Maria Pirogovskaya

Postdoctoral Fellow (Sep 2021-Dez 2023)


Maria Pirogovskaya is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, and her research interests deal with the social history of medicine and medical anthropology in late imperial and contemporary Russia. She studied Russian Literature at St. Petersburg State University and Social Anthropology at the European University in St. Petersburg. Her doctoral degree (2016) from the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography was granted for her dissertation entitled Olfactory Code and the Reforms of Sensibility in Russian Urban Culture, 1860–1910 which resulted in the monograph Miasmata, Symptoms, and Evidence (2018, in Russian). She has been a Visiting Scholar at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies and at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2016–2021 she worked as an Associate Professor at the European University at St. Petersburg.
Maria’s current research project within the working group  Out of Place, Out of Time explores the human/animal division as imagined and discussed in nineteenth-century Russian medical topographies and ethnographic accounts. The study examines the issue of animal excreta management and the environmental imagery of waste with a specific focus on the intersection of imperial imagination, medical practices, and evolutionist perspectives of the social and cultural others, within the broader debate about civilization.


The Waste of the Body


Human/Animal Division in Nineteenth-Century Russian Medical and Ethnographic Accounts


Selected Publications

Pirogovskaya, Maria (2022). “Birth of the Russian Patient: Somatic Modes of Attention and the Embodied Self in a Mid-Eighteenth-Century Russian Diary.” Social History of Medicine 35 (3): 910–926. https://doi.org/10.1093/shm/hkac013.

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Past Events


Revulsion as Prevention: Emotional Science and the Mobilisation of Sensibility in Late 19th-century Russian Public Medicine