The research for ‘Tourism as Memory-Making’ is conducted by Dr Alena Pfoser (PI) together with Dr Simon Schlegel and Dr Guzel Yusupova. 

  • Dr Alena Pfoser (Principal Investigator)

    Alena is a Lecturer in Communication and Media Studies at Loughborough University, UK. Her research focuses on social and cultural memory, identities and bordering processes, as well as the politics of tourism. Alena has a particular regional interest in the post-Soviet space, having studied sociology and Russian language at the University of Vienna and the Kuban State University in Krasnodar and followed by an MA in Russian and Eurasian Studies from the European University at St Petersburg. For her PhD, funded by a studentship from Loughborough University, she examined the making and contestation of the territorial border between Russia and Estonia from the perspective of borderland inhabitants. The research, based on over 50 life-story interviews, drew attention to the ‘messy’ realities of border change on the ground and argued for paying more attention to the role of memory in the study of borders and socio-political change. Key results have been published in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration StudiesEuropean Urban and Regional StudiesEast European Politics & Societies and Nationalities Papers.

    +44 (0)1509 222847

  • Dr Simon Schlegel (Research Associate)

    I am a social scientist primarily interested in the history and transformation of the former Soviet region. After studying social anthropology and Russian linguistics at the University of Zurich, I became a PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, Germany. My four years in Halle were interrupted by a 15-months fieldwork stay in rural south-western Ukraine. There, I experimented with combining research methods from ethnography and historiography. I defended the resulting thesis in 2016 and subsequently turned it into a monograph “Making Ethnicity in Southern Bessarabia” due to be published with Brill in Summer 2019. Before coming to Loughborough, I worked in Germany’s Civil Peace Service program in Kyiv, coordinating the project “Empowering Civil Society for a Transformation of Commemorative Culture”. This project was aimed at documenting human rights violations in the course of the war in Ukraine’s Donbas region. It led to two case study publications and a transportable exhibition, based on biographical interviews.

  • Dr Guzel Yusupova (Research Associate)

    Guzel Yusupova holds a PhD in Sociology from the European University at Saint-Petersburg. Before coming to Loughborough, she was COFUND Junior Research Fellow at Durham University. Her research project at Durham formed part of the AHRC-funded Open World Research Initiative (OWRI) and focused on minority nationalisms, language attitudes and inter-ethnic solidarity in the Russian Federation. Prior to that she was postdoctoral fellow on projects in Sweden and Austria. Her broader research interests include nationalism, sociology of ethnicity, qualitative and digital methodology, Russian state and society. Guzel has taught courses on nationalism, nation-building, inter-ethnic relations and memory politics at Durham University, UK and Kazan Federal University, Russia. Her papers have been published in journals such as Social Science Quarterly, Nations and Nationalism, Problems of Post-Communism, Nationalities Papers, and National Identities, as well as in various edited volumes.