Laura L. Adams’s research explores globalization and the nation-state in the context of the visual and performing arts, specifically in Soviet and post-Soviet Central Asia. Her book, The Spectacular State: Culture and National Identity in Uzbekistan (Duke University Press), won the 2010 book award from the Central Eurasian Studies Society. She is Director of the Program on Central Asia and the Caucasus and Academic Advisor to the MA program in Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies at Harvard University. Adams received her BA in sociology and Russian area studies from Macalester College (USA) and her PhD in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.
Gulnara Aitpaeva has a Candidate of Sciences degree (1987) in literature studies from Moscow State University and a Doctor of Sciences (1996) in literature and folklore studies from Kyrgyz National State University. In 1999 she founded the Kyrgyz Ethnology Department at American University in Kyrgyzstan. Currently she is Director of the Aigine Cultural Research Center, which she founded in 2004 with the mission of expanding research on lesser known aspects of the cultural and natural heritage of Kyrgyzstan, integrating local, esoteric, and scholarly epistemologies related to cultural, biological, and ethnic diversity. Her recent publications include a paper on Kyrgyz traditional spirituality, published by Continuum in 2011. Since 2006 she has edited five books on sacred sites and related traditional knowledge.
Jeanne Féaux de la Croix coordinates the Junior Research Group “Cultural History of Water in Central Asia” at the University of Tübingen. She completed her PhD on moral geographies in Kyrgyzstan at the University of St. Andrews in 2010. She has held a number of research fellowships at the Centre for Modern Oriental Studies in Berlin, pursuing research on concepts of work, age, and hydropower in Kyrgyzstan. She is also active in fostering engagements of scholars and the media with the Central Eurasian Scholars and Media Initiative, and she is currently coediting a special journal issue on everyday experiences of energy and energy policy in Central Asia and the Caucasus.
Eeva Kesküla is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Germany. She is part of the “Industry and Inequality” research group and is currently conducting research about class and labor among miners in Estonia and Kazakhstan. She defended her PhD thesis, “Mining Postsocialism: Work, Class and Ethnicity in an Estonian Mine,” at Goldsmiths, University of London in 2012. Her research interests include the anthropology of industrial work, class formation processes, postsocialism, and understandings of risk. She has published in the Journal of Baltic Studies and the European Review of History.
Olga Smolyak is a doctoral student in the Department of Medieval and Modern Languages at the University of Oxford. Since 2013, under the supervision of Catriona Kelly, she has been working on a thesis about Soviet domestic space in the Brezhnev era. Before coming to Oxford she graduated from the Department of History of Perm’ State University and received the degree of Candidate of Sciences in cultural studies at Ural State University, Yekaterinburg, in 2004. She worked at Perm’ State Academy of Arts and Culture and Perm’ National Research Polytechnic University, where she became a docent of cultural studies in 2008. Her academic interests lie in interdisciplinary research on everyday life, urban space, cultural dynamics, and social memory.
Anne Winkler is a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Alberta, Canada. In her doctoral work, Winkler interrogates the historicization and musealization of the recent past. She is particularly interested in how amateur and private museums representing everyday life in East Germany articulate struggles over how the past is constructed and what role memory and dominant discourses play in these processes. She was recently the curator of the Intermedia Research Studio’s exhibit East Germany on Display: Dictatorship, Nostalgia, and Everyday Life, which layered consumer goods, photographs, music, written text, and personal narrative. In addition to juxtaposing different museal modes of representing East Germany, the exhibit explored how material practices can facilitate theoretical developments in sociologically informed scholarly writing. Winkler is also the author of essays on postsocialist nostalgia and amateur museums dedicated to everyday life in East Germany.