Since August 2021 Elena Romashko is the coordinator of the master’s study program Intercultural Theology at the University of Göttingen. At the same time, she is finalizing her dissertation project “Coping with Disaster: Visual Narratives of Vernacular Religion in the Post-Chernobyl World”.
In 2014 she graduated from the M.A. in Intercultural Theology, and between 2017 and 2021 was supporting the programme as the research assistant (WHK).

Elena was born and raised in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, she holds a magister degree from the Belarusian State University in Theology and Religious Studies.

During her studies, she spent exchange semesters at Ghent University and the University of Regensburg. She conducted fieldwork in South Africa, Ethiopia, and Belarus.
Apart from her activities as programme coordinator, her area of expertise lies in Religion and Nuclear Culture, women in the Russian Orthodox Church, Vernacular Religion, Disability Studies, non-human agency in religions, and Material Religion.

She is engaged in an intercultural lifestyle not only through her studies and work but also on a personal level. She is married to a South African and raises a multilingual daughter.

Special interests: papercutting (vycinanka, Scherenschnitt) and needlework; wine tasting and sauna.


Fellow of the Orthodox Christian Studies Fordham University (Dissertation Completion Fellowship) 2020-21

Former scholarship holder of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Brot für die Welt (EKD) and Ostkirchliches Institut Regensburg

Award "The best graduating student” of the Belarusian State University (Theology), 2001. Letter of commendation for active social engagement and scientific work from Philaret, Metropolitan, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus, 2011; 2009.

Anthropology of Religion: An Introduction into the Theories and Methods (SoSe 2021, SoSe 2019, SoSe 2018, SoSe 2017)
Religious Bodies & Religious Minds: Altering, Policing and Praising (SoSe 2020)
Women in Religious Imagery and Everyday Life of the Russian Orthodox Church (WiSe 2018/19)
Exercises in Academic Skills (WiSe 2019/20, WiSe 2018/19)
Introduction into Empirical and Historical Methods (SoSe 2018, SoSe 2019, SoSe 2020, SoSe 2021)
Religion & Dis/ability: Examples from Judaism, Christianity and Islam (SoSe 2017) - with Dr. Ramona Jelinek-Menke
Senses in Religions: a Cultural Perspective (SoSe 2016) - with Dr. Udo Mischek

Open lecture at Smith College (Northampton, USA) "Radiation Culture: Religion and the Environment in a Post-Chernobyl World", May 4 2021.
Open lecture at The National Academy of Sciences of Belarus in the project “Women in Philosophy” within Gender Studies Lecture Series “Post-Chernobyl Material Culture: the Portrayal of Women Overcoming the Consequences of the Nuclear Disaster” , August 22, 2018.


Romashko, Elena. “Russian Orthodox Icons of Chernobyl as Visual Narratives about Women at the Center of
Nuclear Disaster.” In Orthodox Christianity and Gender: Dynamics of Tradition, Culture and Lived Practice, edited by Helena Kupari and Elina Vuola, 1st ed., 190–211. Routledge. 2019.

Romashko, Elena. “When Icons Make You Sick: Religious Materiality in Post-Chernobyl Contamination.” Public Orthodoxy, April 26, 2020.

Romashko, Elena. “Religion and ‘Radiation Culture’: Spirituality in a Post-Chernobyl World.” Material Religions, June 1, 2016.

recent conference papers

Romashko, Elena. “Martyrs, Wormwood and Nuclear Wasteland: Analyzing Late Soviet Union using Russian Orthodox Icons of Chernobyl and Religious Monumental Artworks” - paper presented at the Graduate Student Conference on Late Soviet Union at The Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Harvard University, April 30, 2021

Romashko, Elena. “Chernobyl as Heritage: Waste, Energies, and Spirits of the Exclusion Zone” paper presented at the “Heritage out of Control: Waste, Spirits, Energies” workshop hosted by the Max Planck research group “Empires of Memory”, May 17-19, 2021

Romashko, Elena. “Exhibiting Radioactivity: Presenting Post-Chernobyl Spirituality in Houses, Churches and Museums” - paper presented at the Conference for the Research Network “Dynamics of Religious Things in Museums” (REDIM) Religious Materials: Emic Perspectives - Etic Constructions - Museum Classifications, June 3-5, 2021