Liarskaya, Elena

Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology

Candidate of Science in History, Assistant Professor at Department of Anthropology

Academic Interests

transformation of native culture in the Far North, anthropology of education, family models, reproductive behaviour, birth control, cultural change, comparison between tundra and settlement 

Professional Experience

Since January 2011 - the Department of Anthropology, European University at St. Petersburg (Russia)  

2007 - 2010 - Research fellow at the Siberian Studies Centre, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (Halle/Saale, Germany)

Since 2004 Associate fellow at the Department of Anthropology, European University, St Petersburg (Russia). Acted as co-founder of the Siberian Seminar at the Department of Anthropology

2004 -2006 - Research assistant at the Department of Religious Studies, St Petersburg State University, St Petersburg (Russia)

2002 – 2007 - Researcher at the Department of Contemporary Problems of Ethnography, Russian Museum of Ethnography, St Petersburg (Russia) 



2004 - PhD (Cand.Sc.) in Ethnology

1996 - 1999 - Graduate student at the European University at St Petersburg (Russia); MA in Ethnology, 1997  

1991-1996 Student of the Dept of History and Social Sciences, Herzen University, St Petersburg (Russia)

Grants and Scholarships

2014 - 2016 -  "'Children of the 1990s' in Contemporary Russian Arctic: Assessing the Present and Aspirations for the Future". Russian Scientific Fund (project № 14-18-02136)

2011 - Grant provided by the International Association for the Humanities (IAH). "Formerly Our Gods Were Different…": Sacral Sledge of a Nenets Kin and Stories about it. Description and Analysis

2006 - Grant provided by “GOSKLUB” for research project: "Ethnicity of children from migrant families in St Petersburg schools: problems of linguistic and cultural adjustment"

2005 - Grant provided by the Spencer Foundation and European University under the programme “Promoting social studies of education in Russia” for publication of the article “The Place of Northern Residential Schools in Contemporary Yamal Nenets Culture” (Grant No. P-005)

2003-2004 - Grant for the research project “The Transformation of Yamal Nenets’ Traditional Family Values” under the programme “Interregional researches in social sciences”, jointly managed by the Ministry of Education (Russia) and the Kennan Institute (USA), supported by the Carnegie Corporation in New York (USA) and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (USA) (Grant No. KTK 64-2-02)

2001-2002 - Grant by the Spencer Foundation and European University under the programme “Promoting social studies of education in Russia” (Grant No. 01А-015)

1996-1999 - Scholarship of the European University, St Petersburg (Russia)


Field Research 

In 2014 - 2016 conducted fieldwork in Yamal, Cisural and Nadym areas of Yamal Nenets Autnomous District among nomads and urban population.

Organized and conducted 4 expeditions to the Yamal Nenets Autnomous District (in 2007, 2006, 2001 and 1998), and carried out field research with Nenets students affiliated to St.Petersburg universities (1998-2005)

Organized and conducted field research for the project "Ethnicity of children from migrant families in St Petersburg schools: problems of linguistic and cultural adjustment" in 2006

Participated in the research project "The Other Russians, or Mobilized Mentality" in 2001

Archival Work

Search for archival date about the history of the investigation of Siberia in 1900-1940 in archives of St. Petersburg, Moscow and Helsinki

Compiled materials on Nenets culture of the 20th century in various archives of the Yamal Nenets District and St. Petersburg (Russian Museum of Ethnography Archive, Museum of Ethnography and Anthropology (Kunstkamera) Archive, Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Geographic Society Archive, Central State Archive of St Petersburg)



2016 - "Tkan' Penelopy": "proyekt Bogoraza" vo vtoroi polovine 1920 — 1930-kh gg.// Antropologicheskiy Forum, 2016 (in print). “Penelope’s Cloth”: The Bogoraz Project from the late 1920-1930s

2016 - “Komu-to tozhe nado i v gorode zhit’…”: nekotorye osobennosti transformatsii sotsial’noi struktury nentsev Yamala [“Somebody Has to Live in the City Too…”: Specificities of the Transformation of Social Structure of the Yamal Nenets] // Etnograficheskoe obozrenie , 2016, no.1

2013 - Boarding school on Yamal: History of development and current situationpdf 3967. In Erich Kasten and Tjeerd de Graaf (ed.) Sustaining Indigenous Knowledge: Learning Tools and Community Initiatives for Preserving Endangered Languages and Local Cultural Heritage. Fürstenberg/Havel: Kulturstiftung Sibirien. 159–180. 

2012 - Liarskaia, Elena & Stephan Dudeck. Multiple privacies - Nesting spheres of intimacy in Western Siberian indigenous lifestyles. In Margherita Carucci (ed). Revealing Privacy. Debating the Understandings of Privacy. Frankfurt: Peter Lang publishers, pp. 61-74.

