Centre of Arctic and Siberian Exploration

Социологический институт Российской академии наук
Centre of Arctic and Siberian Exploration

Veronika Simonova

Dr. Veronika V. Simonova

Date of birth – 03.12.1979
Postal address: 197198,
Kronverkskii 51-13, St. Petersburg, Russia
+7 911 763 14 95
E-mail: v.simonova@eu.spb.ru; v.simonova@socinst.ru; siveronika@yandex.ru

Current position:

director of the Centre of Arctic and Siberian Exploration, senior research fellow, the Sociological Institute, the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences; research fellow, European University at St. Petersburg, Department of Anthropology


Honorary doctor – University of Versailles, France

Academic interests:

Arctic and Asian North Anthropology, Sami people, Evenki people, anthropology of landscape and space, human-animal relations, informal economy and subsistence, illegal fisheries, anthropology of state, social memory.


Post-doc, Department of Archaeology and Social Anthropology, University of Tromsø – 2014-2016
Ph.D. in social anthropology
Thesis: Living Taiga Memories: How Landscape Creates Remembering among Evenkis in the North Baikal, Siberia, Department of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen, UK. – 2013

Ph.D. in sociology (Candidate of Science, Russian system)

Thesis: Spatial interpretations of indigenous people of the North in urban and rural environments, Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Science, Moscow – 2009.
MA (specialist diploma, 5 years, Russian system) in social anthropology, Saint-Petersburg State University, Department of Sociology, 2003.


(a) Peer-reviewed academic articles

Eduardo Kohn. How Forests Think: Toward an Anthropology beyond the Human. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013. 288 pp. ISBN 978-0-5202-7611-6. In Laboratorium. 2017. 9(2):153–158 (Book review)

Non-compliance with Fishery Regulations in Sakhalin Island: Contested Discourses of Illegal Fishery (co-authorship: Davydov V.)2016. In International Journal of Humanities and Cultural Studies, Vol.3, Issue 3, pp.232-245.

In alliance with a nocturnal landscape: memory and water law in the north Baikal, Siberia. 2015.In Polar Record (Cambridge Journals), Vol.50 Special Issue No 4, pp.414-420

S. M. Shirokogoroff’s book Sociаl Organization of the Northern Tungus and its Russian translation: history, structure, and interpretations (co-authorship: Sirina A.A., Davydov V.N., Povorozniuk O.A.) 2015. In Asian Ethnicity, pp.1-17.

The Evenki Memorial Tree and Trail: Negotiating with a Memorial Regime in the North Baikal, Siberia In Journal of Ethnology and Folkloristics. Special Issue: Dynamic Discourse and the Metaphor of Movement, University of Tartu, Vol.6, No1, 2012, pp.49-69.

“Proper names” and human-taiga alliances: personal inscriptions carved on trees, history of signature and politics of literacy among North Baikal Evenkis In Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology, JSSA, Vol. XVIII, No2.(78), 2015, pp.193-208.

Museumification” of nature: environmental discourse in a post-Soviet local Museum in the North Baikal In Northern settlement: tradition and innovation, Moscow (ed.) Pokrovskii, 2010. (co-authorship Davydov V., in Russian)

Cold Nocturne: Anthropology of Night in an Evenki village
In Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology, JSSA, Vol. IX, No.4. 2006. pp.163-184.

Transsiberian train: a way in life and life as a way In SocRes No 5., 2007, in Russian

Culture as time machine: interpretation of space In Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology, JSSA, No.3. 2006, in Russian

(b) Non-peer-reviewed academic articles

Methods of anthropological research: video recording in the field (co-authorship with Vladimir Davydov). In X Congress of ethnographers and anthropologists of Russia, Moscow 2-5 July 2013 (eds) M. Y. Martynova et.al., M: IEA RAS, p.217.

Students-northerners in Saint-Petersburg and mobilization of identity In Siberia. The problems of Siberian identity (co-authorship with Vladimir Davydov), 2003. (ed.) A.O. Boronoev, pp. 192-199.

