Dr Nick Drofiak

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About me

I'm interested in place as an encounter, or a constantly changing network of relations between human and nonhuman communities, agentive landscape features and elements of material/sonic culture (things and sounds).  I'm therefore interested in architecture as any practice of intervening so as to curate those relations (to enable or deny the possibility of particular relations' occurrence).

I focus - on the one hand - upon performative practices that bring about new encounters, and thus create new places (both through exploring found practices, as interlocutors in research, and by interposing devised performative interventions as a creative ethnographic research practice); and on the other hand, upon the implications of communities being restricted from forming heritage relations with significant landscapes and territories, as a result of anthropogenic environmental degradation and state cultural policies.

My research is carried out principally with and for communities on the Enisej (Yenisei) river.  It is transdisciplinary and practice-based, with areas of interest including: placemaking in Soviet and Post-Soviet Northern Asia; oral history; ethnography; translation studies; performance studies; sound studies; ethnobotany; relations as heritage; linguistic anthropology and language ideologies; material culture; cultural landscapes; the construction of collective memories and identities; walking

OFFICE HOURS:  I don't keep "office" hours, but you'll find me in X Block café on termtime Tuesdays between 13h and 14h.  Feel free to say hi and check in with me if there's anything related to teaching (or research) that you'd like to talk about!  (You can also write me an email, and we can find a different time to meet.)

Area of expertise

Histories (and ongoing experiences) of encounters between (human and nonhuman) Indigenous communities, migrants and Soviet/post-Soviet administrative authorities on the Yenisei river; translation; materiality of sound; hybridity and creolisation; relations as heritage; ecosound and acoustic epistemologies (Altai-region listening practices); critical ethnographies and art-/creative-practice based research methods.


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