Sascha L. Goluboff, Ph.D.
Professor of Cultural Anthropology (joined the faculty in July 1999, received tenure in May 2005, full professorship in May 2013)
Department Head (2015-2019), Sociology and Anthropology
Washington and Lee University
Lexington, VA 24450
phone: (540) 458-8807
fax: (540) 458-8498
MFA in Writing (anticipated in 2021). Pacific University.
Ph.D., October 1999. Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
M.A., October 1995. Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
B.A., May 1992. Sociology/Anthropology (High Honors) and Russian Studies, Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Colgate University.
My work focuses on the anthropology of emotion in a variety of geographical and historical contexts. Mourning and grief in Azerbaijan, hooking up on college campuses, and attachment to home place in Antebellum Virginia — I view emotion as stories — narratives told about self and society, as well as a discourse about interpersonal connections.
Jewish Russians: Upheavals in a Moscow Synagogue. University of Pennsylvania Press. 2003.
“Communities of Mourning: Mountain Jewish Laments in Azerbaijan and on the Internet.” In Religion, Morality, and Community in Post-Soviet Societies, edited by Mark Steinberg and Catherine Wanner. Pp. 149-177. Indiana University Press. 2008.
“Text to Sex: The Impact of Cell Phones on Hooking up and Sexuality on Campus,” Mobile Media and Communication 4: 102-120. January 2016.
A reprint of my book chapter, “Communities of Mourning: Mountain Jewish Laments in Azerbaijan and on the Internet,” was translated into Russian and printed in a special issue of Gosudarstvo, Religiia, i Tzerkov (Government, Religion, and Church) 2015, 3(33): 31-65.
“Making African American Homeplaces in Rural Virginia,” Ethos: The Journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology 39(3):368-394. September 2011.
Proceedings of the Panel “The Regional Challenge: Managing Religious Diversity” at the Kennan Institute during a Conference on “Religion in Russian Society: State Policy, Regional Challenges, and Individual Rights,” June 8-9, 2006. Included is my presentation “Managing Jewish Religious Diversity in Russian Society.” Published by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Edited by F. Joseph Dresen, Kennan Institute Occasional Papers #298, 2008.
“Patriarchy through Lamentation in Azerbaijan,” American Ethnologist 35(1):81-94. February 2008.
“Azerbaijani Ethnography: Views from Inside and Outside.” Co-authored with Samira Karaeva, Researcher and Ph.D. Candidate, The Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, Baku. Journal of the Society for the Anthropology of Europe (JSAE) 5(1):15-21. Spring/Summer 2005.
“Are They Jews or Asians?: A Cautionary Tale about Mountain Jewish Ethnography.” Slavic Review 63(1): 113-140. Spring 2004.
“Discussant remarks: Mobility, Labor, and the Ties that Bind.” Anthropology of East Europe Review Special Issue: “New Directions in Post Socialist Studies.” Volume 20(2): 9-12. Autumn, 2002. Also published in the International Institute Newsletter, University of Michigan, Spring 2002. Pp. 10-11.
Guest Editor of “Race Places: Changing Locations of Jewish Identities,” a special issue of Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power. Volume 8(2). My articles are entitled “Introduction” (pp. 163-171) and “The Savage in the Jew: Race, Class, and the New Market in Post-Soviet Moscow” (pp. 283-312). July 2001.
“Fistfights at the Moscow Choral Synagogue: Ritual and Ethnicity in Post-Soviet Russia.” Anthropological Quarterly 74(2): 55-71. April 2001.
Guest Editor of “Why Post-Socialism is Good To Think,” a special issue of Anthropology of East Europe Review. Volume 18(1). My articles are entitled “A Note from the Guest Editor” (pp. 5-6) and “Re-Enabling the Disabled: The Struggle of Blind Russian Jews for Citizenship in the New Russia” (pp. 27-31). Spring 2000.
The Captive and the Gift: Cultural Histories of Sovereignty in Russia and the Caucasus. Canadian Slavonic Papers 53(1):109. March 2011.
Featured Review, The Patriotism of Despair: Nation, War, and Loss in Russia by Sergei Alex. Oushakine. Slavic Review 69(3). Fall 2010.
