Philologist and folklorist Yelena Minyonok Ph.D. will present a talk, “Old Clothes on Young Bodies: Dynamics of Russian Folk Traditions in Modern Rural and Urban Contexts,” on Thursday, Oct. 4 at 4 p.m. in the Sanford Room.
Minyonok is the chief curator of the Folklore Archive and major researcher in the Folklore Division of the Gorky Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. She has been a principal investigator for countless folklore expeditions, including in 2013 and 2018, when she led HWS students on winter-break excursions to the Smolensk and Nizhny Novgorod regions of Russia.
This past summer, Alexandra Curtis ’20, a recipient of a 2018 Charles H. Salisbury Summer International Internship Stipend participated in a folklore expedition led by Minyonok to Irkutsk, Russia. Most recently, as a board member Minyonok has led trips for the American Friends of Russian Folklore in conjunction with the Institute of World Literature.
“One of Dr. Minyonok’s continual research questions is how rural communities preserve ancient folklore and the ways in which it is reinterpreted by each generation,” says Associate Professor of Russian Area Studies David Galloway, who first conducted research with Minyonok in 2011. To that end, Minyonok has published more than 60 articles and eight books about Russian folklore traditions.
Minyonok was a visiting professor at the University of Kentucky in 2007 as a Fulbright scholar, and has lectured on Russian folklore traditions at institutions world-wide. She received a master’s degree in philological studies from Moscow State University and completed her postgraduate work at the Gorky Institute of World Literature. She later earned a Ph.D. in folklore from Moscow State University.
The talk is sponsored by the Russian Area Studies Department.