Эско Шмоллер

Эско Шмоллер

Senior researcher at the Centre for Comparative History and Political Studies in Perm. Schmoller is an anthropologist who wrote his PhD at the Central Asian Seminar of Humboldt University Berlin. The book “Achieving a Career, Becoming a Master; Aspirations in the Lives of Young Uzbek Men” was published in 2014 with Klaus Schwarz. The current research project is concerned with the material and mobile aspects of traditional Islam in the Russian Urals. Issues of interest to him include Tatar culture, Islam, morality, religious, ethnic and national identity, subjectivities, gender and youth. He also acts as a reviewer for the journals EthnicitiesAsian Ethnicity and Nationalities Papers.

Сontact: j.schmoller@gmx.net

 University Education

Jan 08 – Nov 12

Humboldt University Berlin, Germany

Central Asian Studies

(PhD with magna cum laude)

Oct 99 – May 06

Hamburg University, Germany

Social Anthropology (MA), Japanese Studies and Literature

Oct 03 – Jan 04

Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan

Japanese Language Studies

 Work Experience

Oct 18 – Dec 18

Käte Hamburger Kolleg “Dynamics in the History of Religions Between Asia and Europe”, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany 

Visiting fellow

Sep 14

Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Sweden

Visiting fellow

Nov 13

South Kazakhstan State Pedagogical Institute

Visiting lecturer (sponsored by the DAAD) in academic mobility programme

Mar 13 – Apr 14

Association Berlin Palace, Hamburg, Germany

Educator in the framework of the “Berlin Palace / Humboldt-Forum” project

Apr 12 – Mar 13

Humboldt University Berlin, Central Asian Seminar


Sep 07 – Dec 07

Tashkent Financial Institute, Uzbekistan


Feb 07 – Jul 07

Tashkent State Law Institute, Uzbekistan


Selected Publications 


With Lili di Puppo: “Here or elsewhere: Sufism and traditional Islam in Russia’s Volga-Ural region”. In: Contemporary Islam 0(0), 1–22


“The Unfolding of the Tulip: From Ethnic to Religious Identification among Volga Tatars”. In: Anthropological Journal of European Cultures 27(1), 109–114


With Lili Di Puppo: “Islam and Ethnicity in Russia: An Introduction”. In: Anthropological Journal of European Cultures 27(1), 84–87. 


“Dissolving the Myth of an Objective Reality”. In: Central Asian Affairs 4 (2017), 299–302.


“Embodying Moral Superiority: The Master-Apprentice Relationship and National Cultural Heritage in Uzbekistan”. In: Problems of Post-Communism 64(6), 370–381.


“Love for Detail: the value of regional studies”. In: Forum for Anthropology and Culture No. 28 (guest editor: Sergei Abashin), 132–136.


Achieving a Career, Becoming a Master; Aspirations in the Lives of Young Uzbek Men. Berlin: Klaus Schwarz.


“Clientelism and the State in Uzbekistan”. In: Ideology and Politics 2(4), 29–37.


“Trust and Deception in (Post-)Soviet Uzbekistan”. In: ASIEN 129, 113–121.

Recent Presentations

Oct 2018

“Attending to Cultural Brokenness by Restoring Tatar Islam”

Workshop, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

Aug 2018

“A Place of One’s Own: redefining territory through pilgrimage in Russia’s Ural region”

Bi-annual conference of the European Association of Social Anthropologists, Stockholm University, Sweden

Jun 2018

“Hidden in Open Sight: Sufism in the Volga-Ural and the In/Visibility of Islam in Russia”

Workshop, Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin, Germany

Apr 2018

“‘How much for the water from Mecca?’ Religious consumer products in the Muslim south of Perm region”

Higher School of Economics, Perm, Russia

Sep 2017

“Community through Muslim solidarity”

Workshop, Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Tirana, Albania

May 2017

“The Flock of Birds Protects the Weak Ones: Profiting from Muslim solidarity in the Urals”

Annual world convention of the Association for the Study of Nationalities, Columbia University, New York, USA

Feb 2017

“An Introduction to Muslim Solidarity”

Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg, Russia

Dec 2016

“Capitulation: our surrender to global merchandise”

Ufa State Petroleum Technological University, Russia

Dec 2016

“Things Making People: a new approach to material culture”

Ufa State Petroleum Technological University, Russia

Jun 2016

“Above the Roofs, the Cupola’s Golden Light: Muslim politics of visibility in the city of Perm”

Conference, Perm State University, Russia

Jun 2016

“The Mountains of Barda: Creation of Tatar space in the Muslim south of Perm region”

Regional conference of the Central Eurasian Studies Society, Kazan Federal University, Russia

Apr 2016

“The Culture of Civility (odob) and its Influence on the Educational System in Uzbekistan”

Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

Oct 2015

“Thriving in the Radiance of the Master: Elevation of the workplace superior in the Uzbek public service”

Conference, Aix-Marseille-Université, Aix-en-Provence, France

Oct 2015

“Person, Time and Conduct in Uzbekistan: The performative aspect of patronage and other social relations”

Annual meeting of the Central Eurasian Studies Society, George Washington University, Washington DC, USA

Sep 2015

“How to Pray as a Tatar in Russia?”

New lecture series, Syddansk Universitet, Sønderborg, Denmark

May 2015

“At All Times at Your Command: Performing boundaries in the Uzbek civil service”

International workshop, Centre for Cultural Studies of Postsocialism, Kazan Federal University, Russia

Mar 2015

“Discrepancies between the Apparent and the Real in the Uzbek Civil Service”

Oriental Seminar, European University in St. Petersburg, Russia

 Selected Courses


“Blackness, Racial Identity and Body Politics”

Perm State University, Russia


“Strength in Unity: Gaining an Understanding of Muslim Solidarity”

Perm State University, Russia


“Cliques, Networks, Control, Intervention: State and Society Entwined and Divided” 

Perm State University, Russia


“The Poetry of Things: An Introduction to Material Culture”

Perm State University, Russia


“Islam in the post-Soviet Space”

Perm State University, Russia


“Studying the State in Different Cultural Contexts”

Perm State University, Russia


“Introduction to Cultural History”

Perm State University, Russia


“The State in Central Asia”

Humboldt University Berlin, Germany


“Individual and Collective in Central Asia and Russia”

Humboldt University Berlin, Germany