Patreon: the Opportunity to Support Me and Gain Insight Into the Process

Recently, I decided to dust off my Patreon (if that’s the word I want), and had fun filling in the About page and writing two (one and a half, as I joke) updates there. If you follow my trajectory over the years, I am sure you will be interested to get in posession of the state of affairs. That’s what I wrote:

I am a socio-cultural anthropologist focused on the affective, or feeling-related side of mobility and immobility. I study how our deep-seated feelings, such as nostalgia, melancholy, and hope influence our decision to stay in a place–or go. My research question is, what keeps people stay put in a place despite the overwhelming economic hardships and failing infrastructure? If you think, lack of resources–sure, but this is only a part of the answer, and not that big of a part as you might assume. Personal factors play an important role. I devote my work to proving it through a set of evidence consisting of ethnographic data.

The things that I am reflecting on here, on Patreon, fall into several categories:

– the struggle of my scientific writing;

– academia;

– the content of my work, which is the questions of mobility, (im)mobility, vulnerability, poverty, affect, nostalgia, melancholy, hope, and nonchalance.

I will post here the new renditions of my work, and the comments are always welcome. I am seeking to make sure that what I am doing is resonating with the world. Ideally, this space would become a peer-review space where I can bounce off my ideas of other people.

I enjoy my academic journey; I hit a lot of milestones as they came: I was able to put together panels at big conferences such as American Anthropological Association and the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies; I applied to and got numerous grants and can teach people how to write a successful grant application; and I taught courses like Expressive Culture and led seminars in socio-cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and visual anthropology: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, Culture and Communication, and The Photographic Image.

The struggle of the writing of the dissertation and articles that accompany it is a difficult one, even for me, despite that I love writing, and I am able to produce great volumes of text. I’ve read plenty of books on how to facilitate the process of writing, and I am going to share resources here on Patreon as we go along.

I fully intend to transform the text of my dissertation into a book; right now, my work is titled Cities of the Future: Landscapes of Nostalgia and Hope in Post-Industrial Eastern Siberia.

Patreon is a semi-private space that I am creating for myself and those people who might want to join me on this travel of writing this book and solving its main question.

I first thought about Siberia as a rich ground of exploration in 2008, shortly before I got pregnant with my one and only child. In the neighborhood library in Moscow, my home town, I began writing a novel based on Siberian material and immersed myself into Kolchak’s story, the mythology of the lost gold of the Russian crown, and many intricate tensions between the Red and the White sides of the Russian Civil War. As we know only all too well, the Bolsheviks had an upper hand. Twenty plus years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Siberian spaces continue their development as a multiplicity of cultures, Russionized but also preserving national colors, textures, and forms.

Read more here:
https://www.patreon.com/orlova

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