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    Fabianinkatu 24 (P.O. Box 4)
    00014 University of Helsinki

    Tel. +358 2 941 21735



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Maria Pirogovskaia

PhD (Social Anthropology), European University at St.Petersburg

Room 331


Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
P.O. Box 4
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki

Tel +358-(0)2941 23450
Email (AT) helsinki.fi

Research interests

  • Social History of Medicine
  • Imperial Russia
  • Anthropology of the Senses
  • Affects and Emotions
  • History of Ideas

Current research

Cultural Modelling of Disgust in the Late Russian Empire

Her research project seeks to contribute to the historical anthropology of emotions in modern societies by examining emotional shifts in late 19th-century Russia with a focus on the social functions of disgust and public discourses around it an important but largely neglected phenomenon of Russian history. Pirogovskaia understands disgust in the social (or socio-constructionist) perspective, as an emotional continuum related to various unwanted social encounters, with both persons and objects, described as disgust/aversion/revulsion and resulting in avoidance and the feeling of fastidiousness (either demonstrated or suppressed). The focus on the ideology and practices of disgust, on the process of its interiorization and dissemination in the late 19th century will, she supposes, enable her to discover how exactly the current configuration of disgust was being constructed. In her opinion, it is possible to link the remodelling of disgust in this period to social changes, hygienists' movement and the rise of medicalization. In her research she is trying to test approaches and methods of the emotional history [Reddy 2001; Rosenwein 2006; Frevert et al. 2014; Zorin 2016] against the field of the social history of medicine and to analyse the emotion of disgust in the diachrony.