Department of Caucasus

Contact Information

Postal address: 3, Universitetskaya nab., St.-Petersburg, 199034.

Phone: +7 (812) 328-08-12 (ext. 408)

kavkaz@kunstkamera.ru

Department Staff

Yekaterina KAPUSTINACandidate of Sciences, Head of the Department (ethnography of Dagestan, migration processes in the North Caucasus, transnationalism and translocality, economic anthropology, urban anthropology, local religious communities of Dagestan).

Makka ALBOGACHIEVACandidate of Sciences, senior researcher (written sources on Ingushetia of the 18th – 21st century, features of polyjuridism in Ingushetia, ethnographic aspects of religious practices of the Ingushes, Ingush collections of the Museum, Islam in Ingushetia).

Yulia ANDREEVA,  Junior Researcher, (anthropology of religion, new religiosity, new traditionalism, study of religious minorities).

Yuri  BOTYAKOVCandidate of Sciences, senior researcher (traditional social institutions of the West Caucasian peoples, primarily the Abkhaz people).

Yevgenia ZAKHAROVAMaster of Anthropology, junior researcher (anthropology of Georgia, anthropology of urban communities, legal anthropology, economic anthropology, kinship construction).

Sergey SHTYRKOVCandidate of Sciences, senior researcher (anthropology of religion, studies of nationalism, studies of folklore narratives).

History of the Department

The history of the Department of the Caucasus of the MAE RAS should be related to the Caucasus Cabinet and the Caucasus Department established in the Institute of Anthropology, Archeology, and Ethnography of the USSR Academy of Sciences (predecessor of today’s MAE RAS) in 1936.

Prominent scientists, students of the Caucasus A. N. Genko (1896– 1941) and L. B. Panek (1896–1984) worked in the department in the 1930s; L. I. Lavrov started his research activity at the same time.

In the post-war time, the Caucasus studies in the MAE were primarily associated with the name of Leonid Ivanovich Lavrov who was the department’s head for many years and wrote fundamental works on the history and ethnography of peoples of most of the North Caucasus. T. D. Ravdonikas, L. I. Smirnova, and E. H. Panesh were the department’s researchers who made a noticeable input into the studies of Caucasian peoples’ ethnography. Their major lines of research were issues of ethnic and social history, and evolution of material and spiritual culture of peoples of the Caucasus. In the 1970s–1980s, the Caucasian ethnographic studies in the Leningrad Division, Institute of Ethnography of the USSR Academy of Sciences were conducted within the framework of the Department of Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Kazakhstan.

Later, a Caucasian ethnography team was set up in the MAE RAS, which in 2002 became the Department of the Caucasus headed by Yuri Yurievich Karpov. Dr. Karpov directed the Department up to his death in 2015. A graduate of the ethnography and anthropology chair, Faculty of History of the LeningradUniversity, Yu. Yu. Karpov pursued postgraduate studies in 1981-1983, then worked in the Leningrad Division of the Institute of Ethnography, USSR Academy of Sciences, and later in the MAE RAS. In the relatively short period of his brilliant academic career he became a recognized classic in Caucasian studies at the turn of the 21st century. His studies of Caucasian societies are notable for their original approaches, coverage of a broad historical context, attention to detail, and use of a wide range of sources. Yu. Yu. Karpov wrote five monographs and over 200 articles. Being an excellent field researcher, he surveyed West and Southwest Dagestan, the mountain parts of Chechnya, Ingushetia and North Ossetia, and mountain areas of East Georgia where he not only collected unique field materials as a basis for his articles and monographs, but also noticeably augmented the collections of the MAE RAS. Yu. Yu. Karpov left an immense scientific heritage, the knowledge of which is a prerequisite for becoming a Caucasus student today, and laid a basis for further development of the Department of the Caucasus, MAE RAS.

ESSENTIAL TOPICS OF RESEARCH

The Department’s research of later years is dedicated to current social, cultural, and migration processes in the Caucasus, diasporal connections of migrants from the region, nationalism, history, and current realities of the ethnic policy in the Caucasus. The researchers work on topics related to urban anthropology, economic anthropology, legal anthropology, anthropology of religion, and anthropology of kinship.