Crying Shame: Metaculture, Modernity, and the Exaggerated Death of Lament by James M. Wilce. American Ethnologist 37(4). November 2010.
Renewed Survival: Jewish Community Life in Croatia by Nila Ginger Hofman. Shofar 25(4). Summer 2007.
Women’s Health in Post-Soviet Russia: The Politics of Intervention by Michele Rivkin-Fish, American Ethnologist 33(4). November 2006. Book Reviews Online.
Jewish Passages: Cycles of Jewish Life by Harvey Goldberg. American Ethnologist. Volume 32(3). August 2005. Book Reviews Online.
Song from the Land of Fire: Continuity and Change in Azerbaijanian Mugham by Inna Naroditskaya. H-Gender-Mideast. http://h-net.msu.edu. Posted August 31, 2004.
Azeri Women in Transition: Women in Soviet and Post-Soviet Azerbaijan by Farideh Heyat. Slavic Review. Volume 62(3): 604-5. Fall 2003.
Markets & Moralities: Ethnographies of Postsocialism, edited by Ruth Mandel and Caroline Humphrey. Canadian Slavonic Papers. Volume XLIV (3-4): 344-45. September-December 2002.
Between Two Fires: Gypsy Performance and Romani Memory from Pushkin to Postsocialism by Alaina Lemon. Nationalities Papers. Volume 30(3): 516-517. September 2002.
Voices of Yugoslav Jewry by Paul Benjamin Gordiejew. American Ethnologist. Volume 27(3): 773-774. August 2000.
Presentations of Work for the Public
“A Journey through Brownsburg, Virginia in 1860: An African American History Presentation” at Asbury United Methodist Church (Brownsburg) and Leyburn Library, Washington and Lee University, March and April, 2016
“Black & White and One Small Town,” Radio Interview about the Brownsburg Museum on WMRA Harrisonburg. August 23, 2012. http://wmra.org/post/black-white-and-one-small-town
“Sentimental Attachments: Race Relations in Brownsburg before and after the Civil War,” an exhibition of 12 graphic poster panels, plus relevant archival materials from Special Collections, Washington and Lee University, and the Rockbridge Historical Society. Brownsburg Museum, Brownsburg, Virginia April 14 – November 27 2012.
“Making African-American Homeplaces in Brownsburg, Virginia,” a exhibition of twenty-three posters at Asbury United Methodist Church, Brownsburg, Virginia, March 9, 2010.
Grants and Fellowships
Lenfest Grants (Washington and Lee University) to support summer research and writing on my book project based on research on race relations in Southwest Virginia (Summers 2009-2018)
Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, Discretionary Grant to fund printing and publication costs for my exhibit at the Brownsburg Museum, April – July 2012.
American Philosophical Society Sabbatical Fellowship for my project “Making African American Homeplaces in the Rural South,” 2010-2011 academic year.
The Louisville Institute Sabbatical Grant for Researchers, 2010-2011, declined.
Engaged Scholars Studying Congregations Fellowship, administrated through the Hartford Seminary and sponsored by the Lilly Foundation, Inc., for my project “African American Home Church: The Politics of Race and Religion in the Rural South,” Summers 2008 and 2009.
Glenn Grant (Washington and Lee University) for project “African American Home Church: The Politics of Race and Religion in the Rural South,” Summers 2007 and 2008.
Glenn Grant (Washington and Lee University) for writing up findings from fieldwork in Azerbaijan, Summers 2005 and 2006.
Short Term Research Grant (National Council for Eurasian and East European Research), Junior Scholar Grant (Hadassah-Brandeis Research Institute), and Glenn Grant (Washington and Lee University) for my project “Modern Rites of Ancient Passage: An Ethnography of Mountain Jews in Azerbaijan,” undertaken in Summer 2004.
Pre-tenure leave. Washington and Lee University. Winter Term 2003.
Social Science Research Council Grant and Glenn Grant (W&L University) to study first-year Azeri language in the 2002 Summer Workshop in Slavic, East European, and Central Asian Languages at Indiana University.
Mednick Fellowship, the Virginia Foundation of Independent Colleges, for research on my new project on Mountain Jews, Summer 2001.
Glenn Grant (Washington and Lee University) for work on my book Jewish Russians, Summer 2000 and 2001.
