Current Research

Explore some of the current research happening at the School

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In Focus  

Emptiness: Living Capitalism and Democracy After (Post)socialism

Current Research at the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography


Spotlight: Dr Dace Dzenovska

Video: Dr Dace Dzenovska introduces the Emptiness project


92-year-old Milda lives in a village next to a former railway station in the Latvian-Russian borderlands. During the Soviet period, it was a vibrant transportation hub. Residents recall ‘wagons of watermelons’ that passed through and ‘crowds of summer residents’ who came from Leningrad. Things have changed since then. The last passenger train passed through two years ago. There is no work, no school, no post office, and no store. The shop-on-wheels comes to the village every Friday not necessarily for profit, but rather because the remaining residents need it. Only a few homes are occupied; the rest are in various stages of decay.

This is emptiness, as it appears in the Latvian-Russian borderlands. It is a complex social formation that consists of:

An observable reality, in which places rapidly and seemingly irreversibly lose their constitutive elements: people, schools, services, social networks, jobs, the future

A way of life (practices and social relations) that emerges as residents attempt to make life go on

An emic interpretive frame local residents use to describe and make sense of the new reality


 Find out more about this research on the Emptiness project's website



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Student Research

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