Main Areas of Interest:
Anthropology of Jews, Economic Anthropology, Soviet and post-Soviet Studies, Memory and Nostalgia
Anthropology of Consumption, Anthropology of Law, Customary Law, Traditional Slavic culture, Ethnography and Field methods
2010-to date: PhD student, University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), Department of Anthropology.
2003: PhD (History), European University at St. Petersburg, Institute of Anthropology and Ethnography (St. Petersburg, Russia).
1998: MA (Ethnology, Anthropology), European University at St. Petersburg.
1997: MA (English), University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls, USA).
1992: BA (English, German, Methodology of Teaching). State Pedagogical University (St. Petersburg, Russia).
I am a socio-cultural anthropologist working in the areas of Russian history and ethnography and the Anthropology of East European Jews.
My current research entitled “Ethnic economic entrepreneurship in the socialist “economy of shortages”: the Case of Jews in the Soviet Union” is positioned on the intersection of Jewish Studies, Anthropology of Socialism and Economic Anthropology. It aims at presenting a new theoretical understanding of the Soviet Jewish collective identity through examining economic practices pursued by Jews in the late Soviet Union in the context of “planned/ administrative economy” that banned private economic initiative. Engaged with the discourse on the socialist production in general and the so-called “second economy” in particular, as well as with the problematic of Soviet ethnic relations and anti-Semitism, my work seeks to question the academic convention of “thin” Jewish identity under socialism in as much as it did not subsume within the traditional religious framing. While the access to “things Jewish” (religion, language(s) etc.) was indeed very limited, especially in the post-war period, I am arguing that the socialist economic sphere presented a rich ground for mobilization of ethnicity along economic lines and thus can be seen as an alternative identification resource that gave rise to a specific configuration of “Soviet Jewishness.” In examining various economic “niches” occupied by Jewish actors in these distinct settings, my research discusses the questions of why certain economic practices, both “legal” and “illegal” from the Soviet perspective, assumed ethnic (Jewish) character; what role did Jewishness play in creating channels for obtaining production resources, organization of production, marketing and distribution strategies, etc.; to what degree these practices can be seen as continuous with pre-Soviet Jewish economy, or as creative adaptations to the new Soviet realities, or else as a combination thereof.
Fall 2014: Consciousness and Symbols. UNC, Dept. of Anthropology. TA.
Spring 2013: Consciousness and Symbols. UNC, Dept. of Anthropology. TA.
Fall 2012: Peoples of Africa. UNC, Dept. of Anthropology. TA.
Spring 2012: Medical Anthropology. UNC, Dept. of Anthropology. TA.
Fall 2011: Consciousness and Symbols. UNC, Dept. of Anthropology. TA.
Spring 2004, 2007, 2008: Ethnography of Russia. Classical Gymnasium of St. Petersburg (for exchange students from Colby College (Main))
2002-2003: Everyday Discord in Peasant Community: Customary Law Perspective. European University at St. Petersburg (Dept. of Ethnography).
Spring 1999, 2001: Semiotics of Traditional Culture. European University at St. Petersburg (Dept. of Ethnology)
1996-1997: Humanities. University of Northern Iowa (English Dept.)
1994-1996: English (various levels), American Literature, American History. International School of State Pedagogical University (St. Petersburg, Russia).
Nov. 15-18, 2012. “Ethnic Economic Activity in the Socialist ‘Economy of Shortages’: The Case of Jews in the Soviet Moldova.” ASEEES 44th Annual Convention (New Orleans).
July 5, 2011. “Surviving the Time of Deficit: A Narrative Construction of Soviet Identity”. Hamburg Institute for Social Research within the frames of the Colloquium on East European History “Demise, Loss or Freedom? Stories of the End of the Soviet Union.”
Oct. 15, 2010. “Female social control in the late Soviet village: Comrades’ courts as a nexus of official and customary justice (based on field materials from Northwestern Russia).” Experiences of Everyday Life in Russian History: A Conference in Honor of Daniel Kaiser. Grinnell College, IA.
Nov. 12-15, 2009. “Surviving in the Time of Deficit and the Narrative Construction of a “Soviet Identity.” The 41st National Convention of the AAASS (Boston).
