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Research Group Schweitzer

Research Topic

Infrastructure Studies, Human-Environment Interactions, Anthropology of Climate Change and Globalization, Arctic and Subarctic

Research Interest

I am working on issues of mobility, climate change, and identity in the circumpolar North, in particular in Alaska and Siberia. Human communities in the North are facing tremendous socioeconomic and environmental change. The adaptive capacity of northern groups and individuals, as much as geopolitics and global resource economics, will determine the social and cultural futures of the Arctic and Subarctic.

Head of the Institute for Cultural and Social Anthropology at the University of Vienna



  • Ria-Maria Adams, PhD Student, Dpt. of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Univ. of Vienna, Project:

  • Alexandra Meyer, BA MA. PhD Student, Dpt. of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Univ. of Vienna & Project Nunataryuk. PhD Project: The Societal Impacts of and Adaptation to a Changing Environment in Longyearbyen, Svalbard:
    An Ethnography of Arctic Change
  • Dr. Olga Povorozyuk, kandidat nauk, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher and Lecturer, Dpt. of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Univ. of Vienna. Project: InfraNorth
  • Mag.a Sigrid Wentzel, PhD Student, Dpt. of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Univ. of Vienna. Project Configurations of “remoteness” (CoRe).
  • Mag. a Susanna Gartler, PhD Student, Dpt. of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Univ. of Vienna. PhD Project: First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun cultural revitalisation and the making of a cultural centre. Projects Nunataryuk and LACE.
  • Theresa Gusenleitner, MA. PhD Researcher, Dpt. of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Univ. of Vienna and Project Snow2School.
  • Katrin Schmid, BA MA. PhD Researcher, Dpt. of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Univ. of Vienna & Project InfraNorth.
  • Mag. Dr. Philipp Budka, PostDoc, Dpt. of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Univ. of Vienna & Project InfraNorth.

Ria-Maria Adams, BA MA


Alexandra Meyer, BA MA


kandidat nauk Olga Povoroznyuk, Ph.D.


Mag.a Sigrid Wentzel


Mag.a Susanna Gartler


Theresa Gusenleitner, MA


Katrin Schmid, BA MA


Mag. Dr. Philipp Budka

Selected Publications

  • Olga Povoroznyuk, Peter Schweitzer (2023). Ignoring environmental change? On fishing quotas and collapsing coastlines in Bykovskiy, Northern Sakha (Yakutiya). Ambio. A Journal of Environment and Society.
  • Olga Povoroznyuk, Peter Schweitzer (2023). What difference does a railroad make?: Transportation and settlement in the BAM region in historical perspective. In The Siberian World. J. P. Ziker, J. Ferguson, V. Davydov eds. Pp. 364-377. Abingdon, Oxon; New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Ria-Maria Adams (2023). Hunting a ‘good life’: young lifestyle migrants in Finnish Lapland. Polar Geography, 1–18.
  • Olga Povoroznyuk, W.F. Vincent, P. Schweitzer, R. Laptander, M. Bennett, F. Calmels, D. Sergeev, C. Arp, B. Forbes and D. A. Walker, 2022 Arctic Roads and Railways: Social and Environmental Consequences of Transport Infrastructure in the Circumpolar North. Arctic Science: 1-34
  • Schweitzer, Peter and Olga Povoroznyukm, 2022 Infrastructural Legacies and Post-Soviet Transformations in Northern Sakha (Yakutiya), Russia. Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning: 1-12

  • Sancho-Reinoso, A., G. Saxinger, C. Fink, O. Povoroznyuk, S. I. Wentzel, G. Illmeier, P. Schweitzer, N. Krasnoshtanova and V. Kuklina, 2022 Mapping Hierarchies of Mobility in the Baikal Amur Mainline Region: a Quantitative Account of Needs and Expectations Relating to Railroad Usage. Polar Geography: 1-20

  • Olga Povoroznyuk, 2021 Ambiguous Entanglements: Infrastructure, Memory and Identity in Indigenous Evenki Communities along the Baikal-Amur Mainline. Social Anthropology: 29 (2): 1-17

  • Olga Povoroznyuk, 2021 (Re)Constructing the Baikal-Amur Mainline: Continuity and Change of Post-Socialist Infrastructure. Transfers: 10 (2/3)250-269

  • Peter Schweitzer and Olga Povoroznyuk, 2021 Introduction to the special section “Precarious Connections: On the Promise and Menace of Railroad Projects”. Transfers: 10 (2/3): 137-151

  • Adams, R.-M., & Komu, T. (2021). Radically Ordinary Lives: Young Rural Stayers and the Ingredients of the Good Life in Finnish Lapland. YOUNG, 110330882110646.

  • class=”v1MsoBibliography”>Komu, T., & Adams, R.-M. (2021). Not wanting to be “Stuck”. Exploring the role of mobility for young people’s wellbeing in Northern Finland. In F. Stammler & R. Toivanen (Eds.), Young People, Wellbeing and Placemaking in the Arctic (pp. 32–52). Routledge.
  • Olga Povoroznyuk, 2020 (Post)Sovetskaia Infrastruktura: Politika Pamiati, Identichnosti i Emotsii na BAMe [(Post)Soviet Infrastructure: Politics of Memory, Identity and Emotions along the BAM]. Sibirskie Istoricheckie Issledovaniia, 2020 (3): 32-47
  • Schweitzer, Peter, and Olga Povoroznyuk. 2019. A Right to Remoteness? A Missing Bridge and Articulations of Indigeneity along an East Siberian Railroad. Social Anthropology 27(2):236-252.
  • Schweitzer, Peter/Florian Stammler/Cecilie Ebsen/Aytalina Ivanova/Irina Litvina. 2019. Social Impacts of Non-Renewable Resource Development on Indigenous Communities in Alaska, Greenland, and Russia. In: C. Southcott/F. Abele/D. Natcher/B. Parlee (eds.). Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic. New York: Routledge, pp. 42-64.
  • Schweitzer, Peter/Olga Povoroznyuk/Sigrid Schiesser. 2017. Beyond wilderness: towards an anthropology of infrastructure and the built environment in the Russian North. The Polar Journal 7(1):58-85.
  • Schweitzer, Peter. 2017. Polar anthropology, or why we need to study more than humans in order to understand people. The Polar Journal 7(1):1-8.
  • Schweitzer, Peter. 2016. Can one see the Arctic from Vienna? In: Hot Spots, Cultural Anthropology Website.
  • Gartler, Susanna/Kuklina, Vera/Schweitzer, Peter. 2019. Sustainable Cultures and Cultural Sustainability. In: Arctic Sustainability: A Synthesis of Knowledge. Petrov, A. & Greybill, J. (eds.). London: Routledge
  • Gartler, Susanna (2018) One Word, Many Worlds: The Multivocality of “Subsistence”. Alaska Journal of Anthropology 16(2)


  • NUNATARYUK – Permafrost thaw and the changing Arctic coast, science for socioeconomic adaptation
  • CoRe: Configurations of ‘Remoteness’: Entanglements of Humans and Transportation Infrastructure in the Baykal-Amur Mainline (BAM) Region
  • InfraNorth: Building Arctic Futures: Transport Infrastructures and Sustainable Northern Communities