Class of ’65 Endowment for Excellence in Teaching from Washington and Lee University for the purchase of set of osteological reproductions from Bone Clones in order to strengthen two Anthropology courses: Anthropology 101 (Introduction to Anthropology) and Anthropology 207 (Physical Anthropology). Applied for with Bernard K. Means, Visiting Professor of Anthropology. Spring 2007.
Teaching Fellowship, Social Science Research Council’s Eurasia Program, for my proposed class “Conflicts in Eurasia: Globalization, New States, and Soviet Legacies” to be taught at Washington and Lee University. Notification of award received in May 2004.
Mellon Teaching and Technology Fellowship to add web technology to my Anthropology 101 class (Introduction to Anthropology). Fall 2001.
Class of ’65 Endowment for Excellence in Teaching from Washington and Lee University for the purchase of set of osteological reproductions from Kronen Osteo in order to strengthen two Anthropology courses: Anthropology 101 (Introduction to Anthropology) and Anthropology 207 (Physical Anthropology). Applied for with James R. Mathieu, Visiting Professor of Anthropology. Spring 2001.
Workshop and Conference Participation (2000-2016)
Invited Participant in the Engaged Scholars Conference at the Louisville Seminary, November 15-17, 2010. I gave the paper, “Making African American Homeplaces in Rural Virginia,” and participated in roundtable discussions.
Invited Participant in The Kennan Institute Conference “The Caucasus: New Agendas in Scholarship,” Woodrow Wilson Center. May 10-11, 2007.
Invited Participant in the Panel “The Regional Challenge: Managing Religious Diversity” at the Conference “Religion in Russian Society: State Policy, Regional Challenges, and Individual Rights,” Cosponsored by the Henry M. Jackson Foundation and the Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson Center. Woodrow Wilson Center, June 8-9, 2006. My presentation is entitled “Managing Jewish Religious Diversity in Russian Society.”
Invited Participant in The Kennan Institute Workshop Series “Religion in Post-Soviet Societies,” Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson Center. October 28-29, 2005 and April 28-29, 2006.
“Mountain Jews and Mourning in and beyond the Caucasus,” presented (by invitation) at the International Conference on Ethnic and Religious Communities in the Caucasus, The Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, March 27-28, 2006.
“Text to Sex: How Cell Phones Impact Hooking Up and Sexuality on Campus,” presented at the International Communication Association Meeting in Seattle, Washington, May 24, 2014.
“Fictionalizing Affection, Theorizing Race: Examining Sentimental Attachments among Slaves and Masters in Virginia,” presented on the panel “Theory, (Auto)Ethnography, and Fiction,” at the 113th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, December 3, 2014. I was also chair of this panel.
“The Struggle to Make Home Church: African Americans and Their White Christian Patrons before and after the Civil War,” at Association for the Study of African American Life and History, October 8, 2011.
“Making Homeplace in Southwestern Virginia,” presented in the panel, “African American Churches and Home Places,” at the Virginia Forum, March 15, 2011.
“Making African American Homeplaces in Rural Virginia,” presented at the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, October 31, 2010.
“Do They Want to Hear the Truth?: The Challenges of Doing an Engaged Study of a Rural Black Church,” presented in the panel, “Public Sociology: Challenges of Engaged Scholarship in Religious Communities” at the Association for the Sociology of Religion, August 14, 2010.
Organizer of “Doing Anthropology after the Bosnian War: Studying Inequalities and the Pursuit of Justice in Bosnia-Herzegovina,” a Presidential/Executive Session scheduled for the 106th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, 2007.
“Wicked Women: Mountain Jewish Folklore and Female Morality,” presented in the panel “Female Agency” at the 105th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, November 15, 2006. I was also chair of this panel.
“Modern Rites of Ancient Passage: Death and Mourning among Mountain Jewish Women in Azerbaijan” in the panel (Invited Session of the Society for the Anthropology of Europe) “Embodied Corpse: Muslim and Jewish Rituals of Death in Europe and the Middle East,” co-organized by myself and Kimberly Hart, presented at the 104th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, December 1, 2005.