August 2-6, 2009. “Refined Jews: Yikhes and Social Status in the (Post)-Soviet Shtetl”. Fifteenth World Congress of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem.
March 22-24, 2009. “Surviving in the Time of Deficit and the Narrative Construction of a “Soviet Identity”” at the conference “National Identity in Eurasia I: Identities & Traditions” (New College, University of Oxford, UK).
Nov. 23, 2008. “Soviet Women in a Rural Comrades’ Court: The Role of Gender in Customary Justice.” 40th National Convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS), Philadelphia, PA
Nov. 16, 2007. “Rural Comrades’ Courts at the Time of “Developed Socialism”: Between Official and Customary Justice.” 39th National Convention of the AAASS (New Orleans, Louisiana, Nov. 16, 2007).
Nov. 3, 2005. “Rural Comrades’ Courts in the Time of “Developed Socialism”: Between Customary and Official Justice (based on field materials from North-Western Russia).” New College, Oxford; Scott Polar Research Institute (Cambridge); Centre for Russian Studies at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (UCL).
2004-2009: Series of guests lectures and mini-courses on post-socialist anthropological field research in Russia, ethnography of contemporary Jewish population in Ukraine and the Holocaust (University of Northern Iowa, Grinnell College, Iowa State University, Jewish Federation of Des Moines (IA), University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, New York University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Pennsylvania, Villanova University, Bard College, Trinity College (CT) and Jewish Theological Seminary (NY).
Peasant Quarrel: A Study of Rural Everyday Life (based on materials from the European part of Russia, second half of the XIX – beginning of the XX c.) (in print, European University of St. Petersburg publishers).
An essay on Jewish ethnic economy: Case of Belz (Moldova). East European Jewish Affairs 43(1):77-100.
Surviving in the Time of Deficit and the Narrative Construction of a ‘Soviet Identity’. Pp. 278-296 In: Soviet and Post-Soviet Identities. Ed. by Mark Bassin and Catriona Kelly. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
At the Center of the Table. The Rise and Fall of the Olivier Salad. In: Russian Studies in History, vol. 50, no. 1, Summer 2011, pp. 44–96.
The concept of yikhes and its transformation during the Soviet period (based on field materials collected in the town of Tulchin, Ukraine). In: East European Jewish Affairs, 2010, 40: 3, 237-260. (in English)
Female social control in the late Soviet village: Comrades’ courts as a nexus of official and customary justice (based on field materials from Northwestern Russia). In: Everyday Life in Russian History: Quotidian Studies in Honor of Daniel Kaiser. Gary Marker, Joan Neuberger, Marshall Poe, and Susan Rupp, eds. Bloomington, IN: Slavica Publishers, 2010. Pp. 283-304. (in English)
Rural nicknaming: Nature, use, and social functions (based on field materials from Belozersk district, Vologda region). In: Anthropological Forum. 2009. № 11. Online (http://anthropologie.kunstkamera.ru/files/pdf/011online/11_online_02_kushkova.pdf) (in Russian)
“I request the Court to Make Answerable in a Comradely Way”: Rural Dwellers Apply to Comrades’ Court (based on 1964-1982 materials and contemporary field interviews)” In: Studia Ethnologica. Works of the Department of Ethnology, European University at St.Petersburg. EUSP publishers, Issue 4. 2007. Dedicated to the 60th anniversary of A.K. Baiburin. P. 406-421.
Rural Stories about Parental Malediction (based on field materials from Novgorod and Vologda regions). In: Folklorica. Journal of the Slavic and East European Folklore Association. Vol. XI. 2006. P. 50-78 (http://www.arts.ualberta.ca/SEEFA/Vol_XI_2006.pdf)
Shaming for Theft in the System of Customary Law of the Russian Peasants (second half of the XIX – beginning of the XX c.). In: Anthropological Forum. № 5. 2006 (Ethical problems of field research). P. 212-242.
“Rural Comrades’ Court in the Time of “Developed Socialism”: Introduction into Research and Methodology” In: Law in the Mirror of Life: Studies in Legal Anthropology. Ed. by N.I. Novikova. Moscow: Strategija publishers. 2006. P. 320-335. (in Russian).
