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Elena Khlinovskaya Rockhill BSc MPhil PhD

Elena Khlinovskaya Rockhill BSc MPhil PhD

Institute Associate

Social Anthropologist with the area interest in Russia and particularly the Russian Far North, and research interests in anthropology of the state, childhood, parenting, and relatedness. Wider research interests include migration, human ecology and circumpolar health.

Career

  • 2013-2015: Senior Supervisor, University of Cambridge/Cambridge Enterprise (UK)- Northeastern Federal University (Yakutsk, Russian Federation)
  • 2013: Visiting Assistant Professor, Willamette University, USA
  • 2011-2012: Dissertation Supervisor (undergraduate), Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge
  • 2007-2010: Principal Investigator, University of Alberta, Canada
  • 2007-2008: Hunt Postdoctoral Fellow, The Wenner-Gren Foundation
  • 2004-2006: Research Associate, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge
  • 1991-1998: Teaching at Kenai Peninsula Community College and Borough School District, Alaska, USA
  • 1993-2001: Co-founder and Programme Development Specialist, Women's Information and Education Center (NGO): Magadan, Russia and University of Alaska Anchorage, USA
  • 1986-1993: Research Geneticist, Institute of Biological Problems of the North, Magadan, Russia

Qualifications

  • PhD, Social Anthropology, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge (2004).
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Professional Studies in Education and Training, School of Educational Studies, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK (2001).
  • MPhil in Polar Studies, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge (1999).
  • BSc in Biology and Chemistry, Far Eastern State University, Vladivostok, Russia (1982).
  • Languages: Russian (mother tongue), English (fluent).

Research

Member: Magic Circle Seminar Series, American Anthropological Association (AAA), European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA), International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA).

Elena's main research interests are in the anthropology of post-socialism, the anthropology of the state, childhood, parenting, and new kinship. Wider research interests include marginality and normativity, human ecology and migration and identity. Main fieldwork sites are Russian Far North, Central Russia, and the UK (Cambridge).

Her MPhil thesis Genetic structure and affinities among indigenous populations of northeast Siberia: a literature review was a social science critique of a sample collection practiced in some genetic research undertakings, especially those focusing on phylogeny. She called for an increased awareness of the problem of ethnic self-identity and its implication for the sampling procedure, and discussed the limitations in the use of the concept of 'genetic purity' regarding Native populations (of the Russian Far North). She proposed using a combined genetic and social anthropological approach, where the study of genetic variation and population structure is complimented by detailed accounts of the genealogy and demography of the community, yielding a more comprehensive and realistic picture of a population's genetic affinities.

In her PhD project she addressed the pressing social issue of social orphans, or children who grow up in long-term residential care institutions in Russia in post-Soviet time. In 2007 she received the Wenner-Gren Foundation Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship resulting in the book titled Lost to the state: family discontinuity, social orphanhood and residential care in the Russian Far East, that is due to come out in 2010 (Berghahn). The book examines the relationship between the state, the family and the child at the moment of a kinship breakdown, either real or imagined, by the state. She reveals a skewed power balance based on the moral judgement of the parents, and demonstrates the ways in which the state agents use two models of kinship, environmental and biological. She proposes a new way of understanding kinship through institutions and ideology, with the state in a co-parenting and parenting role, which allows to negate the birth family and to provide the child with another family, that of the state and society. Through narratives of care-leavers she reveals their views on 'social orphanhood' and particulars of having the state as a parent. The book also reflects on similarities between Soviet/post-Soviet child welfare practices, and those of some western democracies, and discusses the possible nature of these similarities.

Elena's two latest projects have been an ethnographic study of Cambridge Genetics Knowledge Park (CGKP), UK, where she examined practices in interdisciplinary collaborations between different components of CGKP representing different disciplines and fields of expertise. Within CGKP she also looked at the place that ELSI research assumed in such collaborations. This is a part of the ESRC-funded project Interdisciplinarity and Society: a Critical Comparative Study, where she worked closely with Marilyn Strathern, as well as Andrew Barry and Georgina Born.

