Current projects

  • Documenting Dargi languages in Daghestan - Shiri and Sanzhi, Univeristy of Bamberg, financed by Volkswagen Foundation
  • Informal Economy in Daghestan and Chechnya (work in progress, in process of looking for funding)
  • Book project: Everyday life of the "Terrorists" in the North Caucasus
  • Anthropology and the Caucasus

    "It may be in the cultural particularities of people - in their oddities - that some of the most instructive revelations of what it is to be generically human are to be found." - Clifford Geertz

    The Caucasus is a place of great religious and political ferment. It is also the region with the biggest linguistic and ethnic variation in Europe.

    My anthropological research and writing is about everyday life in the North Caucasus, the Russia's 'inner abroad', a place where a new social order is slowly being introduced, away from the secular state and the watchful eyes of Kremlin officials.

    Daghestan is Russia's most troublesome and most pious republic, where village imams impose penalties on smoking and drinking, and religious heroes stand hand in hand with Soviet ones.

    Chechnya is a chiefdom of Putin's faithful ally, Ramzan Kadyrov, to whom the Kremlin granted a great degree of autonomy, which he in turn used to limit the freedoms of the Chechen people.