Dr Elena Govor


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Since 2006 I have been working on the collaborative ARC Discovery Project "European Naturalists and the Constitution of Human Difference in Oceania: Crosscultural Encounters and the Science of Race, 1768-1888" studying materials of the Russian voyagers in Oceania and Miklouho-Maclay's heritage. My other current projects include the history of early Russian émigré communities in Australia.

Career highlights

Research Scholar, Department of South Pacific Studies, Institute of Oriental Studies, Moscow (1989-1990); PhD Scholar, ANU (1991-1996), Lecturer and tutor in Russian, MEL, ANU (1992-1996), Visiting Scholar, AIATSIS (1997-2000); Postdoctoral Fellow, Pacific and Asian History, RSPAS, ANU (2002-2004); Research Fellow, College of Asia and the Pacific (2005-2015); Research Associate, Pacific Presences, Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (2014-2018); Adjunct academic, CBAP, School of Archaeology & Anthropology, CASS (2015-2019)

Research interests

  • Russian voyages in Oceania
  • Krusenstern expedition to Nuku-Hiva in 1804
  • Marquesan collections of 1804 Krusenstern expedition in European museums
  • Miklouho-Maclay's voyages in Melanesia and New Guinea
  • Bibliography of Russian writings on Oceania
  • History of science of race in Russia
  • Russian Anzacs
  • History of early Russian émigrés in Australia


Diploma (Hons), (Minsk Institute of Culture, USSR), PhD (ANU)

Expertise Areas

  • Central and Eastern European Languages (incl. Russian)
  • Museum Studies
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History
  • Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
  • Pacific History (excl. New Zealand and Maori)


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