Department of Ethnology

The formation and development of ethnology (ethnography) in Russia is closely related to the academic activities of many of MSU's professors and teachers. The department of ethnography was established in 1939 in the faculty of history. Throughout the 20th century such renowned experts as S.P.Tolstov, S.A.Tokarev, N.N.Cheboksarov, M.O.Kosven, A.M.Zolotarev, L.P.Lashuk, B.V.Bromley have taught in the department. Today's students are taught by member-correspondent RAS S.A.Arutyunov, distinguished figure in Russian academics, professor G.E.Markov, professor K.I.Kozlova, V.V.Karlov, V.V.Pimenov, S.P.Polyakov, L.B.Zasedateleva, senior lecturers: Y.I.Zvereva, O.E.Kaz'mina, senior teacher T.D.Solovei, academic assistants N.L.Mekhedov, V.A.Belov, E.I.Larina, O.V.Solopova, Z.U.Makhmudova. The department is chaired by the laureate of the Lomonosov premium, professor A.A.Nikishenkov.

First year students are required to take the following courses taught in the department: "the history of primitive society" and "introduction to ethnology".

Students majoring in the department study a wide range of disciplines. The department's prerequisites are: "source studies" (S.P.Polyakov), "history of ethnology" (G.E.Markov, A.A.Nikishenkov, T.D.Solovei). The courses "methods of ethnology" (L.B.Zasedateleva) and "mass ethnological inquiries" (V.A.Belov) acquaint students with techniques of field work; problems of the history and ethnography of primitive society are studied in the following courses: "history of social organization in pre-class society" (K.I.Kozlova), "problems of cultural anthropology", "cultural and social structures of pre-class society" (A.A.Nikishenkov). The study of the ethnography of various peoples is constructed on a regional basis: "Asia" (G.E.Markov), "the Peoples of Australia and Oceania" (A.A.Nikishenkov), "the Peoples of America" (T.D.Solovei), "the Peoples of Europe" (L.B.Zasedateleva), "the Peoples of Russia and neighboring countries" (V.V.Karlov), "the Peoples of the Ural-Volga region" (K.I.Kozlova), "historical ethnography of Central Asia" (E.I.Larina), "the Peoples of the Caucasus" (Z.U.Makhmudova), "ethnography of eastern Slavs" (L.B.Zasedateleva), "ethnography of the peoples of Siberia" (V.V.Karlov). The role and place of world religions in cultural and ethnic processes are considered within the framework of the courses "religions of the peoples of the world" (G.E.Markov, S.P.Polyakov, A.A.Nikishenkov, O.E.Kaz'mina), "everyday Islam" (S.P.Polyakov), "the Islamic factor in Russia"(E.I.Larina); problems of the theory of ethnology are analyzed in lectures on "theoretical ethnology" (V.V.Pimenov) and "the ethno-cultural process in modern and contemporary history" (V.V.Karlov). The study of disciplines adjoining ethnology is conducted in the lectures on "ethno-sociology and statistics for ethnologists" (A.Y.Andreev, Z.U.Makhmudova), "ethnic ecology" (E.I.Larina), "ethnographic museum studies" (Y.I.Zvereva), "ethno-demography" (O.E.Kaz'mina), "ethno-psychology" (E.V.Mis'kova, V.A.Belov), "ethnic cartography" (N.L.Mekhedov), "ethno-folklore studies" (V.V.Pimenov). Students are offered a selection of special courses on "the modern family of the peoples of Russia" (K.I.Kozlova), "ethnic self-consciousness and culture of the peoples of the world", "ethno-linguistics" (S.A.Arutyunov), "legal anthropology" (O.V.Solov'eva) etc.

Over the last few years new and original courses have been introduced, in particular, "applied ethnology" (E.V.Mis'kova), "interethnic conflicts" (V.V.Pimenov, V.A.Belov, O.V.Solopova), "modern Russian nationalism" (T.D.Solovei), "ethnological legal problems" (O.V.Solopova), "modern confession in Russia" (O.E.Kaz'mina), "literary criticism (ethnic aspects)" (V.V.Pimenov), "the ethnography of childhood" (Y.I.Zvereva), "musical ethnography" (G.A.Nikitina) etc.

