Ph.D., 2018, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Dr. Vera Smirnova’s work focuses on land, property, and territorial politics, and contributes broadly to political geographic field of study, particularly in the context of post-socialist and authoritarian regimes. Her research has explored how rights to land ownership and other modes of the appropriation of space are negotiated and how territorial policies are performed using formal and informal political tools. Dr. Smirnova conducted projects on the Russian land privatization reforms, urban property regimes and underlying forms of dispossession, as well as conceptions of territorial sovereignty in Russian geographic thought and their contemporary geopolitical implications.
- Smirnova, V. 2023. Russia's spatial anxiety and the construction of geographical knowledge. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers (in press). doi: 10.1111/tran.12638
- Smirnova, V., & Golubchikov, O. 2023. More-than-state ontologies of territory: Commoning, assembling, peopling. Annals of the American Association of Geographers 113(6):1444-1460. doi: 10.1080/24694452.2023.2184765
- Smirnova, V. 2022. From the commune to the 'borderless world'. Russian perceptions of land and ownership. A Journal for Historians and Area Specialists, in the special issue Conjunctural Geographies of Postsocialist and Postcolonial Conditions: Theory Thirty Years after 1989, 11.11.2022.
- Smirnova, V. and Adrianova, E. 2022. From Systemic Underdevelopment to Basic Urban Maintenance: National Priority Projects in the Russian Periphery. Changing Societies & Personalities, 6(2):433-454. doi: 15826/csp.2022.6.2.183
- Zupan, D., Smirnova, V. and Zadorian, A. 2021. Governing through stolichnaya praktika: Housing renovation from Moscow to the regions. Geoforum 120:155-164. doi: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2021.01.008
- Co-Chair, Eurasian Geography Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers
- Adjunct Researcher, Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, University of Kansas
- Mentor for the McNair Scholars Program and A&S College Undergraduate Research Scholarship at K-State
- Reviewer of academic publications for ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, Annals of the American Association of Geographers, Geoforum, Geographical Journal, Journal of Historical Geography, among others.
Dr. Vera Smirnova joined Departments of Geography and Political Science at K-State in 2020 after earning her PhD from the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech and completing postdoctoral fellowship at the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Russia.
Dr. Smirnova’s work draws on political geography to explore relations between land and power in post-socialist and authoritarian contexts. In particular, it examines private property regimes and modes of territorial sovereignty in pre- and post-Soviet Russia, emphasizing how practices of bordering (material and imaginary) lead to multiple forms of dispossession on different scales, from household to the nation. Her general commitment to studying struggles over land is indebted to rich traditions of Russian spatial sciences and critical agrarian studies that have rarely contributed to the broader political geographic field of study.
Dr. Smirnova’s research relies on a wide network of collaborations that she maintains with colleagues and institutions across Central and Eastern Europe, some of which funded by the Fulbright and Erasmus Plus programs among others. Her research has been published in top human geography journals including the Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Annals of the American Association of Geographers, Geoforum, and Geographical Journal. She is also an active member of the American Association of Geographers and the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, and a co-chair of the Eurasian Geography Specialty Group at the AAG and an Adjunct researcher at the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies at the University of Kansas. In addition to research and teaching, Dr. Smirnova mentors students and serves on undergraduate and graduate committees in international studies, history, political science, urban planning, and geography.