The Quintessential S. Ansky // The Sprit of Sakha (ASEEES)

January 25th, 2020 · 1 hr 6 mins

About this Episode

At the 2019 ASEEES Conference, PhD student Raya Shapiro shares with SlavX host Samantha about their research on the Jewish émigré playwright and author S. Ansky. And then, anthropoligist Jenanne Ferguson from the University of Nevada talks about the language of Sakha (Yakut) and the intrinsic spirit of all languages.

Raya Shapiro is a 3rd year PhD student at the University of Illinois Chicago. They are interested in how late 19th/early 20th century Eastern European Jewish writers used different languages - for politics, for publication, for practicality - and how their multilingualism creatively shaped the languages they chose to write in (Polish, Russian, Yiddish, German). They have managed to write at least one paper about S. An-sky for every seminar this year.

Jenanne K. Ferguson of the University of Nevada currently researches the maintenance and transmission of the Sakha (Yakut) language in northeastern Siberia, Russia, through the lens of mobility by and through language. Her dissertation works dealt with ways of speaking Sakha among Sakha-Russian bilinguals living in urban and rural regions and the language ideologies shaping their language choices and practices. Ongoing and future work deals with the revitalization and transformation of Sakha oral literary genres and the local creation of new online spaces (e.g. social networking, SMS, Wikipedia) for Sakha language transmission and usage, as well as a project comparing the politics and aesthetics of indigenous storytelling in Canada and Russia. She also has worked on questions and themes with Canadian indigenous languages. A native Canadian, she earned her PhD in Anthropology from the University of Aberdeen in 2013.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Episode recorded during the 2019 ASEEES Conference in San Francisco, California.
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Co-Producer: Tom Rehnquist (Connect:
Co-Producer: Matthew Orr (Connect:
Associate Producer: Samantha Farmer
Associate Producer: Lera Toropin
Associate Producer: Cullan Bendig
Associate Producer: Tracy Heim
Associate Producer: Milena D.K.

Supervising Producer/Recording Engineer: Kathryn Yegorov-Crate

Executive Editor/Music Producer: Charlie Harper (Connect: Instagram: @charlieharpermusic,

Executive Producer & Creator: Michelle Daniel (Connect: Instagram: @michelledaniel86,

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EXECUTIVE PRODUCER'S NOTE: A special thanks to the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies for the financial support necessary to take the SlavX team to San Francisco for the multi-day convention. In just a few days, four hosts completed an amazing 18 interviews with unique guests from all over the world. Most of these will be made available on the podcast. Thank you also to the conference directors and staff at ASEEES for being so accommodating and helping SlavX staff find rooms to use as recording spaces. Additional thanks to Professor Craig Campbell at UT for inspiring our supervising producer with the idea to attend the conference and to SlavX team members Katya and Samantha for taking the trouble to apply for travel funds during the busiest time of the semester for grad students. Their initiative is nothing short of amazing to me, and hopefully everybody appreciates their efforts as much as I do. We hope you all enjoy these exclusive interviews!!

Disclaimer: The Slavic Connexion is not affiliated with ASEEES and does not represent the association or otherwise explicitly endorse ASEEES' values or views.