Areas of interest:

  • cultural and social geography
  • geocultures of the North
  • history and sociology of urban space
  • politics of memory

PhD in geography. Worked as a junior researcher at the Moscow State University. Authored and taught courses at the Faculty of Geography of Moscow State University and the Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism. Co-founder of the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at the Higher School of Economics, Moscow.

Currently completing her PhD dissertation at the University of Oxford on local history museums and the history of regional ethnography. Numerous research field work expeditions to Russia and other post-Soviet countries. Participated in the cartography of the penitentiary system of the USSR and Russia. Participated in «The Topography of Terror», a project by Russian human rights NGO Memorial.

Also works as a contemporary artist, photographer, and curator, actively participating in Russian and international art projects. Co-founder of the Department of Research Arts, a research group of artists, photographers, geographers, anthropologists, sociologists, architects, and urbanists dedicated to the study of anthropological and geographical processes through artistic practice. Participant in many personal and group exhibitions, curator of numerous projects.

List of academic publications:

Baburin V. L., Gavrilova S. A., Koltermann P. K., Seliverstov Yu G., Sokratov S. A., Shnyparkov A. L. (2014) Quantification of economic and social risks of debris flows for the Black Sea coastal region of the North Caucasus. GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY, издательство Федеральное государственное бюджетное учреждение науки Институт географии Российской академии наук (Москва), том 7, № 3, с. 108−122 DOI

Гаврилова С. А. (2012) Картографирование опасных гидрометеорологических явлений холодного периода для дифференциации критериев их оценки. Материалы гляциологических исследований, № 1, с. 101−105

Гаврилова С. А. (2012) Разработка системы картографирования гидрометеорологических чрезвычайных ситуаций в мелком масштабе. Геориск, № 3, с. 32−40

Гаврилова С. А., Грязнова В. В., Данилина А. В., Шныпарков А. Л. (2011) Анализ распределения чрезвычайных ситуаций природного характера в конце ХХ — начале ХХI века на территории России. Геориск, № 4, с. 58−64


Gavrilova S. A Virtual practices of commemoration in Russia. Global Debates in the Digital Humanities, 2019

Гаврилова С. А. Наследие советских теоретических принципов в современных краеведческих музеях в России. Специальное издание журнала «НЛО», 2019

Gavrilova S. A. ‘Vernacular (?) memory about Stalin’s repressions in Russian local museums'. Slavic review

Gavrilova S. A. ‘Common unsaids' in post-Soviet Russia: can the silences unite? Memory Studies

List of media publications, speeches at conferences and seminars:

Гаврилова С. Ствол великорусского народа. Как политизируют отечественную географию // Republic, 30.04.2019.

Гаврилова С. Советские краеведческие музеи. // Артгид, 20.10.2017

Гаврилова С. Доклад «Наследие советских теоретических и экспозиционных методов в современных краеведческих музеях» на конференции «Публичная история в России: музеи для прошлого или прошлое для музеев?», Лаборатория публичной истории, 2017

Гаврилова С. Краеведение как инструмент освоения территорий. // Проект «Россия. Research»

Гаврилова С. Лекция «История и пути развития краеведения в современном российском контексте». Центр современной культуры «Смена», Казань, 2016

«Common unsaids» in urban identities (in the cases of Murmansk and Rostov on the Don)

The study is part of an ongoing research into cultural myths and their negative forms — those «voids» and «unsaids» made by urban communities within different institutions. The author considers urban identity as a field of narratives present in urban space and its representation, defined by its inhabitants. It is this field of narratives, as created by different actors in material and immaterial forms, that is the object of research in the present study.

The aim of the present research project is to reveal and analyze existing institutions and authors who make urban narrative and to collect a grid of «blank spots» in these.

The study looks in depth at the institutions and technologies responsible for constructing the urban identities of Murmansk and Rostov on the Don. It examines the methods and media of disseminating official representations of these cities, and ask which narratives define them through their presence or absence. The latter prove especially important as the source of «common unsaids,» constructed by various actors in urban space. The study reconstructs these present and absent narratives of gender, geography, and history, asking how they shape the spaces that represent both cities' identities.

In terms of method, the study is based on fieldwork, interpreted using methods of visual analysis, spatial sociology, as well as in-depth interviews. It aims to map the symbolic fields of the cities of Murmansk and Rostov on the Don, and their spatial expression through minor architectural forms and monuments, whose significance it then explores through in-depth interviews with representatives of municipal administrations, as well as public opinion surveys.

The fieldwork carried out so far has made it clear that Murmansk symbolically positions itself as a city of the «north» and the Arctic, while a maritime narrative plays an important secondary role. Murmansk is perceived as a dominantly male city, and the inhabitants of Murmansk see themselves as inhabitants of the Arctic and the North, but do not identify the city as «maritime». This lies in stark contrast to Rostov on the Don, whose entire symbolic space is entangled in «memory wars» between different communities.