Lectures and seminars by professor Peter Finke (University of Zurich, Switzerland) on ethnicity and identity studies
From October 10th to October 16th, at the TSU Laboratory for Social and Anthropological Research, the invited lecturer and professor, co-director of the Department of social and cultural anthropology at the University of Zurich (Switzerland) Peter Finke delivered a number of lectures for TSU students and young researchers.
The course conducted in the form of seminar classes was dedicated to research in ethnicity and identity. During the introductory lectures professor Finke spoke on some basic theories, theoretical aspects, extensions and variations on theory, and different concepts in the field. Professor Finke also elaborated on the specificities of the organization and financing of higher education and research in Switzerland.
During the second part of the course attendees presented their research – bachelor and master students, postgraduates and young researchers in anthropology and history of the TSU Department of History delivered their presentations in English, each in his/her research area of interest.
The topics presented were various and covered the questions of family as a factor of formation of identity of the modern Kazakhs, national and cultural autonomy of the Koreans in the Tomsk region, problems of adaptation of migrants from Kyrgyzstan in the city of Tomsk, Muslims and Islam in Tomsk, identity of the Cossacks in Tomsk, the Shors ethnicity and identity issues, the Orthodox landscape of taiga Siberia, etc. Despite some language difficulties, students acquired experience in presenting and discussing their research results in a foreign language and received comments, valuable feedback, and recommendations by professor Finke as to the further development and deepening of their work.
On the whole, the course by Peter Finke was not so much the one aimed at the mastery of theory as the one being more of a ‘brainstorm’ kind including an intense exchange of opinions and discussions of various research ideas and questions which, hopefully, gave the opportunity to all of the attendees to look anew at different aspects of their research activities and will thus help them improve.