Dace Dzenovska

Dace Dzenovska is Associate Professor in the Anthropology of Migration at the University of Oxford and the Principal Investigator of the EMPTINESS project. She holds doctoral and master’s degrees in Social Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, as well as an interdisciplinary master’s degree in Humanities and Social Thought from New York University.

Her research interests pertain to the changing relationships between people, territory, political authority, and capital in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. To that end, she has studied how residents of Latvia were summoned to change their understandings of self and community via European Union supported tolerance promotion projects. This resulted in the book School of Europeanness: Tolerance and Other Lessons in Political Liberalism in Latvia (Cornell, 2018). She has also studied what it means for the Latvian nation and state when most of its subjects migrate to live and work in other states—for example, in the United Kingdom. This was the subject of her Latvian language book Departure and Emptiness in the Latvian Countryside. Currently, she is researching the emptying towns and villages in Eastern Europe and Russia in order to understand what it means to live in and govern emptying places, as well as what such places can tell about how flows of capital and shifts in political authority are reconfiguring the world we live in.


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If you would like to find out more about the project or contribute a blog on a resonant aspect of your own research to the Field Reports section of our website, please get in touch by writing to emptiness@anthro.ox.ac.uk.