• BA/MA University of London (School of Slavonic and East European Studies, U.K)
  • PhD, UCLA


The fullest and most up-to-date information on all the activities listed below can be found here: 

  • David MacFadyen is the author of multiple books on the history of Slavic literature, media, and music, specifically the popular traditions of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. Having begun his research in the field of Russian poetry, MacFadyen’s attention turned slowly to the role of song. This led to a number of monographs documenting the meaning of sung texts both within and without ideology during the Soviet period.
  • Over the same research term, a major collection of sound recordings developed, and Professor MacFadyen now oversees an archive of several million compositions from Slavic, Baltic, and Central Asian lands. One impetus for that explosion of audio materials has been the rapid growth of the Russian internet – and the damage done to the music industry in the world’s biggest country. For reasons cultural, political, economic, and geographic, music or songwriting has become the (illegal) fuel of Europe’s most powerful social networks. Hence the recent work with blockchain technology.
  • People gather in order to share, cut, and paste texts or sounds. In studying the development of Russian poetry and music, therefore, all manner of cultural activities are dragged into the same multimedial space: literature, feature films, amateur video production, role-play gaming, and so forth. Music proves itself a vital bridge across them all; it both amplifies and enables an accelerating interface of traditions. Such rapid changes need to be documented, of course, and for eight years Professor MacFadyen operated a website dedicated to musical developments across eleven time zones: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, and Belarus. Archival copies of that work can be found at the resource “Far from Moscow.” That URL contains information about kindred cinema, music, and tech festivals.
  • He also operates a charitable agency to assist underground artists: Pacific Sound and Vision.
  • Professor MacFadyen, as a reflection of these wide interests, holds positions both in the Comparative Literature and Musicology Depts at UCLA. He also teaches in the Digital Humanities Minor and has developed a related program on Medicine and Media for the UCLA School of Medicine. His offerings include classes dedicated to musical, literary, cinematic, and technical issues of a rapidly changing world.

Field of Interest

East European and Central Asian Literature/Culture


Russian, Polish, OCS, French, German, Italian


  • Professor MacFadyen has taught widely across the Slavic, Comparative Literature, and Musicology Departments – classes have ranged all the way from medieval oral narratives to nineteenth-century novels or issues of online piracy and experimental cinema/sound art. He was recently awarded the University of California Distinguished Teaching Award, together with the Eby Award for the Art of Teaching.