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Dr. Sofia Gavrilova
Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde
Schongauerstr. 9
04328 Leipzig

Tel.: +49 341 600 55-253


Dr Sofia Gavrilova


Research Area: Geovisualisations
Department: Cartography and visual communication



At the IfL since August 2020


2019: DPhil in Human Geography, University of Oxford, School of Geography and the Environment (thesis title: "The present taxidermied: Soviet ‘common unsaids’ in Russian krayevedcheskiy museums")

2013: PhD degree in GIS and cartography, "Methods of GIS analysis in the prediction of natural disasters", Moscow State University, Geographical department

2012: Masters in Contemporary Arts, Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia Art named after Alexander Rodchenko

2009: Specialist degree in cartography and GIS, Moscow State University, Geographical department

Professional experience

2020–2023: Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition, collaborative research centre SFB 1199, funded by DFG, Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, Leipzig. Postdoctoral Researcher

06/2022–12/2022: Conflict and Cooperation in Eastern Europe research project, postdoctoral researcher, Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, Leipzig

2021–2022: "Gulag Echoes" research project, Alexanteri Institute, University of Helsinki, HGIS specialist

2019–2020: Landscapes of Soviet repressions project (, funded by Christ Church research fund, University of Oxford, Christ Church. Postdoctoral researcher

2013–2015: Mapping the Gulag, funded by ERC, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford. Research Associate

2012–2015: Cartographer, Memorial NGO, Moscow ( project.)

Coordination and administrative experience

2020: Curator of the workshop series in "Terraforming" project, Strelka institute, Moscow

2018–2019: Scientific coordinator of "Russian Readings" series of conferences at the University of Oxford 

2017–2018: Coordinator for the Digital Humanities Research Centre and Msc Higher School of Economics, Moscow – responsible in setting up a DH centre in HSE, Moscow, securing initial funding and launching the masters program in Digital Humanities (

2017: Scientific coordinator of the Antarctic Art Biennale (conference program on board of the expedition ship, publishing of the collection of talks for the Venice Biennale Pavilion

Pedagogical Experience

2021–2021: Seminar instructor in "Deconstructing Europe" seminar series, MSc, University of Leipzig

2021–2022: Seminar instructor in "National Identity and Memory Wars in Russia" seminar series, MSc, University of Leipzig

2014–2017: Tutor in the History of the Soviet science, Introduction to Russian Memory politics, Introduction to the post-colonial approach to Russian studies Undergraduate, Gradutae levels; University of Oxford, School of Geography and the Environment

2015–2018: Seminar instructor in Research methods, MPhil, University of Oxford, School of Geography and the Environment

2015–2020: Co-lecturer in Recoding Sociology, Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism Higher School of Economics, Moscow

2009–2014: Lecturer and seminar instructor in GIS methods in prediction of the Natural Disasters, Moscow State University, Geographical Department, Moscow

2010–2013: Lecturer and seminar instructor in Spatial Analysis and GIS methods, Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism, Higher School of Economics, Moscow

Memberships / Functions


Member of editorial committee: Urban Theory and Practice, Studies of Transition States and Societies

Research interests


Geovisualisations, Soviet atlases, spatial knowledge



Journal articles

Gavrilova, Sofia (2022)

Learning about the Soviet state : the establishment of Soviet educational cartography in the 1920s and 1930s

In: The cartographic journal

Gavrilova, Sofia (2022)

Constructing "Russian civilisation" : a critical introduction to the National Atlas of Russia (publ. 2004-2008)

In: Eurasian geography and economics

Gavrilova, Sofia (2022)

Redefining the Soviet krayevedeniye : the role of spatial science in the Soviet system of knowledge production

In: Journal of historical geography / 75 (2022), Seite 14-23

Gavrilova, Sofia (2021)

Regional memories of the great terror : representation of the Gulag in Russian Kraevedcheskii museums

In: Problems of post-communism

Gavrilova, Sofia (2019)

The production of urban identities in the memorial complexes of Murmansk and Rostov-on-Don

In: Urban studies and practices, 4 (2019), 1, Seite 77-87

Baburin, Vjačeslav Leonidovič / Gavrilova, Sofia / Koltermann, Klaus Peter / Seliverstov, Yury G. / Sokratov, Sergey A. / Shnyparkov, Aleksandr L. (2014)

Quantification of economic and social risks of debris flows for the Black Sea coastal region of the North Caucasus

In: Geography, environment, sustainability / 7 (2014) 3, Seite 108-122

Book chapters

Gavrilova, Sofia (2022)

How to study the largest country in the world? : Soviet kraevedenie and the environmental studies of the early XX century

In: Science, technology and environment in Russia 1917-1922 / A. Heywood and S.W. Palmer (eds.). - Bloomington, Indiana : Slavica Publishers, 2022. - (Russia's great war and revolution ; 11)

Gavrilova, Sofia (2022)

Digital humanities and memory wars in contemporary Russia

In: Global debates in the digital humanities / Domenico Fiormonte, Sukanta Chaudhuri, and Paola Ricaurte, editors. - Minneapolis ; London : University of Minnesota Press, 2022. - (Debates in the digital humanities), Seite 202-213

Monographs and edited volumes

Gavrilova, Sofia (2022)

Russia's regional museums : representing and misrepresenting knowledge about nature, history, and society

London, Routledge. 176 Seiten

Other publications

Gavrilova, Sofia (2021)

What are boundaries of public engagement in a more connected world?

In: Modern languages open

Gavrilova, Sofia / Moser, Jana / Meyer, Philipp / Lentz, Sebastian (2021)

Decoding spatial formatting : the analysis of the world order through educational atlases

In: Abstracts of the International Cartographic Association / 30th International Cartographic Conference (ICC 2021), 14-18 December 2021, Florence, Italy, 3, 2 Seiten