Digital ethnography 2.0


On 31 January – 5 February 2021, Sefer Center will hold a Winter school on Jewish studies (in Zoom format), in cooperation with the International Center for University Teaching of Jewish Civilization, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Center for Slavic-Jewish studies the Institute of Slavic studies, supported by the Genesis Philanthropy Group, the Charity Foundation of Vladimir Potanin and the Claims Conference

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Basing on the successful experience of the first field school on digital ethnography, the Sefer Center continues its research in this new area for Russian-speaking Jewish Studies. This time we will focus on new relevant cases and add new approaches to working with digital data.




This part of the Winter School is a research part. It will require full-time participation in the work of the school for the entire specified period, since it is focused on obtaining the first preliminary results on the proposed topics. Before the start of the school, participants will be provided with materials for self-study.

Participants will work in four thematic streams:

  • The pilgrimage to Uman
  • Jewish holidays during the coronavirus pandemic: online folklore
  • Digital technologies in religious life
  • Challenges of memorialization: Representations of the Holocaust in the Digital space


On the first day, participants will receive lectures combining work with digital data and research close to thematic areas. On the remaining days, participants will listen to lectures that give them an idea of the object under study and the methods that can be used to analyze the digital world.

 After three days of lectures and seminars, participants in groups (on cases) will conduct their own research for three days with the daily support of two tutors: a tutor in methodology (indicated on the page of each thematic area) and a tutor in Jewish ethnography (M Kaspina).

The school will conclude with the presentation of the results obtained by the participants at an open seminar with the involvement of other specialists in the field of Jewish Studies.

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Students, postgraduates and young teachers (under the age of 35) who are interested in the study of Jewish culture and who already have experience in field research (anthropology, ethnography, folklore studies, oral history) or research in the field of digital anthropology are invited to participate in the Winter Field School.

The school will be held online. Applications for participation in the School (application form in Russian) are accepted until January 14. Notification about the results of the competitive selection for the Winter School will be sent out until January 20.

By the same time, a program with a schedule and bibliography will be published.


Organizing Committee of the school:

Irina Dushakova, Oxford Russia Fellow, Senior Lecturer at the Higher School of Economics, Coordinator of the Sefer Webinar Project»

Maria Kaspina, PhD, Associate Professor of the Center for Biblical Studies of the Russian State University, of the Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH),, coordinator of research and publishing programs of the Sefer Center»