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CREECA LECTURE: Mixed Messages: Mediating Native Belonging in Asian Russia

March 11, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm

Kathryn Graber, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Indiana University Bloomington


This lecture will be given over Zoom: REGISTER HERE.


Focusing on language and media in eastern Siberia, Mixed Messages (Cornell University Press, 2020) engages debates about the role of minority media in society, alternative visions of modernity, and the impact of media on everyday language use. The book demonstrates that language and the production, circulation, and consumption of media are practices by which residents of the region perform and negotiate competing possible identities. What languages should be used in newspapers, magazines, or radio and television broadcasts, and by whom? What kinds of publics are and are not possible through media? How exactly do discourses move into, out of, and through the media to affect everyday social practices? In this book talk, Kathryn Graber will address these questions through her ethnography of the Russian Federation’s Buryat territories, a multilingual and multiethnic region on the Mongolian border with a complex relationship to both Europe and Asia.

Kathryn E. Graber is an assistant professor of Anthropology and Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University Bloomington. A linguistic and sociocultural anthropologist, she researches minority language politics, multilingualism, mass media, materiality, and intellectual property in Russia and Mongolia. She is the author of Mixed Messages: Mediating Native Belonging in Asian Russia (Cornell University Press, 2020) and co-editor of Storytelling as Narrative Practice: Ethnographic Approaches to the Tales We Tell (Brill, 2019). Graber’s award-winning writing on Buryatia has appeared in journals such as Slavic Review, the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, Language & Communication, and Inner Asia, as well as in Russian collections. Since 2014 she has been researching how value is negotiated in the Mongolian cashmere industry, based on fieldwork at sites along the commodity chain. Her research has been funded by agencies including the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Education/Fulbright-Hays, and the Social Science Research Council. Dr. Graber is also an award-winning teacher, teaching courses at IUB that bridge anthropology and area studies. She holds an A.B. in Anthropology and Linguistics (University of Chicago), M.A. in Russian and East European Studies (University of Michigan), and M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology (University of Michigan). She previously held postdoctoral fellowships at the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and at IUB.


March 11, 2021
4:00 pm - 5:15 pm