Traditional religious concepts of nanai people today (co-authorship with Vladimir Davydov) In Culture and mentality of population of Siberia, 2003. (ed.) A.O. Boronoev, Saint- Petersburg, pp.35-39.

A place of shamanism in everyday life of nanai people (co-authorship with Vladimir Davydov) In Religious situation in North-West of Russia and Baltic States, 2002, Saint- Petersburg, pp. 60-66.

(c) Academic books (monographs)

Simonova, V. 2016. (in co-authorship with: Davydov,V.; Sem,T.; Brandisauskas, D.) Fire, water, wind, and stone in Evenki landscapes. St. Petersburg: Kunstkamera Petropolitana. http://kunstkamera.ru/news_list/elib_news/2016_07_24/

Simonova, V. 2006. (in co-authorship with: Davydov,V.; Karbainov, N.; Tselishcheva, V.) Aginskaia street, fire dance and aluminum arrows: claiming cultural landscape. Khabarovsk, Grodekovskii Museum Publishing House. http://sociokosmos.ru/per_articles/ 10_Aginskaya_street.pdf

Book review:

Darieva, Ts. Vladimir Davydov, Nikolai Karbainov, Veronika Simonova, Veronika Tselishcheva: Aginskaya Street, tanets s ognem i aliuminievye strely: prisvoenie kul‟turnykh landshaftov [Aginskaya Street, Fire Dance, and Aluminum Arrows: Claiming Cultural Landscapes] // Laboratorium, 2009, No 1. http://soclabo.com/rus/journal/5/6/vers/ 66/

Krebel’ I.A., Pershin, Y. Y. Aginskaya Street, Fire Dance, and Aluminum Arrows: Claiming Cultural Landscape// Journal of Sociology, Social Anthropology, 2008, No 2, с. 205-208. http://jourssa.ru/2008/2/17Krebel_Pershin.pdf


Research design – course elaborated by Prof. N. Ryzhova, lectures were presented in English with comments and complementations at Far Eastern Federal University, School of Economy and Management, Vladivistok
Ideas and methods of Arctic Anthropology – European University at St. Petersburg, 2016 Anthropology of human-landscape relations in the North Baikal, Siberia, European University at St. Petersburg

Introduction to Anthropology, Kazan Federal (Privolzhskii) university, 2012
Anthropology of borders, ethnography of Siberia and anthropology of religion – University of Latvia, 2012.

Sociology, Sociology of Science, Social policy, International politics – St. Petersburg State University pf Arts and Culture – 2010-2012.

Teaching assistant:

Introduction to anthropology, Aboriginal rights – University of Aberdeen, UK – 2006, 2009


2017 – Western Kamchakka, 2 weeks
2016 – North Baikal Evenkis, 1 month
2015 – South Iakutiia, 1 Month
2014-2015 – Kola Peninsula, Lovozero tundra, Sami and Komi tundra-related communities – 6 months

2014 – North-East Sakhalin Island, coastal fishermen – 1 month 2013 – Zabaikal region, Mountainous reindeer Evenki – 1 month 2007-2009 – North Baikal Evenkis, Republic of Buriatiia – 13 months 2004 – Amur river, nanai people, Khabarovsk region – 1 month 2001, 2002 – Valaam Island, the republic of Karelia – 2 weeks

Photo exhibition

Sense of November Ice, Russian Geographical Society, 2008 (co-authorship with Vladimir Davydov)

Ethnographic films

Twilight fishery, 2008 (co-authorship with Vladimir Davydov)
Evenki Easter, 2009 (co-authorship with Vladimir Davydov)
Zimovie (hunting log house), 2009 (co-authorship with Vladimir Davydov)

Media interviews:

Research training at Harvard University In Telescope, No5 (119), 2016. pp.51-52.
Taiga context: conversation of Natalia Nifantova with anthropologist Veronika Simonova In Machines and mechanisms. 2016 ttp://www.21mm.ru/?mag=130#039
Veronika’s a thousand and one Evenki night: a conversation with Raisa Shcherbakova, Kazan (Volga region) Federal University, Press Centre, 2013.
A conversation of Vadim Semenkov with anthropologists Veronika Simonova and Vladimir Davydov In Credo New, 2010, No. 3 pp. 8-15.