PROJECTS OF THE DEPARTMENT AND PROJECTS INVOLVING THE DEPARTMENT’S RESEARCHERS

  • Standing seminar “The Caucasus: A crossroads of cultures.” Supervisor: M. S.-G. Albogachieva. 
  • “History of the Kunstkamera: collections, collectors, and researchers (for the 300th anniversary of the Museum)”: “Peoples of the Caucasus: Museum collections and field materials.” Project starting and completion time: 2012–2016. Research advisor: M. S.-G. Albogachieva.
  • Grant of the Russian Human Science Foundation [RHSF] No. 14-18-02149. Transnational and translocal aspects of migration in today’s Russia.” Project starting and completion time: 2014-2016. Research advisor: S. N. Abashin.
  • RHSF No. 14-01-00440. Migration processes in the North-Eastern Caucasus: Ethnic connections and generation of migrant social networks in diasporas. Project starting and completion time: 2014-2016. Research advisor: M.-R. A. Ibragimov.
  • Ethnicity in state and political practices. Area: “Ethnicity and potestary political institutions in historical dynamics.” Project starting and completion time: 2012–2014. Supervisor: V. A. Popov.
  • History of everyday life: Ethnic, cultural, and confessional contexts. Area: “Cross-cultural studies of social categories. Cycle 1. “Status groups.” Project starting and completion time: 2012 – 2014. Research advisor: Ye. N. Uspenskaya.
  • Ethnic history and cultural heritage of ancient and modern nations of the world. Area: “Gender, age, and kinship in the context of ritual.” Project starting and completion time: 2012–2014. Research advisor: T. B. Schepanskaya.
  • Fundamental research program of the Presidium of the RussianAcademy of Sciences “Tradition, custom, and rite in history and culture.” “Mountains, people, and borders: Invention and use of traditions in highland communities in the post-Soviet space.” Project starting and completion time: 2012–2014. Research advisor: Yu. Yu. Karpov.
  • Program of the Southern Research Center, RAS “Management of the polyethnic macroregion of Russia: Historical experience and current problems": Between regionalism and centralism: Administrative practices in the North Caucasus in the context of the “ethnic problem” in late imperial Russia (2nd half of the 19th and early 20th c.) Project starting and completion time: 2012–2014. Research advisor: Yu. Yu. Karpov.
  • RHSF No. 12-01-00052 “Non-Slav problem and ethnic policy of the Soviet state in the North Caucasian periphery in the 1880s-1930s: Evolution of problems and solutions” (monograph jointly with Dr. E. I. Kobakhidze). Project starting and completion time: 2012 – 2014. Research advisor: Yu. Yu. Karpov.
  • RHSF Grant 12-21-20001 “Russia and Armenia: Lessons of the past and current prospects.” Project starting and completion time: 2012 – 2013. Research advisor: S. A. Shtyrkov
  • Collective project of the Department of the Caucasus, MAE RAS “Potential of ethnocultural relations in the urban environment of the North Caucasian region.” Project starting and completion time: 2009-2011. Research advisor: Yu. Yu. Karpov.
  • Grant of the Presidium of the RAS “Historical and cultural heritage and spiritual values of Russia.” Topic: “Diasporal connections and social networks of residents of the Republic of Dagestan as a political and social resource in the urban space” (Collective project of the Department of the Caucasus, MAE RAS “Potential of ethnocultural relations in the urban environment of the North Caucasian region”). Project starting and completion time: 2009-2011. Research advisor: Yu. Yu. Karpov.
  • RHSF Grant “Migration processes in Dagestan in the mid-20th and early 21st century: their social and ethnocultural consequences and prospects.” Project starting and completion time: 2008–2010. Research advisor: Yu. Yu. Karpov

Essential Publications

  • lbogachieva M. Blood feud in Ingushetia: differences in adat and sharia// State and Legal Practice in the Caucasus. Anthropological Perspectives on Law and Politics. Edited by Stéphane Voell, Iwona Kaliszewska, Ashgate, 2015
  • Albogachieva M. S.-G. “I am entrusted with only prayer beads by Allah, and i will take a dagger nor a rifle in my hands” (Kunta-Hajji Kishiev, his preaching and followers)// Manuscripta Orientalia. International Journal for Oriental Manuscript Research. 2011. Т. 17. № 2. P. 13 - 20.
  • Kapustina E. Municipal elections in Dagestan: political events in a village community // State and Legal Practice in the Caucasus. Anthropological Perspectives on Law and Politics. Edited by Stéphane Voell, Iwona Kaliszewska, Ashgate, 2015
  • Karpov Yu. The Dialectics of Nation-state Construction in the North Caucasus in the 1920s–30s // State and Legal Practice in the Caucasus. Anthropological Perspectives on Law and Politics. Edited by Stéphane Voell, Iwona Kaliszewska, Ashgate, 2015
  • Shtyrkov S. The Fight between Ases and Devas Runs through Our Whole Existence’: The Conspirological Imaginary of North Ossetian Intellectuals and the Search for Meaning in National History // Forum for Anthropology and Culture, 2016. #12, 229-252.
  • Zakharova E. The Tbilisi ‘street’ as a legal and political phenomenon in Georgia. The Dialectics of Nation-state Construction in the North Caucasus in the 1920s–30s // State and Legal Practice in the Caucasus. Anthropological Perspectives on Law and Politics. Edited by Stéphane Voell, Iwona Kaliszewska, Ashgate, 2015