e.g: Grant

Digital ethnography 2.0

The online school on digital ethnography was a continuation of the work of the summer field school on Digital ethnography : and it was a research track. This means that at the end of the school's work, the participants presented the results of their research projects announced in the school's work:

● 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

The participants carried out research projects in groups of 5 people under the guidance of tutors - one tutor in methodology and a general tutor in Jewish ethnography. All participants noted the opportunity to work together in groups to create a common project as the greatest success.

For the successful completion of the study, the participants received additional materials (modern books, journals and lecture notes from the previous school), and also attended methodological master classes of leading Russian specialists in the field of digital ethnography: Dr.Sergey Sokolovsky (Leading Researcher of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Editor-in-chief of the journal "Ethnographic Review",), as well as Anna Shchetvina (representative of the Sberbank Laboratory).

In addition, the participants had lectures, which were presented within the framework of the declared methodology and corresponding to the specified thematic areas of research, performed by experienced scientists, who analyzed the results of the research presented at the school in highly rated specialized publications in Russia and abroad. These lectures were delivered by Natalia Ushakova, Alexander Arkhipov, Varvara Preter (Chumakova), Alla Marchenko.

The thematic block related to Jewish culture and ethnography was presented by lectures by Valery Dymshits (European University of St. Petersburg) and Maria Kaspina (Department of Jewish Theology and Jewish studies of RSUH).

In addition, the school managed to attract graduates of the previous school, who shared their results with the participants of the second stream.

The results of the work will be released in a collective monograph dedicated to the research of Jewish culture in the field of digital Ethnography, as well as a thematic section and a round table during the Twenty-seventh international conference on Jewish studies

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Feedback from participants:

Alexey Andryushin (Moscow, Russia): Impressions: fire! Honestly, I don't know what words to express, I liked everything very much, I told all my friends, acquaintances, enemies, and so on, that "Sefer" is cool and what highly professional and high-quality projects he does. Meeting new people and professionals (thanks to the organizers: Maria Kaspina and Irina Dushakova for excellent job, no problems, everything was established and optimized, thanks to my tutor Natalia Dushakova methodical hints, seen as a random ideas for my project were born as it evolved and came to a point from which it will be possible to create a research product. And thank you all the lecturers and participants for interesting lectures and presentations, hints and tips). And most importantly-thank you for the selection. I didn't believe it initially when the email arrived. I became one of the 5 in my group and one of the 20 in the stream. I have received so many positive emotions in two weeks that I did not have before. I hope that my enthusiasm will pass on to the organizers, and they will arrange more than one school with the same enthusiasm, and this will not be my last project in the "Sefer". And of course, thank you to "Sefer" for the well-coordinated team work. You're cool!

Video lectures




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»