Graber is a linguistic and sociocultural anthropologist with special interests in language and media in post-Soviet Eurasia. Her research lies at the intersection of two clusters of problems. The first is indigenous language shift, endangerment, and revitalization, which she has been studying in Russia’s Buryat territories, a multilingual region of eastern Siberia on the Mongolian border, since 2005. In the course of field research there, she said she was struck by the central role of affect and emotion in language shift and revitalization, which she has been developing recently in articles on shame and “kitchen language.” This research is also the basis for her current book project on mass media and minority language use. The book integrates production data from Buryat media institutions with consumption/reception data from audiences and formal linguistic analyses of texts and transcripts, employing a novel holistic approach to elucidate how the language used and manufactured in institutional settings circulates from and into other domains of daily life. The second, related cluster includes materiality, technology, circulation, and notions of property. She is particularly interested in how authorship and intellectual property are figured in emerging media within socialist and (or versus) post-socialist contexts, which she is developing into a new long-term ethnographic project. Graber is also involved with collaborative projects on pre-Revolutionary Orthodox missionary linguistics and contemporary shamanism in Buryatia.
- Central Eurasian Studies