on sabbatical in Winter-Spring 2018.
I am an anthropologist of religion broadly interested in questions of learning and cultural transmission. I have done extensive fieldwork on religious transformation in postsocialist Western Ukraine (2003-2006), with Russian Old Believers in Romania (2007-2012), and Syrian Christians in Kerala, South India (since 2013). This has led me to explore various related topics including politics of memory, technologies of the imagination, time and temporality, doubt in ritual, ethics and morality, religious-secular formations in state socialism and after. My most recent research brings many of these topics together into a comparative analysis of pedagogies of prayer in Eastern Christianity.
These research interests generated fruitful collaborations across disciplines that helped me understand how socio-historical processes and psychological dispositions have shaped the evolution and transmission of religious phenomena. Such collaborative endeavors gave rise among others to the creation of an interdisciplinary doctoral training program (SMASH) that prepares researchers skilled in cross-disciplinary research on the interrelations between cognition, culture and human sociality.
Since joining CEU I have also developed an interest in visual anthropology and documentary filmmaking, on which I taught film courses and workshops and supervised visual works ranging from photo essays to documentary films and interactive cross-media projects. I am currently exploring the potential of new media to capture and visualize empirical data and generate new modes of ethnographic storytelling. Part of this work has been channeled into the establishment of the Visual Studies Platform and a certificate program in Visual Theory and Practice.