Within the larger inquiry of "Regional Studies" is the Siberian Studies Initiative, a collection of projects and networking efforts designed to identify emerging research directions in Siberian studies, share and develop resources for teaching and research on Siberia, and strengthen international connections among scholars of Siberia.
Regional Studies Research Cluster
Siberian Studies Initiative
This initiative plays an active role in RSW programming by bridging anthropology, history, society, and environmental and technology studies to explore the issues important to Siberia today, including the social and political effects of engineering projects in the region; the effects of oil and gas exploration on Siberian communities and on the environment; and investigating ethnographic and literary accounts of Siberia's history, culture, and people. A key facet of this work is in Indiana University's strength in Siberian Studies: IU offers several courses on Siberia or with Siberia content; several IU faculty members and graduate students are involved in research projects on Siberia or connected areas; and IU faculty have academic ties with colleagues in Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, Omsk, Tomsk, Tyumen,and Vladivostok. The Siberian Studies Initiative at IU is comprised of Tatiana Saburova, History; Kathryn Graber, Anthropology and Central Eurasian Studies; Ben Eklof, History; Russell Valentino, Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures; and Wookjin Cheun, Librarian for Slavic and East European Studies at IU's Wells Library.
The Siberian Studies Initiative supports the Siberian Collaborative Research Network website as a joint project with the Irkutsk Center for Independent Social Research. The website serves as a hub for research, education, communication, and as a zone of interaction between global scholars of the Siberian region. The initiative is also active in co-organizing and participation in conferences, including the annual International Young Scholars of Siberia Conference held in Irkutsk in May 2018; The International Summer Baikal workshop, which brought together scholars from Russia, Europe, and the U.S. for interdisciplinary discussion in September 2018; and the international workshop "Siberian Infrastructure" at the IU Europe Gateway in Berlin in October 2018, which focused on the possibilities, pitfalls, and unfolding legacies of efforts to understand and remake the environment,both built and natural, of Siberia, to bridge the environmental humanities and science and technology studies, and to integrate expertise among European, American, and Russian scholars of Siberia.
The Russian Studies Workshop has made it possible to bring several Siberia experts to Indiana University in order to give lectures, meet students and scholars, and discuss issues important to Siberia, including:
Vera Kuklina, Geography, George Washington University. "Between Large Scale Infrastructures and Local Communities: Informal Roads as Agents of Change."
Craig Campbell, Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin. "Through the Wilds: Industrialism and River Life in the Siberian North."
Angelina Davydova Environmental journalism, European University St. Petersburg. "Environmental Challenges, Policies, and Grass-roots Campaigns in Today's Russia."
Gertjan Plets Anthropology, Utrecht University. "Well-oiled Cultural Politics in the Altai Region: Promoting Indigenous Heritage in Gazprom's Resource Colonies" and "Violins and Trowels for Palmyra: Post-Conflict Cultural Diplomacy and the Russian Federation." Cosponsored by the Ostrom Workshop.
Ted Holland Political Geography, University of Arkansas. "To the Golden Abode: Kalmyk Buddhism in History, Minority, and Diaspora."