Expanding her study of the state, a recent project was an examination of state-induced migration in the Magadan Region (Kolyma), Russian Far North. The project Administrative Resettlements and Community Futures, is the part of an international project Moved by the State: Perspectives on Relocation and Resettlement in the Circumpolar North (MOVE), funded by the European Science Foundation (EUROCORES Programme BOREAS), the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the US National Science Foundation, the Academy of Finland, and the Danish Research Agency. Elena's project considers problems of individual agency and community fabric, focusing on non-Native population of Russia's Far Northeast, in the context of rapid de-industrialisation and managed depopulation.

Publications

Selected publications:

Refereed journal articles

  • Khlinovskaya Rockhill, E. and Sidorova, L. [under review] Family on Edge: Neblagupoluchnaya family and the state in Yakutsk and Magadan, Russian Far East. Europe-Asia Studies Journal.
  • Khlinovskaya Rockhill, E. and Tarasova, Z. Urbanisation and the Shifting of Boundaries: Contemporary Kinship Transformations among Sakha. Accepted to Sibirica to be published in 2016.
  • Stammler, F., E. Khlinovskaya Rockhill. 2011. From 'the Earth' to the North: Understanding Industrialising and De-industrialising the Russian North through Resettlement Analysis. Osteuropa, A special issue on Arctic Politics [in German], 61, February-March: 347-371.
  • Heleniak, T., T. Holzlehner, E. Khlinovskaya Rockhill. 2011. Depopulation of Russia's Most Remote Northern Regions. Osteuropa, A special issue on Arctic Politics [in German], 61, February-March: 371-387.
  • Khlinovskaya Rockhill, E. 2010. Living in Two Places: Permanent Transiency in the Magadan Region, Alaska Journal of Anthropology special issue on the Displaced Peoples of Alaska and the Russian Far East, vol. 8, no 2.
  • Khlinovskaya Rockhill, E. 2007. On interdisciplinarity and models of knowledge production. Social Analysis, Volume 51, Issue 3, Winter 2007, 121–147. Berghahn Journals.
  • Khlinovskaya Rockhill, E. 2004. Social orphans and the neblagopoluchnaya family: the cycle of child displacement in the Russian North. Sibirica 4 (2).

Book Chapters

  • Khlinovskaya Rockhill, E. 2015. The afterlife of northern development: ghost towns in the Russian Far North. In: Vaccaro, I., Harper, K., and Murrey, S. The Anthropology of Disconnection: The Political Ecology of Post-Industrial Regimes. Routledge.
  • Strathern, M. and Khlinovskaya Rockhill, E. 2013. Unexpected consequences and unanticipated outcomes, in Born, G. and A. Barry, Interdisciplinarity: Reconfigurations of the Social and Natural Sciences. Routledge, Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change at Manchester University series.
  • Khlinovskaya Rockhill, E. On the continued involvement of the state in the socio-economic viability of the post-Soviet Kolyma, Russian Far North. In: Schweitzer, P., E. Khlinovskaya Rockhill, F. Stammler, and T. Heleniak (eds.) The Role of the State in Population Movement [under contract with Berghahn Publishers].
  • Khlinovskaya Rockhill, E., Heleniak, T., E. Nuykina, and Stammler, F. Resettlement Policy in the Russian North and Its Impact on the Ground. In: Schweitzer, P., E. Khlinovskaya Rockhill, F. Stammler, and T. Heleniak (eds.) The Role of the State in Population Movement [under contract with Berghahn Publishers].

Books

  • Khlinovskaya Rockhill, E. (2010). Lost to the state: Family discontinuity, social orphanhood and residential care in the Russian Far East. Oxford, New York: Berghahn (in production).

