Edward Holland Portrait
Ph.D. 2012
Human Geography

Areas of interest: Political Geography; Nationalism; Former Soviet Union
Faculty Advisor: John O'Loughlin


2012 - Buddhism in Post-Soviet Russia: The Geographic Contexts of 'Revival'

Research Interests

My research interests are wide-ranging, but generally situated in the post-Soviet space.  My dissertation project is on Buddhism in Russia. Religion, like nationalism, has been primarily considered through the lens of elites, either religious or political (or both). As such, social scientists know relatively little about how individuals in Russia view religion in their distinct social and cultural contexts. This is particularly true among Buddhists in Russia, who, given their small numbers and lack of political mobilization, have taken a back seat to Russia's other traditional religions: Orthodoxy and Islam. With support from the National Science Foundation and the Association of American Geographers, I have conducted focus groups and surveys in the republics of Kalmykia and Buryatia, and am currently writing my dissertation.

Exploring similar themes, my Master's Thesis was on Dagestan, the largest region in Russia's North Caucasus (MA 2007, CU-Boulder, Geography).  Using survey data collected by my adviser, John O'Loughlin, I investigated questions of national identity among Dagestan's six leading ethnic groups. The results of this project were published in Communist and Post-Communist Studies.  I also co-authored an article for Eurasian Geography and Economics with a team of Dagestani geographers on the topic of intra-republic migration in the republic during the post-Soviet period.  As an undergraduate, my senior thesis compared the distinct political reactions of Russian populations in Estonia and Moldova following the breakup of the USSR (BA 2002, Princeton, Politics).

Selected Publications

Publications updated April 2012