Digital Russia Studies — one year in

Digital Russia Studies, a new multidisciplinary initiative introduced only this year has taken off with good speed. The core group of four enthusiastic scholars has brought about a monthly seminar series and taken the lead in planning the 2019 Aleksanteri Conference. A Helsinki Summer School course and new publication are also on the way, as is a very welcome data infrastructure.

In January 2019, the youngest research collective at the Aleksanteri Institute —  Digital Russia Studies (DRS) —  is celebrating its first anniversary. Co-founded by assistant professor Daria Gritsenko and postdoctoral researcher Mariëlle Wijermars, this network provides an intellectual community to all scholars working at the intersection of 'social' and 'digital' at the University of Helsinki and beyond. Both in-house and visiting scholars have joined monthly research seminars which have rapidly become a multi-media platform to share experiences and best practices in using the methods from digital humanities and studying digital transformations in Russia and beyond.

DRS research assistant Ilona Repponen has laid down the foundation for the generation of a data infrastructure based on the principles of Open Science, while postdoctoral researcher Andrey Indukaev, in addition to his own research project, has been proactive in developing open source code to foster the adoption of digital methods among the network members.

The new year will bring new exciting projects. Daria will lead a series of international workshops "Algorithms in Context – Towards a Comparative Agenda for Studies of Algorithmic Governance Across Politics, Culture, and Economy" funded by NOS-HS, while Mariëlle will start her 3-year project "Strategies of Persuasion: Russian Propaganda in the Algorithmic Age" funded by the University of Helsinki.

The co-founders of DRS, together with Mikhail Kopotev, have just signed a contract with Palgrave Macmillan to publish a Handbook of Digital Russia Studies covering various aspects of this new emerging field.

DRS will also lead the Helsinki Summer School 2019 "Digital Transformation of State and Society in Russia", as well as partner with the 2019 Aleksanteri Conference "Technology, Society and Culture in the Eurasian Space".

To learn more about DRS, or to sign up for our mailing list, visit