Brown Bag presentation “Death — The Most Important Part of Life: How Anthropologists Study the Dead and Dying,” National Undergraduate Research Conference, Washington and Lee University and Virginia Military Institute, April 21, 2005.
Organizer and Chair of panel “Localizing the Global: Ethnographic Explorations,” presented at the International Political Science Association Research Committee on Socio-Political Pluralism Annual Meeting, Washington and Lee University, March 10-12, 2005.
Presentation on Jewish Russians, Professor Adler’s class “The Soviet Jewish Experiment,” University of Maryland, March 15, 2005.
“Religious Commerce in the Caucasus: Mountain Jewish Gender Ideology and Economic Success” in the panel “Religion, Power, Political Economy: Postsocialist Views,” co-organized by myself and Douglas Rodgers, presented at the 102nd Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, November 21, 2003.
“Mama Will Not Be Able to Bear It; She Will Kill Herself: Female Tradition and Resistance in Mountain Jewish Funeral Practices” in the panel “Diasporas I: Across Space and Time,” presented at the Central Eurasian Studies Society Annual Conference. Harvard University. October 3, 2003.
Presentation on new research on Mountain Jews in Krasnaia Sloboda at Baku State University, February 21, 2003.
Chair and Organizer of the panel “Traveling to the Past to Create the Future: Jewish Tourism in the 21st Century,” presented at the 101st Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association. November 22, 2002.
Discussant for the panel “Mobility, Labor, and Ties that Bind” at the 2002 Annual SOYUZ Symposium, University of Michigan, Center for Russian and East European Studies. February 22-23, 2002.
“The Savage in the Jew: Race, Class, and Nation in Post-Soviet Moscow,” presented at the International Symposium “The Mountain Jews of the Caucasus” in Baku, Azerbaijan. April 24-26, 2001.
“Jewish Ethnography and The Conquest of the Caucasus,” in the double-session panel “Colonialism and the Jews,” presented at the 99th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, San Francisco. November 15, 2000.
Service in the Discipline
Mary Zirin Prize Committee, Association for Women in Slavic Studies (present)
Mentor of a Fellow at Caucasus Resource and Research Center (CRRC) (2010-2011).
Member, American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, Committee for the Student Essay Prize, 2007-2009.
Member, Social Science Research Council, Eurasia Program Title VIII Selection Committee, 2005-2008.
Program Committee Chair, Society for the Anthropology of Europe (SAE). 2006-2008. Responsibilities include organizing the SAE program for the 2007 and 2008 AAA meetings (this includes arranging roundtables and other special events, setting up the William Douglass Lecturer, and selecting papers and panels for SAE sponsorship).
Program Committee Chair-Elect, Society for the Anthropology of Europe (SAE). 2003-2006. Responsibilities include organizing SAE Roundtables, arranging the William Douglass Lecturer, and selecting papers and panels for SAE sponsorship for the 2004 and 2005 AAA Meetings.
Book Review Editor. Soyuz: The Research Network for Post-Socialist Studies [Post-Communist Cultural Studies Interest Group of the American Anthropological Association]. Website: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/soyuz/. December 2003-December 2006. Responsibilities include choosing a new book to feature each month, posting the information on the website, and obtaining and posting reviews of those books.
Reviews of Manuscripts for Publication
I review article manuscripts for American Anthropologist, Anthropological Quarterly, Cultural Anthropology, Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, American Ethnologist, Social Analysis, Journal of Gender Studies, Journal of the Society for the Anthropology of Europe (JSAE), Ethos, Slavic Review, Expedition: The Magazine of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the Journal of Middle Eastern Women’s Studies, and Death Studies.
I have served as an expert witness for asylum cases, beginning in 2009.
Russian (reading, writing, and speaking), Azeri (first year +), and Judeo-Tat (beginning)
Introduction to Anthropology (four fields)
Theorizing Social Life
Food, Culture, and Society
Writing 100: Terror and Violence
Campus Sex in the Digital Age
Conflicts in Eurasia: Globalization, New States, and Soviet Legacies (cross-listed with Russian Studies)
Feminist Anthropology (cross-listed with Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies)
Ethnographic Research Methods
Violence and Terror
Shamanism, Spirit Possession, and the Occult
Gender, Law, and Culture in the Islamic World