Spatializing Culture: the Ethnography of Space and Place

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 14:00..
This talk offers an in-depth analysis of “spatializing culture,” an idea that grew out of my work on the Latin American plaza (Low 2000) and Deborah Pellow’s (2002) ethnography of West African socio-spatial organization and institutions. Through subsequent research and theory-building “spatializing culture” has evolved into a multi-dimensional framework that includes social production, social construction, embodied, discursive, emotive and affective, as well as translocal approaches to space and place.


Wed, 05/22/2019 - 12:12..
Congratulations to EUSP Department of Anthropology graduate Ekaterina Rudneva on the successful defense of her dissertation for the degree of candidate of sciences in philology.   On May 16, 2019, Ekaterina Rudneva has defended her dissertation "Strategii lingvisticheskoi vezhlivosti v spontannom rechevom vzaimodeistvii" [Strategies of Linguistic Politeness in Spontaneous Speech Interaction] at the Institute of Linguistics of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow).

SEXUAL LIBERATION, SOCIALIST STYLE: Science and Politics in Communist Czechoslovakia

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 10:40..
Did women have better sex under socialism? While individual experience may vary, we can get a vivid picture from expert discourses on female pleasure and male deviance, from state policies and expert input into these policies, together with responses by people who were subject to all these interventions. This talk approaches sexuality as one of the most important terrains in the larger societal project of modernity. By tracing sexual tropes, mores and practices as they change across time and place, one can grasp the changing accents of modern societies.

WHO DESIRES FEMALE DESIRE? Cultural assumptions underlying female sexual interest disorder

Tue, 12/04/2018 - 11:27..
After the great success of Viagra, pharmaceutical companies have set a new goal: the "female Viagra", i.e. a pill for hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), the most commonly diagnosed female sexual dysfunction. Each subsequent proposal for the treatment of low desire showed the process of disease mongering in all its glory and simultaneous attempts to strengthen the hypotheses about its biological basis: depending of the drug manufacturer HSDD was supposed to be due to androgen deficiency, disordered pelvic blood circulation, or neurotransmitters imbalance.


Tue, 11/13/2018 - 11:34..
Ukraine continues to face one of the worst HIV epidemics in Europe. To date, prevention efforts there have largely consisted of information dissemination and needle/syringe exchange and distribution. In an effort to introduce new, culturally relevant and effective prevention strategies into Ukraine, a team of medical anthropologists and sociologists from the U.S. and Ukraine worked with local HIV activists in Ukraine to create and pilot novel, bottom-up interventions for drug users based on U.S. behavior change theories.

NATIONAL TREASURE OR QUACKERY? Changing attitudes to folk and complementary medicine in post-Soviet Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan

Sun, 04/29/2018 - 09:22..
In my presentation I will discuss how the official attitudes to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), and particularly to folk healing have been changing in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan since proclamation of their independence. Initially, these countries, similar to the other newly independent Central Asian states, strove to confirm their legitimacy through referring to the richness of their cultural heritage, including traditional medical knowledge and practices.

TEMPORALITIES AND ONTOLOGIES OF HARM: The 2009 H1N1 Pandemic and the Case of Vaccine-Associated Narcolepsy

Mon, 03/26/2018 - 14:55..
This presentation introduces the initial findings of my new research project on cultural debates about vaccines. The paper focuses on the debates surrounding the connection between the Pandemrix vaccine used in the mass vaccinations in Europe during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic and the reported increase in narcolepsy among vaccinated children especially in Finland, Sweden, Ireland and the UK.

MAKING GENETIC ANCESTRY: Population Genetics and Belonging

Mon, 03/26/2018 - 14:48..
This talk will reflect on the key themes of my book, Population Genetics and Belonging (Palgrave Macmillan 2018). I explore how population genetics has emerges as a means of enacting belonging in contemporary technoscientific societies. I will reflect on the contradictions that underlie the project of discovering genetic roots, focusing on the tensions between global, national, communal and personal genetic belonging. I argue that genetic roots are not discovered – they are enacted through a range of technological, discursive, affective and material practices.


