazines except in waiting rooms.

Life before Warwick

Director of the Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Birmingham

Smartest career move

Swapping cleaning for a bar job at University; meant I could earn money without stopping socialising.

Best thing about working at Warwick

Committed staff and keen students.

Worst thing about working at Warwick

No sea view.

Lifelong ambition

To teach myself to the play the guitar (properly).

People are always surprised to learn this about me, but...

I speak Russian.

As a young child what did you want to be as a "grown-up"?

A novelist; in fact I imagined my sisters and I becoming the new Brontës.

Now that you are grown-up what would be your "dream job"?

Manager of Leeds United FC – at least I would only have myself to blame.

What has life's experience taught you so far?

Revolutions are more fun to read about than to implement.

What do you treasure most?

Dedicated time with my children.

If you could change one thing in the University overnight, what would it be?

I’d abolish unpaid overtime.

Your all-time favourite record or piece of music?

Blue Monday by New Order.

Your favourite hobby or pastime?

Fell walking.