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Etnograficheskoe obozrenie [Ethnographic Review] is one of the oldest Russian academic journals dedicated to the study of peoples and cultures of the world. The journal was founded in 1889 (published as Etnografia in 1926-30; and as Sovetskaia Etnografia in 1931-1991) and is an edition of the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences. The journal is published by the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Publication frequency: 6 issues per year. ISSN 0869-5415. Russian Catalogue Index 70845. The journal is distributed through subscription only.

The journal carries articles and essays in anthropology (primarily sociocultural), ethnology, and ethnography, as well as reviews of important publications in these fields. The editorial board welcomes interdisciplinary materials, such as lying in the border zones of anthropology and history, ethnology and sociology, physical/biological anthropology, and others, but traditionally gives priority to those among them which contribute first of all to the fields of sociocultural anthropology and ethnology. Please visit the Submissions section for more information on the current areas of interest of the journal and general submission guidelines.

Etnograficheskoe obozrenie is a peer-reviewed academic edition adhering to the regulations stipulated by the Russian state tenure committee (VAK) and the standards of international peer-reviewed journals. All submissions that are accepted for consideration undergo the standard double blind peer review procedure and are reviewed for approval by the editorial board. Materials that appear in the journal do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board.


Etnograficheskoe Obozrenie (Ethnographic Review) was founded in 1889 as an edition of the Ethnographic Division of the Imperial Russian Society of Devotees of Natural Science, Anthropology, and Ethnography (OLEAE) at Moscow University. It was launched on the initiative of V. F. Miller, a distinguished scholar of folklore and ethnography. It became the first Russian academic journal in the field of ethnography and was envisaged as the prime edition in the field that was supposed to lead the development and popularization of ethnographic research in Russia. From the outset, it opened its pages both to the scholarly community in the main academic centers and to amateur ethnographers in various regions of Russia. It welcomed submissions from scholars who were exiled for political reasons. In 1889-1916, there were published nearly 100 issues which carried articles written by outstanding pioneers of ethnography, anthropology, and folklore studies, such as D. N. Anuchin, A. N. Veselovskii, M. M. Kovalevskii, A. N. Maksimov, V. F. Miller, N. N. Kharuzin, V. N. Kharuzina, and others. The journal hosted discussions between scholars of competing theoretical schools and let both advocates of evolutionism and adherents of historicist approaches express their opinions.

After 1916, due to the turmoil of the revolutionary era, the publication of the journal was suspended for nearly a decade. Owing to the efforts of V. V. Bogdanov and S. M. Sokolov, former staff members of the journal and OLEAE, it was finally resumed in 1926. This time, the edition appeared under the title Etnografiia (Ethnography) and was published under the auspices of Glavnauka, a state organization administering Soviet academic research. S. F. Oldenburg, a prominent Oriental Studies scholar and member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, was appointed its editor-in-chief. A number of other renowned scholars (D. A. Zolotariov, B. M. Sokolov, L. Y. Shternberg) joined the editorial board. The period of 1926-31 was an interesting time in the development of the journal when publications by the younger generation of Soviet ethnographers (A. G. Danilin, E. A. Kreinovich, S. A. Tokarev, S. P. Tolstov) went hand in hand with more traditional research done by the “old school” (V. G. Bogoras, D. K. Zelenin, V. N. Kharuzina, L. Y. Shternberg). This was over in 1931 when the Academy of Sciences underwent major changes as a result of the policies of so called “Cultural Revolution” and the journal was renamed Sovetskaia etnografiia (Soviet Ethnography). The position of editor-in-chief went to M. N. Matorin who was also appointed director of the newly organized Institute for the Study of Peoples of the USSR. The journal began to focus on the issues of socialist construction among the peoples of the USSR, class system under socialism, and Marxism in its relation to ethnographic research.

In 1938-47 (that is, during World War II and the pre- and postwar years), Sovetskaia etnografiia continued to be published; however, the number of issues was reduced to one per year because of the difficulties of the war time. The journal resumed its normal activity under the editorship (1946-66) of S. P. Tolstov, one of the outstanding ethnographers and archaeologists of the Soviet epoch. During this period, the journal’s editorial board and community of authors expanded to include scholars who became the leading figures in the fields of Soviet anthropology, ethnology, and ethnography: M. G. Levin, M. O. Kosven, P. I. Kushner, L. P. Potapov, S. A. Tokarev, and others. The main research focus of the period was the study of ethnic origins (etnogenez, as it was called in Russian) of various groups of people inhabiting the USSR, as well as their “older” traditional and “newer” socialist culture.

A certain theoretical revitalization in the research interests of the journal occurred after 1966 when Y. P. Averkieva took the place of editor-in-chief and brought aboard D. D. Tumarkin and L. F. Monogarova as associate editors. The team was instrumental in gradually setting novel agendas and reorienting the focus of the edition towards new theoretical issues and concepts, such as ethnos or ethnic group. Research on anthropology of the earliest society received new impetus. The scope of the disciplinary vision substantially expanded. In the 1990s, the journal took the lead in organizing discussions on the issues of ethnicity and ethnic conflict that assumed particular importance during the decade as a consequence of the disintegration of the Soviet Union. In 1992, the original title of Etnograficheskoe Obozrenie (Ethnographic Review) was restored to the edition. Over its long history that has spanned more than a century, the journal has retained its leading role of the prime academic periodical which focused and continues to focus on the latest developments in what is understood by contemporary fields of cultural, social, and biological anthropology. Its mission is to promote and represent the most advanced research conducted in these fields.