My academic journey towards Indigenous Religion(s) has been largely informed both by my upbringing in Yakutsk (the Sakha Republic) and my interdisciplinary academic background. My first degree was in History and Ethnography at the North-Eastern Federal University (Yakutsk). I then completed a Master of Philosophy in Indigenous Studies at the University of Tromsø, where I was first exposed to Indigenous and decolonising methodologies. I obtained a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from UiT-The Arctic University of Norway, where I was a part of the international research group "Indigenous Religion(s): Local Grounds, Global Networks (INREL)."
Before starting my permanent employment at the Open University, I held different short- and long-term contracts at UiT-The Arctic University of Norway and at the University of Bergen. I was also a visiting scholar at the Divinity School at University of Edinburgh and at the Centre for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences "Multiple Secularities - Beyond the West, Beyond Modernities".
Processes of shamanism-making, particularly Siberian shamanism-making
Theory and method in the study of religion
My main research interests are in the critical study of religion, frictions of Indigenous and colonial knowledge productions, and the role of scholars in religion-making processes.
In my current research, I problematize shamanism as an analytical category and challenge it through critical reading of scholarship about the area that has attracted scholars and travelers in search of Siberian shamanism – Sakha Sire [Sakha: ‘Sakha Land’], currently known as the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic.
In 2021, I launched a podcast-series “Thinking About Indigenous Religion(s),” where I interviewed leading scholars in the field of Indigenous religion(s), as well as Indigenous artists and activists,
I am on the Editorial Board of a peer-reviewed journal Indigenous Religious Traditions that publishes papers representing the most recent scholarship in all areas of the study of Indigenous religious traditions.
I am a member of the international research project The Governmateriality of Indigenous Religion(s), which focuses on how Indigenous Religion(s) materialize, circulate, and act between and beyond the field sites, through social media, journalism, education, law, environmentalism, tourism, proselytizing, scholarship, art, and popular culture.