Program

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships , Luce/ACLS Program in Religion, Journalism & International Affairs

Project

Indigenous Cosmopolitans: Mobility, Authority, and a Eurasian Imaginary in Siberian Buddhism

Project

The Future of Immortality: Remaking Life and Death in Contemporary Russia

Department

Anthropology

Location

For residence at Columbia University, Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life

Indigenous Cosmopolitans: Mobility, Authority, and a Eurasian Imaginary in Siberian Buddhism

My dissertation explores the revival of Siberian Buryat Buddhist practices through transnational, post-Soviet ties. It brings anthropological ethnographic and historical archival methods to look at issues of everyday religion, morality, and politics in the context of post-Soviet social change through a study of two Buryat religious communities located in Buryatia and in India. I argue that the ways in which Buryats transform older cosmopolitanisms into socioreligious movements are key for understanding new geopolitical forms of consciousness as long-held Eurasian ties are now being revived in the wake of Soviet rule.

The Future of Immortality: Remaking Life and Death in Contemporary Russia

This project explores the intersection of religion and science in post-Soviet and post-atheist Russia, focusing on the increasing anticipation of an end to earth as we know it and on how technology is responding to remake human bodies for an immortal age. Drawing on archival materials and fieldwork with contemporary Russian religious and technoscientifc futurist movements, such as Russian Cosmism and transhumanism, the project expands current Euro-American understandings of the relationship between science and religion by reflecting on how hopes and fears for the future translate into policy debates on new medical technologies. The project seeks to broaden public understanding of the relationship between science, religion, and technology in cross-cultural contexts by engaging with journalists covering religion internationally, and facilitating a dynamic exchange between how scholars and journalists can collaborate.