Reports (unpublished)

  • Khlinovskaya Rockhill, E. and Strathern, M. (2006). An ethnographic study of the Cambridge Genetics Knowledge Park. ESRC report.
  • Strathern, M. and Khlinovskaya Rockhill, E. (2006). CGKP: unexpected consequences. Analytical summary.

Workshops

  • 2017. 'The state, marginalised family, and childhood belonging in the Russian Northeast'. Invited guest speaker, Department of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen.
  • 2016. 'The state withdrawal and relocation projects in the Russian Northeast: strategies for survival and livelihood'. Invited guest speaker, Siberian Seminar, European University in Saint Petersburg, Russia. September.
  • 2016. 'Child circulation and families on edge'. Paper presented at the workshop Anthropology and social change in north-eastern Siberia, Scott Polar Research Institute, Wednesday 10 February.
  • 2016. 'Gender asymmetries in northern communities: Perspectives from the margins'. 25-28 January, Kustrinchen, Germany (funded by International Arctic Science Committee).
  • 2015. 'After the Iron curtain: Poor parenting and state intervention in cross-cultural perspective'. A one-day workshop at the Scott Polar Research Institute, Lecture Theatre, Wednesday June 10th, 2015. Organizer and contributor.
  • 2006. 'Better humans or not human? What it really means to be human in the 21st century'. A workshop for 16-19-year-old students, Youth Programme of the BAAS Festival of Science in association with the Royal Anthropological Institute. Norwich, 6 September. An interactive event introducing students to anthropological approaches to human nature and bioscience. Facilitator.
  • 2006. First World Forum on Science and Civilisation "Tomorrow's people: the challenges of technologies for life extension and enhancement." March 14-17, Said Business School, James Martin Institute of Science and Civilization, University of Oxford.
  • 2005. ESRC-funded workshops 'Interactive agenda-setting in the Social Sciences'. Workshop 3: Interdisciplinary field and fashions: making new agendas. Cosener's House, Abingdon, Oxford, 26-27 May.
  • 2005. Genetics knowledge for population health. International workshop, 14-19 April. Bellagio, Italy. Funded by Rockefeller Foundation.
  • 2004. See-through science: Why public engagement needs to move upstream. Symposium to launch of DEMOS pamphlet. London, September 1.
  • 2004. Workshop on NGO in Russia, organised by Amnesty International UK and Foreign and Commonwealth Office; roundtable on Children's Rights. 4 March, London.

Conference papers

  • 2009. On the difficulties of defining marginality in the (post)-Soviet context. Invited paper presented at the 'Situating Culture' workshops. Workshop 1, 'Cultures of the Margin', University of Warwick, December 12-13.
  • 2009. Administrative resettlement and community futures, paper presented at the concluding BOREAS conference 'Histories from the North: Environments, Movements, Narratives in the Circumpolar North', session 'Movement and Emplacement'. October 28-31, Rovaniemi, Finland.
  • 2009. MOVEd by the state: Perspectives on Relocation and Resettlement in the Circumpolar North: An overview. Paper presented at the International workshop North and South: dialogue between cultures and civilisations, Siberian Branch of the Academy of Sciences, Russian Federation and ESF. Novosibirsk 14-16 May 2009.
  • 2009. An Island within an Island: Living with the Absence of the State, paper presented at Society for Applied Anthropology annual meeting, 'Global challenge, Local Action: Ethical Engagement, Partnerships, and Practice', session 'Moved By the State and Moving Against the State: Resettlement and Spatial Resistance in the Circumpolar North, Part-I'. Santa Fe, New Mexico March 17-21.
  • 2008. Living in two places. Paper presented at the International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS) meeting, August 22-26, 2008 in Nuuk, Greenland
  • 2007. Cascade effect: Unexpected consequences and an unanticipated outcome. Joint paper (with Professor Marilyn Strathern) for Interdisciplinarity and Society Colloquium. February, St Catherine's College, Oxford.
  • 2004. The society of virtual kin: state, family, and children in residential care institutions. Paper presented at the 8th Bi-annual conference of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA): 'Face to face: Connecting Distance and Proximity', Vienna, 8-12 September 2004.
  • 2003. 'The state is my family': children of the Soviet state, 1950-2000. Paper presented at the workshop of AHRB-funded Research Project 'Population Displacements, State-Building and Social identity in the lands of the former Russian Empire', Department of History, University of Manchester, August 6-9.
  • 2003. The state and a marginalised family: issues for young parents who have been in state care. Paper presented at a conference "Everything is before you: young people in Siberia", Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany, November.
  • 2002. 'Social orphanhood': children in residential care institutions in the Russian Far East. Guest speaker at the Department of Anthropology, University of Oslo, Norway.
  • 2002. The institutionalisation of children in the Russian Far East. Paper presented at the Annual conference of the British Association of Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES), Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, UK.
  • 2001. The institutionalisation of children in the Russian Far East: issues of agency and voice. Paper presented at the 2nd International Conference 'Children in Their Places', Department of Anthropology, Brunel University, UK.
  • 2000. Diagnosis 'delayed mental development' in Russian defectology and its social implications on the lives of children: a case of institutionalised children. Seminars of the Department of Developmental Psychiatry. Cambridge: Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge.