Sat, 12/30/2017 - 14:07..
EUSP Anthropology Department graduate Evgeniia Zakharova defended her dissertation "Muzhskie kvartal'nye soobshchestva Tbilisi: struktura i funktsionirovanie [Street-Corner Societies of Tbilisi: Structure and Functioning]" at the Dissertation Council of the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography of the Russian Academy of Sciences “Kunstkamera” on December 18, 2017. Evgeniia Zakharova was awarded the academic degree of candidate of sciences in history. The dissertation was written under the supervision of EUSP Professor Ilia Utekhin.


Sat, 12/30/2017 - 14:04..
EUSP Anthropology Department graduate Daria Dubovka defended her dissertation "Povsednevnye distsiplinarnye praktiki i religioznaia refleksiia v pravoslavnykh zhenskikh monastyriakh postsovetskoi Rossii: etnograficheskie aspekty [Everyday Disciplinary Practices and Religious Reflection in Orthodox Women's Monasteries of Post-Soviet Russia: Ethnographic Aspects]" at the Dissertation Council of the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography of the Russian Academy of Sciences “Kunstkamera” on December 18, 2017.


Mon, 10/09/2017 - 13:08..
EUSP Anthropology Department graduate Iuliia Andreeva defended her dissertation “Proekty preobrazovaniia mira v novom religioznom dvizhenii "Anastasiia": antropologicheskie aspekty religii N'iu-Eidzh v sovremennoi Rossii [Projects of the Transformation of the World in the New Religious Movement “Anastasia”: Anthropological Aspects of the New Age Religion in Modern Russia]” at the Dissertation Council of the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography of the Russian Academy of Sciences “Kunstkamera” on Septem


Tue, 05/23/2017 - 13:10..
In the 1990s, EU governments begun a shift towards Activation Policies to deal with large numbers of people dependent on welfare benefits. The move took place within the framework of a major reform of the Welfare State, from welfare to work. Underscoring these developments there was a taken for granted ideology called neoliberalism. It consisted of a broad set of contradictory policies, though they had a common goal: profits first. Regarding the self, the hallmarks of neoliberalism were entrepreneurship, independence, and self-responsibility.

Seminar to Study Collective Social Memory and the Construction of Identity

Wed, 11/02/2016 - 09:16..
On September 14th-16th the Department of Anthropology at the European University at Saint-Petersburg held an interdisciplinary seminar for young scholars entitled “Theoretic-Methodological Approaches to the Study of Collective Social Memory and Individual Construction of Identity: A Dialogue between Russian and German Schools of Thought”. This seminar served as a continuation of another one which took place in November 2015 at Johannes Gutenberg University (Mainz) entitled “Russian Culture - German Culture. The Concept of National Identity in Modern Humanitarian and Social Sciences”.

Friends and Enemies: Foreign Students in Late Soviet Universities

Tue, 12/29/2015 - 07:27..
Beginning in 1958 and until the late 1980s, students from the so-called “developing countries” studied in Soviet universities—in Moscow and Leningrad, as well as in Tashkent and Kharkov. These students benefited from the Soviet government’s ambitions to expand its influence in the new independent post-colonial states, but also experienced difficulties in everyday life in Soviet society.

VDNH-9: Infrastructure, Migration and Mobility in the North: Das Sein bestimmt das Bewusstsein?

Fri, 12/04/2015 - 15:02..
On November 14th, as part of the VDNH-9 conference, the “Arctic Social Sciences” and “Migration Studies” research groups held a session titled “Infrastructure, Migration and Mobility in the North: Das Sein bestimmt das Bewusstsein?” The session was devoted to the issues of mutual influence and adaptation of infrastructures and societies of different levels. The central discussion question was the following: how are infrastructures used and modified in accordance with the needs and interests of northern communities? This issue was examined in terms of migration and mobility in the North.