Village Gossiping: Between Fear and Pleasure (some notes on economy of emotions in social interaction of one local tradition). In: Etnolog. Glasnik Slovenskega Enografskega Muzeja (Bulletin of the Slovene Ethnographic Museum). 14/2004. Ljubljana, 2004. P. 139-175 (in English and Slovenian).
The Everyday Life of Playing Cards, Ruralism, and the Case of Russian Peasantry. In: Reconstruction 6.1 (Winter 2006): The Play’s the Thing: Games, Gamers and Gaming Cultures. Eds.: M. Wolf-Meyer and D. Heckman.
Recent Grants and Scholarships:
2013-2014: Rhonda A. and Robert Hillel Silver Graduate Fellowship.
2013: Summer research grant of the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies.
2010-2015: Royster Society of Fellows (William N. Reynolds Fellowship), University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill).
2009-2010: Group project of “Petersburg Judaica” Center “Annotating and Indexing of the Field Archive of Petersburg Judaica Center” (project leader). The Rothschild Foundation (Europe)
2008: Short-term research grant, Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (Washington DC). Title of the project: Mnemo-histories of the Holocaust in Transnistria: Jewish-Ukrainian and Jewish-Jewish dialogue.
2007-2010: Participant of the group project ‘Russian National Identity from 1961: Traditions and Deterritorialisation’, funded with the support of the Arts and Humanities Research Council of the United Kingdom under grant AH/E509967/1 (2007-2010)
2005-2007: INTAS Young Scientist Fellowship grant, title of the individual research: “Phenomenon of “Comrades’ Courts”: Between Customary and Official Justice (based on contemporary field materials from North-Western Russia).
2003-2004. Individual research grant of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS); title of the project: “Culture of Customary Justice in Post-Emancipation Russian Village: Shaming Punishments”.
2013 – 2014: 15 months of field research in St. Petersburg, Moscow and Moscow suburbs, based on the current UNC dissertational project.
2011: Summer Field School for Ethnography and Folklore of Jews in Eastern Europe (Belz, Soroki) (Moldova).
2008: Summer Field School for Ethnography and Folklore of Jews in Eastern Europe (Mogilev-Podol’sky and Bershad’, Vinnitsa region) (Ukraine)
2008: Winter field school for Jewish ethnography (Nevel, Pskov region) (Russia)
2007: Summer Field School for Ethnography and Folklore of Jews in Eastern Europe (Mogilev-Podol’sky, Vinnitsa region) (Ukraine)
2006: Summer Field School for Ethnography and Folklore of Jews in Eastern Europe (Balta, Odessa region) (Ukraine)
2005: Field School for Ethnography and Folklore of Jews in Eastern Europe (Tulchin, Vinnitsa region) (Ukraine)
2001, 2003, 2004, 2006: Summer field work in Belozerskiy district, Vologda region (Russia)
2000: Summer field work in Gdovskiy district, Pskov region (Russia)
1999: Summer field work in Khvoininskiy and Batezkiy districts, Novgorod region (Russia)
Selected Academic Translations:
E. Liarskaya. Working Model of a Sacred Place: Exhibits Appearing in Dreams and Other Miracles in a Small Museum at the Edge of the World. In: Sibirica, Vol. 10, No 2, Summer 2011. Pp. 1-25.
E. Liarskaya. Women and the Tundra: Is There a Gender Shift on Yamal? In: The Anthropology of East Europe Review, Vol. 28, No 2 (2010). Special Issue: “Gender Shift in the North of Russia.” Pp. 51-84 (URL: http://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/aeer)
W. G. Rosenberg. Soviet archives and the “archival turn”. In: “Archivist and Historian: Cooperation in the Context of Contemporary Scholarship and Culture (materials of the international conference, October 16-18, 2006, European University at St. Petersburg)” / Comp.: G. G. Lisitsyna, eds. S. V. Mironenko et al. St.-Petersburg, “Evropeisky Dom” publishers, 2007. P. 65-77.
