ARCTIC STUDIES MA PROGRAM
The Arctic Studies MA program was launched in September 2015. The main objective of the program is to train specialists in the cultural (social) anthropology of Siberia and the Arctic. Broadly defined, they include Siberia itself, the High North, the Barents region, the Far East, and other regions.
The following five principles are common for all courses and seminars of the program:
- Up to Date: when analyzing various aspects of life in the Arctic, we place emphasis on the present, and not on the past;
- Entire Population: the course does not focus on “indigenous minorities” and their problems, nor on the “indigenous people of Siberia”, the old-timers or the new-comers. It treats the entire modern population of the region as integral parts of the whole;
- Transformations: changes of the economic, ethnic, linguistic, religious, and other maps of the region are regarded as transformation rather than decline and destruction. Emphasis is put on ongoing processes, not on their assessment;
- Beyond Borders: historical and contemporary events in the region are considered in close connection with adjacent territories: Scandinavia, Alaska, Japan, China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, etc;
- Focus on Comparison: in order to avoid unjustified generalizations of the situations described (when the state of affairs in one part of the region is taken as the state of affairs in the whole region), most topics are examined on the example of at least two territories which differ the most.
Introduction to the Study of Siberia and the Arctic is the core course of the program.