Dr Tatiana Argounova-Low

Dr Tatiana Argounova-Low
MA, MPhil, PhD

Senior Lecturer


Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 273591
The University of Aberdeen G15, Edward Wright Building
Department of Anthropology
University of Aberdeen,
Aberdeen AB24 3QY, UK


MA Yakutsk University, Russia

MPhil University of Cambridge, Great Britain

PhD University of Cambridge, Great Britain


Research Interests

Themes: roads, narratives and roads, movement, mobility, migration, long-distance driving, winter roads, drifting

Regional: North, Russian North, Siberia, Sakha, Yakutia, Evenki, reindeer herding communities

Current Research

Roads and narratives
This project approaches roads as social phenomenon that offer economic and social opportunities. People travel along roads for work and leisure and each road and each journey can be narrated. In this project I investigate the relationship between roads and narratives.

Long-distance driving:

Much driving in the North happens on winter roads that exist only for a short period of time. These roads are difficult and treacherous, always fluctuating, always changing. This project studies the work of truckers who drive long distances to deliver goods to the northern settlements of Sakha (Yakutiia). I investigate the concept of road as experienced by these road-users. The project focuses on drivers' navigation and driving skills, knowledge of routes, and engagement with the road.  

Driving and drifting in urban space:

This project is based on study of driving practices in the city of Yakutsk, north-eastern Siberia. I investigate the spatial concept of road through performance of driving and various practices that road-users employ in the city. The project studies emerging car-cultures in post-socialist environment with its car fetishism and appreciation of speed and mobility. The project focuses on use of cars, street games, racing, and notions of risk. The project discusses the post-Soviet production of space where cars, money, and speed are important elements for expression of individual freedom.

Research Grants

Leverhulme Special Research Fellowship (2003-2005) "Indigenous and Diaspora Identities in Post Soviet Siberia"

British Academy Small Research Grants (2004-2005) "Remembering Lost Connections: the Past and Present of Two Native Siberian Villages"


Teaching Responsibilities

AT4026 Roads: Mobility, Movement, Migration

AT4009 Anthropology of the North

AT1501 Introduction to Anthropology



Further Info

External Responsibilities

External Examiner for the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge

Assistant Editor to Sibirica: Interdisciplinary Journal of Siberian Studies

Member of the Executive Board, Chairperson (2009-2011)Russian Education and Support Centre SLOVO, Scottish Charity SCO41702 

Admin Responsibilities

Departmental Examination Officer

School Teaching and Learning Committee Member

Member of Senatus Academicus


Recent Conferences

2010. Southewest/Texas Popular Culture Annual Meeting. Panel on: Automobility and Road Culture (Albuquerque, Nex Mexico). Paper delivered: Narratives of Movement: Roads as Lived Experience in Siberia

2007. ESRC Landscape Seminar (University of Aberdeen). Paper delivered: Narrating the road

2007. The Ethnohistory and Archaeology of Northern Eurasia: Theory, Methods and Practice (Irkutsk, Russia). Paper delivered: Roads as narraitives

2006. (organiser and convenor) Workshop: Anthropology of Roads (University of Aberdeen). Paper delivered: Roads: memory, knowledge and narrative 

2004. 5th ICASS Conference (Fairbanks, USA). Paper delivered: Reindeer versus Buran , herding versus hunting: diet, subsistence and identity in Essei, Siberia

2004. Baikal Archaeology Project (Aberdeen). Paper delivered: Fish as starvation food. On material from 1926-27 Polar Census Data.