Students are offered a selection between "audiovisual ethnography" (E.V.Aleksandrov) and "physical anthropology" (V.Y.Bakholdina).

Students majoring in the department prepare their term and degree papers in special seminars, which are devoted to the analysis of problems connected to interethnic conflicts (V.V.Pimenov, V.A.Belov), to the study of ethnic groups of the Slavic peoples (L.B.Zasedateleva), to the Ugro-Finnish studies (K.I.Kozlova), to techniques of handling primary sources (S.P.Polyakov), to ethno-folklore studies (V.V.Pimenov), to the elements of computer cartography for ethnologists (N.L.Mekhedov).

The basic directions of the department's academic work are the ethnic history of mankind (ethnic generalities and ethnic processes), methodology, historiography, and techniques of teaching ethnology.

The department's staff members publish educational works: "Ethno-Cultural Processes in Modern Times" (1995, V.V.Karlov), "Common Law of the Peoples of Siberia" (1997, V.V.Karlov), "From 'bourgeois' ethnology to 'Soviet' ethnography. The History of Russian Ethnology of the First Third of the 20th Century" (1998, T.D.Solovei), "Conventional Etiquette of the People of Russia From the 19th to the Beginning of the 20th Century" (1999, A.A.Nikishenkov). The department's collective has prepared a high school textbook for publication entitled "Ethnology" (under the editorship of V.V.Pimenov) and also the textbook "The Fundamentals of Ethnology" for University students (under the editorship of V.V.Pimenov and G.E.Markov).

Students majoring in the department are required to take part in expedition and museum practice. Recently, the department has carried out expedition practice in various areas of Russia (Vladimir, Kaluga, Pskov etc.) in studying ethno-historical consciousness of Russians at the end of the 20th century. (lead by prof. V.V.Karlov, chief of the expedition V.A.Belov). Since 1998, the expedition has been conducting research on the Ingermanland people in the Leningrad province (lead by Associate professor O.E.Kaz'mina). In 2000 an ethnographic expedition outside of Moscow was organized to study musical folklore (organized by G.A.Nikitin).

Over the last 10 years more than 30 citizens of other countries have graduated from the department including students from Finland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, the USA, South Korea, Peru, Brazil, Ethiopia, countries of Central Asia and the Caucuses. The department's staff members annually give lectures in various academic institutions in England, Germany, and the United States.

The academic-practical center for applied ethnology. An ethno-sociological laboratory was added to the structure of the department in 1988. The laboratory was transformed in 1995 into the academic-practical center for applied ethnology (director - professor L.B.Zasedateleva).

At the basis of the Center's work is the idea about applying ethnological knowledge in socio-political practice. Applied research is conducted in the field of basic rights, labor migration of different ethnicities, the interaction of authoritative institutions, the economic positions of ethnicities, etc.

Within the framework of the department's fundamental directions, research is conducted along the following issues: ethnic processes in history and modern day, international relations, new information technology and quantitative methods in historical-ethnographical research.

An important aspect of the Center's employee's activities is connected to perfecting methods and techniques of gathering empirical information, the study of prognostic techniques of modeling social processes, methods of expert estimations necessary for the analysis of materials assembled during ethnological field work, and permitting, to a sufficient degree the probability of determining tendencies of various ethnic processes.

The center's employees prepared the translation of the American ethnology textbook written by J.Spradley on techniques of conducting ethnographic interviews.

The directions of the Center's academic research allow specialization in applied ethnology and ethno-political science. Students in the department, researching ethnology and all of its applied aspects, listen to the courses "ethno-sociology" (Z.U.Makhmudova), "ethnic cartography" (N.L.Mekhedov), "special techniques of ethnology" (N.L.Mekhedov, O.V.Solopova), "field research techniques" (L.B.Zasedateleva), "interethnic conflicts and possible paths for their resolution" (V.V.Pimenov), "ethnological aspects of law (legal anthropology)" (O.V.Solopova), "applied ethnology" (E.V.Mis'kova).