Teaching

  • 2017 Lent: Archaeology and Anthropology Tripos Part IIB. SAN 10/ S 11: The Anthropology of Post-socialist societies (Post-socialism in Russia). Social Anthropology Department, University of Cambridge
  • 2016 Spring: Anthropology of Migration, Ethnology Department, Moscow State University, Russia
  • 2016 Lent: Archaeology and Anthropology Tripos Part IIB. SAN 10/ S 11: The Anthropology of Post-socialist societies (Post-socialism in Russia). Social Anthropology Department, University of Cambridge
  • 2016 Lent: Supervisor (essay-based) for SAN 10/ S 11: The Anthropology of Post-socialist societies (Post-socialism in Russia). Social Anthropology Department, University of Cambridge
  • Lent 2015: Geographical Tripos: Part II Paper 3: The Human Geography of the Arctic Regions, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
  • Lent 2015: SAN 10/ S 11: The Anthropology of Post-socialist societies (Post-socialism in Russia), Part IIB (Archaeology and Anthropology Tripos). Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge
  • Lent 2015: Module 1: Northern Peoples, Humanities and Social Sciences Strand, MPhil programme, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge
  • 2013-2015: Senior Supervisor, Northeastern Federal University, Yakutsk (Russian Federation)
  • 2011-2012: Dissertation Supervisor for an undergraduate student at Jesus College, Cambridge University. Anthropology and Archaeology Tripos
  • 2013: Taught course: Anthropology of Childhood, Department of Anthropology, Willamette University, Oregon (USA)
  • 2008-2010: Graduate Research Seminar, Anthropology Department, University of Alberta.
  • 2007 Michaelmas: Supervisor, Geographical Tripos, Part II, Human Geography of the Arctic Regions. Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
  • 2006 and 2006 Michaelmas: 'Life cycles' in Part I Paper 4A "Being Human: an Inter-Disciplinary Approach", Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge
  • 2003: "Changing gender roles in post-Soviet Russia": taught seminar to students taking Part II course in "Gender, Body and Sexuality". 20 November, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge

External activities

  • Curator: A photographic and ethnographic exhibition on Magadan Region in the Russian Northeast, 'Life in the Russian North'. Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge (UK), Concordia University, Salem, Oregon (USA), University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage (USA), Willamette University, Salem, Oregon (USA), and University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta (Canada) (2010-2013).
  • Translation of five ethnographic films (from English to Russian) (2010-2013) (http://clearwaterdoc.ca/).
  • Charitable Fund Drive for children's homes in Magadan, Russia. King's College Chapel, Cambridge, UK (2001) and in Alaska, USA (2000)
  • Interpreter, International Whaling Commission Meeting, Cambridge, UK. Interpreted for the official Russian delegation to the IWC (October 2002).