The department of Russian ethnography

The Department of Russian Ethnography

Contact phone 007(812)570-58-01

Department’s Staff

Dmitrii A. Baranov, Ph.D., Department’s head

Isabella I. Shangina, Ph.D., professor, main research fellow

Alexander B. Ostrovsky, Ph.D., professor, leading research fellow

Elena L. Madlevskya, Ph.D. leading research fellow

Natalia N. Sosnina, leading research fellow

Olga A.Baranova, senior research fellow

Tat’jana A. Zimina, senior research fellow

Olga N. Glazkova, research fellow

Valentina C.Kuznetzova, research fellow

Stanislav N.Petryashin, junior research fellow

Yana L. Lymar’, junior research fellow


Department’s Profile

The department studies traditional Russian culture in 17th-20th centuries. Evidence from the earlier periods is examined when diachronic analysis of certain cultural phenomenon is required. The study of traditional culture focuses on detection of distinctive patterns of its material and spiritual aspects. Special emphasis is made on particular elements of traditional economy, mainly on clothes making and related activities (embroidery, lace making, pearl and beads work) as well as on the parts of socio-normative complex, mainly festivals and rituals.

Also important topic of the Department’s research activity is gender studies and studies of age social groups. This topic is relatively new for the Russian ethnology and museum work, but exceptionally promising. Traditional Russian culture slightly studied from the key dichotomies “woman-man”, “old-young” opens broad perspectives for such research.

One more interesting and relatively new research topic is the study of traditional Russian forms of religion: Orthodox Christianity and Pre-Christian beliefs. Religion is studied as part of Russian peoples’ culture and main factor of people’s spiritual life. Department examines contribution of the Orthodox Christianity to spiritual bases of Russian culture and   researches the ways of their absorption in people’s milieu. It studies peoples’ version of the Orthodox Christianity, so called Peoples Orthodox Christianity and influence of the Orthodox concepts on   traditional cosmovision, life circle rituals, and calendar. Interaction between the Orthodox Christians and Old Believers is also researched.

One of important department activities is the study of material objects. It’s realized from different points of view:1) source study  when the entire collection or its parts are examined with purpose of evaluating their scientific and exhibition value; 2) ethnography of object, when every artifact is studied as material object, that is its substance, material and form are examined alongside with technique; 3) ethosemiotics, that is from the point of view of object’s semantic functions in particular ethnocultural continuum.