2018 – Rational use of nature and appropriation of Arctic territories: analysis of local models of interactions with the environment’ – supported by Murmansk Arctic State University.
2017 – Russian Humanitarian Foundation, publication of translation of the book by S.M. Shirokogorov ‘Social organization of Northern Tungus’ from English into Russian, directed by A.A. Sirina

2016, October, guest researcher, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University, the USA
2014-2016 – Russian Scientific Foundation, project participant ‘Children of the 1990s in the Arctic: assessment of contemporary life and the desired future’ directed by N.B. Bakhtin

2014 – 2016 – Russian Scientific Foundation, project participant ‘Neotraditionalism: archaic syndrome and the construction of new sociality in the context of globalisation’, directed by V.A. Popov
2013 – The Wild Salmon Center, anthropology of illegal fisheries in the North-East Sakhalin Island

2010 – YGGDRASIL, visiting research fellow, University of Tromsø, Norway
2008-2010 – Russian Humanitarian Foundation, project participant ‘Environmental ethics of Baikal Siberia’, directed by A.O. Boronoev
2005 – 2006 – visiting research fellow, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway
2006 – guest researcher, Siberian Studies Centre, Halle, Germany
2005-2007 – Russian Humanitarian Foundation, project participant ‘The issues of Siberian mentality’, directed by A.O. Boronoev
2004 – Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, training ‘methodology of elaboration of original courses in social anthropology’
2003 – Franklin College, the USA, training ‘leadership in multicultural context’


Red gold and werewolves: poaching and human-salmon relations in the North-East Sakhalin Island (co-authorship with Vladimir Davydov) published by Sakhalin Environmental Watch https://www.ecosakh.ru/index.php/2013-09-20-11-30-33/publikatsii/item/1417


Coordinator of social-anthropological expertise of illegal fisheries in Western Kamchatka by order of fishing and fish-processing company OOO ‘Vityaz-Auto’

Open lectures

2016, November, the Sociological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences: ‘Dreaming Arctic: the impact of life expectations of generations of Soviet industrial workers on migration of contemporary young people from South Yakutiia’

2016, October ‘Tish, kevv, vorokos: «skinchanging» and genesis of social emotions among Sami in Kola Peninsula’, Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) Russian Academy of Sciences (open X Siberian Studies Conference)

2014, May: the bikers of Lovozero tundra: survival and magic among Sami of Kola Peninsula, university of Tromsø, Norway

2012, 8 October, European University at S. Petersburg: ‘Abandoned places and their dwellers: agency of spirits and memories in the North Baikal, Siberia’

2012, 16 February, Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography МАЭ РАН (Kunstkamera) Moderation of fieldwork seminar

2012, May Artes Liberales, Warsaw, Poland, I gave four lectures based on my field research in Siberia

2011, September ‘An anthropology of night in an Evenki village’, Royal Geographical Society, London, UK (an null open conference).

2011, 27 April, demonstration of author ethnographic films ‘Zimovie’ and ‘Evenki Easter’ shot in collaboration with Vladimir, University Tromsø, Norway

2011, 30 April, Memorial Tree and Trail: practices of memorialization in the North Baikal

2009, 29 October, ‘Social memory in North Baikalian taiga’ Department of social Science, University of Vitautas Magnus, Kaunas, Lithuania

2007, 5 April, Book presentation ‘Aginskaia street, fire dance and aluminum arrows: appropriation of cultural landscaps: Khabarovsk, Grodekov Museum Publishing House’ Center of Independent Social Research, St. Petersburg, Russia.

2006, January ‘Culture as time machine: spatial interpretations by migrants from indigenous people of the North’, Siberian Studies Center, Halle, Germany

2005, October, ‘Indigenous people of Siberia: self-representation, performance, authenticity’ (co-authorship with Vladimir Davydov)


2004, the winner of young scholars’ competition in the category: ‘post-graduate student in the Area of social Science and Humanities’, St.Petersburg State University
2004, prize winner ‘Galateya’ competition among young sociologists

2005, prize winner ‘Galateya’ competition among young sociologists