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Department of Social Anthropology



Before coming to Cambridge to pursue an MPhil degree in Social Anthropology and later a PhD in the same department I was trained as a linguist at the University of Yakutsk (now North-Eastern Federal University) in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), northeastern Russia. In 2017-2018 I conducted fieldwork among urban and rural Sakha exploring a discourse on conservation and multiplication of a native (Sakha) cattle breed. I was particularly interested in investigating this discourse as a site on to which Sakha intellectual circles symbolically projected their (post)colonial revivalist anxieties and resolved them. Following the flows of this discourse from elites down to farmers and ordinary villagers also allowed me to see a substantial detachment of this discourse from the actual practices and conceptualisations of (native) cattle and cattle breeding as well as conflicting and conforming meanings with which different actors invested it.


Human-animal relations, (post)colonialism, (post)socialism, ethnonationalism, gender, sexuality, new reproductive technologies, human-environment interactions.


Key publications: 

2018. Tarasova, Zoia, and Elena Khlinovskaya-Rockhill. ‘In vitro fertilization, genetic imaginations and values among the Siberian Sakha’. Polar Geography 41 (2): 1-16.

2017. Tarasova, Zoia, Elena Khlinovskaya-Rockhill, Oktyabrina Tuprina, and Vladimir Skryabin. 'Urbanization and the Shifting of Boundaries: Contemporary Transformations in Kinship and Child Circulation among the Sakha'. Europe-Asia Studies 67 (7): 1106-1125

2017. Aimar, Ventsel, Eleanor Peers, and Zoya Tarasova. ‘Rep kak sredstvo vyrazheniia sotsial'nykh izmenenii na severo-vostoke Sibiri: khip-khop, urbanizatsiia i etnichnost' yakutov (sakha)’ [Rap as an Expression of Social Changes in the North-East of Siberia: Hip-Hop, Urbanization, and Ethnicity of the Yakut (Sakha)]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 1: 168-182. (Accessed 2 March 2019)

Postdoctoral Affiliate
 Zoia  Tarasova (2016)

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