2012 - Female Taboos and Concepts of the Unclean among the Nenets. In A. Baiburin, C. Kelly, N. Vakhtin (ed) Russian Cultural Anthropology after the Collapse of Communism. Routledge, London; New York. 2012. p. 50-58

2011 - A Working Model of a Sacred Place: Exhibits Appearing in Dreams and Other Miracles in a Small Museum at the Edge of the World // Sibirica Vol. 10  № 2 ( 2011) pp.1-25

2010 - Women and the Tundra: Is There a Gender Shift on Yamal?pdf 3967 // Anthropology of East Europe Review, North America, 28, dec. 2010. (Russian version: “Zhenshiny i tundra. Gendernyi sdvig na Iamale?” [Women and the Tundra. Gender shift on Yamal?] In Anthropologicheskii forum N 13 (2010) pp. 3-38)

2010 - O babushkach, modeli sviash’ennogo mesta i musejnoj ethnografii (po materialam ekspedicii 2006-2007 gg. v Iamalo-Nenetskij Okrug [About ‘babushkas’, model of a Sacred Place and ethnography of museum (based on field material 2006-2007 from Yamal)] in Nomen est omen: sbornik statei k 60-letiu Nikolaja Borisovicha Vachtina [Essays in Honour of Nikolaj Vakhtin ]. Ed. by A. K. Baiburin. St-Petersburg. Europeian University, 2010. (Studia Ethnologica, 7). Pp. 161-177 (in Russian language)

2009 - Settlement Nenets on the Yamal Peninsula: Who Are They?pdf 3967 // Generation P in the Tundra: Youth in Siberia. Folklore: Electronic Journal of Folklore vol.41 2009 pp. 33-46 

2006 - «They don’t do it as people do…» Same Stereotypes Teachers in Yamal Region Have about Tundra People [«U nikh zhe vse ne kak u liudei…» Nekotorye stereotipnye predstavleniia pedagogov Iamalo-Nenetskogo okruga o tundrovikakh in Antropologicheskii forum 2006, №5

2004 - Culture of nourshment among Yamal settlement Nenets // Sibiria readings, Kunstkamera [Kul'turnoe nasledie narodov Sibiri i Severa. Materialy shestykh sibirskikh chtenii. Sankt-Peterburg, 27 – 29 oktiabria 2004 g.] SPb.: MAE RAN, 2005, s. 309-313.

2005 - Zhenskie zaprety i kompleks predstavlenii o nechistote u nentsev [Female Taboos and the Nenets System of Concepts of the Unclean]// Antropologicheskii forum, №2. 317-326

2004 - Language Situation and Problem of Education // Current situation and development prospects of Native Minorities of the North, Siberia and Far East. Independent expert report (with N. B. Vachtin) [Sovremennoe polozhenie i perspektivy razvitiia malochislennykh narodov Severa, Sibiri i Dal'nego Vostoka. Nezavisimyi ekspertnyi doklad. Red. V. A. Tishkov]. Novosibirsk: Izd-vo IAE SO RAN,. S. 133-148

2004 - The Place of Northern Residential Schools in Contemporary Yamal Nenets Culture in Sibirica: Journal of Siberian Studies (UK), , № 4(1) p. 74-87

2003 - Peculiar features of teachingin the schools for indigenous population of Yamal-Nenets okrug (ethnographer's look) [Osobennosti prepodavaniia v shkolakh dlia korennogo naseleniia Iamalo-Nenetskogo AO (vzgliad etnografa)] // Sibir'. Problemy poiska identichnosti. SPb.: Asterion,. pp. 250-254.

2002 - Contemporary Situation of Anthroponymical System of the Yamal Nenets [Sovremennoye sostoyanie sistemy lichnych imen u yamalskich nenzev] // Antropologiya. Folkloristika. Lingvistika. Sbornik statej. - SPb,. – vol. 2. - 447 p. P. 91-130.

2001 - Cultural Assimilation or Two Variants of Culture? [Kulturnaja assimilatsia ili dva varianta kultury? (na primere Nentsev Yamala)] // Antropologiya. Folkloristika. Lingvistika. Sbornik statej. - SPb.,. – Vol. 1. P. 36-55.

1999 - The Complex of Women’s Taboos and Rules among the Yamal Nenets [Kompleks zhenskih zapretov i pravil u nentsev Yamala] // Problemy sotsial’nogo i gumanitarnogo znaniya. Sbornik nauchnyh rabot. – SPb.: Dmitry Bulanin,. – Vol. 1. P. 272-292.


Courses taught   

People of the North and Changes in 20 century, European University at St. Petersburg

Ideas and Methods of Current Arctic Anthropology, European University at St. Petersburg

Introduction to Arctic and Siberian Studies, European University at St. Petersburg

Population of the North: Transformation of Social Relations, European University at St. Petersburg

"History of Religious Studies" (2004, 2005), "Anthropology of Religion" (2005, 2006), "Ritual in Culture" (2005),  St. Petersburg State University