Articles by Andrei Golovnev

Andrei V. Golovnev
Dr. Andrei Golovnev is a well-known Arctic anthropologist and filmmaker and a leading expert on indigenous peoples and cultures of the Russian North. He is a Senior Anthropologist at the Institute of History and Archeology in Ekaterinburg, Russia, and founder and director of the Ethnographic Bureau, also headquartered in Ekaterinburg. He has led numerous anthropological and archeological expeditions in the Russian North, particularly studying peoples who depend on large-scale reindeer herding.
E-mail: andrei_golovnev@bk.ru



Here you can find the list of almost all publications by Andrei V. Golovnev

Ural ethno-dialogues

Polar, Northern, Central, and Southern team-groups of the Ural Ethno-Expedition conduct the field ethnographic research in various areas of the Urals from the Arctic to the Steppe. The main thematic aspects are: the Ural as ethnic crossroads; tradition and innovation correspondence; ancient and contemporary routes and communications, variety and context of identity; culture of ethnic dialogue, ethno-photo, and ethno-film. In 2012 the observations and interviews were supplemented with the questionnaire “Ethno-cultural heritage and identity.” The questionnaires data collected among Khanty, Komi, Nagaibaks, Northern and Southern Russians are represented in such dimensions as “Angles of Ethnicity” (ethnic values and heritage), “On the Crossroads” (interethnic communications), “Exchange of Views” (self-evaluations and inter-evaluations of the neighboring peoples), “Contiguous Identities” (civil national and regional identities).

Ural ethnicity and identity

Since Stone Age the Ural was an area of (a) interaction of mobile mainstream cultures and ethnocultural crossroads, (b) formation of stable local cultures. It became a cradle for large communities such as Ural linguistic family which scattered over the vast space between Fennoscandia/Hungaria and Taimyr/Altai. In Bronze Age the Ural served as one of footholds for ancient Steppe Indo-Europeans. In the early AD it was a starting point of the Hun expansion, then, in Middle Ages, of the Magyar migration. Northern Ural provided Stone Samoyeds with backbone territory wherefrom they moved with their reindeer herds westward to the White Sea and eastward to the Yenisey River. In the era of Russian colonization Ural became a meeting place of two Russian free-will streams, northern Pomors and southern Cossacks, who rapidly conquered enormous spaces of Siberia while Moscow state was ruined by terror and havoc. Later on the towns-plants essentially enriched the multicultural Ural environment. During all these periods Ural dwellers tested and formed various schemes of ethnodiplomacy which are visible until today. It is historical platform of so called Ural tolerance pointed out by both residents and visitors.

Close-up in anthropology

Anthropology and cinema are a kin by their history and methods including so called participant observation, montage of facts (texts and frames), and principle of completing action. Anthropology can additionally borrow the notion ‘close-up’ from the toolkit of cinema. In film the close-up transfers the personal perceptions and through them leads the viewer to empathy in screening scenes. Personification in anthropology provides the visioning culture or epoch by the eyes of protagonist — a kind of guide who leads a reader within another space and time. Usually the macro-history purports the general observation that provides a key role to the factors of teleological, ecological and other non-human nature, as well as micro-history pretends to project a view of a concrete man to the concrete circumstances. The dimension of human sciences makes the picture opposite: macro as close-up of a man and micro as long shot of tiny someone dissolved in the masses. While the human sciences are striving to imitate the natural ones by converting a human-being into statistic dust through numerical calculation, they lose the subject of study and their own relevance.

Ethnicity drift

The concept of ethnicity drift proposed by the author is focused on mobility and changeability of values, positions and social realities making up an identity as the correlation between a person and a nation. Ethnicity drift resembles rather a chain of situational responses than a linear evolution. Ethnicity is similar to the immune system which becomes active in crises and during virus attacks, while in a healthy organism stays inconspicuous, as if sleeping. One of the case studies analyzed by the author is the evolution of phenomenon of Russianness over a thousand year period.

History on-line

Author presents the history as mobile net of information which could be figured out by various situations, motives, associations, and scenario, rather than the multivolume edition standing on the bookshelf. He describes an episode of his own life, one recent air-flight, when while reading occasional newspapers he observes, in historical context, the panorama of events highlighted in mass-media. Among others these are President Putin’s flight with the cranes, problem of cosmonautics, Pussy Riot case, conditions of science and universities, images and brands of Russia. Author wonders would it be history indeed what is happening now and seems to be important?

A Roadmap of the Anthropology of Movement

Research agenda of the anthropology of movement is presented as a route-montage (roadmap) comprising the following methodological and technological aspects. (1) Phenomenology linking knowledge of different sciences on the nature of movement including the phenomena of symmetry/asymmetry, dynamics/statics, sustainability/changeability. (2) Motion-drivers of activity and conveyance of signals in bio-, psycho-, and socio-dimensions. (3) Motivationism focusing on the key role of motives in human motion. (4) Visualization as a method of research and presentation of the matrix and scenarios of movement. (5) Navigation providing applied function of the anthropology of movement in algorithm motive–decision–action.

About Traditions and Innovations: Appreciation for the Discussion

A brief overview of scientific debates dedicated to problems of the North development.

Ethnicity: Sustainability and Changeability (the Case of the North)

The article critically examines the history of formation of the nomenclature of indigenous peoples of the Russian/Soviet North, and the part that personal preferences and ideological attitudes of politicians and scholars had played in it. The author analyzes the connection between aspects of modernism and postmodernism and the theoretical construction of ethnogenesis. He discusses various cliches that had formed in the Soviet rhetoric and the opposition of “stability–changeability” as applied to the people of the North.

Peoples and borders of the Russian North: Ethnicity in political environment

For centuries, and especially during the last decades, the Russian North endured harsh extremes in the fluctuation of the natural and political climate. Political tides were sometimes even less predictable and adaptable than arctic winds and weather...

Arctic Sea Nomads: Adaptation Models

Prehistoric and traditional cultures in the Arctic are conventionally considered as the variants of adaptation to harsh natural environments or, in historic times, as islands of the past inexorably eroded by the floods of external colonization...

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Made in “Softmajor

Ural State University Anthropology and Ethnology Institute by N.N. Miklukho-Maklay Films from the Far North