The goal of this project is to map Islamic places of remembrance in Central Russia’s Volga region, and analyse their social, political, and affective life. The post-Soviet Islamic boom has raised acute concerns and generated debates on the place of Islam in Russia, home to an ancient Muslim community. So far, little fine-grained anthropological scholarship about Russia’s Muslim population has been produced. My project seeks to fill this gap in our knowledge by looking at the concrete places where the post-Soviet Islamic revival manifests itself.
The past few years have witnessed the rediscovery – sometimes reconstruction – of numerous Islamic sites throughout the Russian Federation, along with the emergence of numerous locales where self-cultivation, ethnically inflected civic engagement, conflict, and compromise are played out by Muslims through the prism of remembrance. Anthropological methods of investigation shall be utilised to analyse how both institutional initiative and grassroots creativity are involved in the production of multi-scalar moral landscapes at the intersection of the nation-state, the ethnic community, and the ummah. Special attention will be devoted to social memory dispositifs, from institutional heritage projects to intimate practices of remembering.
This project, built upon specialised skills and experiences I acquired as a graduate student, will offer fresh contributions to ongoing debates on post-socialist and Islamic personhood; memory, state-Muslim relations in Russia; and the spatial manifestations of religious life amongst Eurasian Muslims. This Fellowship will give me a unique chance to complete my maturation as a social scientist. At the Universities of Berkeley and Venice, I will undertake specialised training, broadening my area expertise, my methodological repertoire, and my theoretical competencies across disciplines such as social and historical anthropology, Russian studies, and Islamic studies.
Call for proposal
See other projects for this call