Zhanna Karimova

Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies
Collegium de Lyon
10 months

Research interests: Agency, Gender & Public Policy Activism

Research Project

Between Stalin’s repressions and action strategies: the example of European women deported to Aljir and their children

This research project proposes to study a population of European women prisoners in a Stalinist repression camp in Kazakhstan by analyzing the context as well as the course of their trajectories and those of their children before, during and after their internment. The research will focus on the small population of women imprisoned in ALJIR – Akmola camp for the women of "traitors to the Fatherland" (1937-1953), an emblematic field of investigation of penitentiary policies in the USSR with regard to women.

How do the mechanisms of Stalin's repressive policy and the strategies of the actors (women prisoners, children and camp staff) fit together? What are the gender postures of the women prisoners and children on arrival at the camp, their strategies in the face of Stalinist repressive policy and the effects on their subsequent trajectories? It is to these various questions that this project aims to bring elements of answer based on the analysis of the trajectories of the women prisoners of ALJIR and their descendants.


Zhanna Karimova (Dr. in Sociology) is a Chief Research Fellow at the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies and Acting Associate Professor at the Academy of Public Administration in Kazakhstan. After a double Master’s and doctoral degree in Sociology, she has been a Visiting Researcher in France several times under the FMSH and IFEAC programs. She combines research on agency and gender with public policy activism.