F. X. Blouin, Jr. Archives without history: confronting the challenge of the digital in archival conceptions and practice. In: “Archivist and Historian: Cooperation in the Context of Contemporary Scholarship and Culture (materials of the international conference, October 16-18, 2006, European University at St. Petersburg)” / Comp.: G. G. Lisitsyna, eds. S. V. Mironenko et al. St.-Petersburg, “Evropeisky Dom” publishers, 2007. P. 138-154.
A. Sokolova. Photographs for the “Album of Jewish Artistic Antiquities”. Catalogue of exhibition IV from the series Photo-archive of An-sky’s expeditions. Volyn’. Podolia. Kiev province. 1912-1914.” P. 3-18). St. Petersburg, 2007. P. 3-18.
A. Ivanov. From charity to productive labour: The World ORT Union and Jewish agricultural colonization in the Soviet Union, 1923–38. In: East European Jewish Affairs, 37:1,1-28, 2007.
A. Sokolova. Contemporary Images of Shtetl of the Ukrainian Population in Urban-type Settlements and Villages of Podolia). In: Moving in the USSR. Western anomalies and Northern wilderness / ed. Pekka Hakamies. Studia Fennica. Historica. 10. Helsinki. Finnish Literature Society. 2005. P. 130-161.
A. Ivanov. “Experiments of a “young man for photographic works””: Solomon Yudovin and Russian Pictorialism. Catalogue of exhibition I from the series Photo-archive of An-sky’s expeditions. Volyn’. Podolia. Kiev province. 1912-1914”. P. 3-15. European University at St. Petersburg, 2005.
V. Dymshits. “Brothers and Sisters of Work and Need!”: Jewish workers and artisans on the eve of revolution. Photographs of S. Yudovin. Petersburg Judaica. Catalogue of exhibition II from the series Photoarchive of An-sky’s expeditions. Volyn’. Podolia. Kiev province. 1912-1914”. P. 4-8. European University at St. Petersburg, 2005.
A. L’vov. “Jewish Nursery”: “Museification” of religion for the purposes of people’s education. Catalogue of exhibition III from the series Photo-archive of An-sky’s expeditions. Volyn’. Podolia. Kiev province. 1912-1914”. P. 3-8. European University at St. Petersburg, 2005.
Tracy B. Strong. Philosophy and the Politics of Cultural Revolution. In: Nietzsche and contemporary Western thought / ed. V. Kaploun. St.Petersburg-Moscow: European University at St. Petersburg, Lentniy Sad publishers, 2003. P. 18-58.
Leslie Paul Thiele. Nietzsche, Irony and Democratic Politics. In: Nietzsche and contemporary Western thought / ed. V. Kaploun. St.Petersburg-Moscow: European University at St. Petersburg, Lentniy Sad publishers, 2003. P. 154-184.
Urs Marti. Nietzsche’s Idea of European Great Politics: between Libertarianism and Authoritarianism. In: Nietzsche and contemporary Western thought / ed. V. Kaploun. St.Petersburg-Moscow: European University at St. Petersburg, Lentniy Sad publishers, 2003. P. 75-96.
J.-P. Faye. Université Européene de la Recherche, Paris. Nietzsche and Lou Salomé. Transformation in Europe of Non-vengeance. In: Nietzsche and contemporary Western thought / ed. V. Kaploun. St.Petersburg-Moscow: European University at St. Petersburg, Lentniy Sad publishers, 2003. P. 254-267.
Douglas Burch and Janet Keeping. The Canadian Experience on Negotiating Benefits Agreements Between Companies and Indigenous Communities. In: Reindeer is Always Right: Research in anthropology of law / Ed. N. I. Novikova. Moscow: Strategiya publishers, 2003. P. 267-283.
Russian (native), English (native proficiency), German (good), French (reading, oral communication), Yiddish (oral communication).
For more information, see Carolina Center for Jewish Studies at:
https://jewishstudies.unc.edu/files/2013/07/CCJS-Newsletter-Win2011.finalweb.pdf (p. 1)
https://jewishstudies.unc.edu/files/2013/08/NewsletterFall2013WEB.pdf (p. 4)