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Deborah Yalen
Colorado State University (Fort Collins, CO 80521-2807)
Ideologies on Display: Jewish Ethnography in the Age of Lenin and Stalin

A book-length study on Soviet-Jewish ethnography in the age of Lenin and Stalin.

This project offers a comprehensive history of state-sponsored Jewish ethnographic scholarship and related museum curation in the USSR during the interwar years. It examines the study of Jews of Ashkenazi descent, primarily in Soviet Ukraine and Belorussia, as well as the numerically smaller non-Ashkenazi Jewish populations in the Caucasus, Central Asia and Crimea. Drawing on the expertise of an international team of scholars, the project, for which I serve as editor and coordinator, will result in an English volume of critical essays and translations of rare archival materials, and a free, publicly accessible, English-Russian website featuring virtual tours of ethnographic expeditions conducted in Soviet Jewish communities in the 1920s-1930s. Each format will probe the relationship of knowledge production and power, exploring how ethnographers navigated the opportunities and perils of state-subsidized scholarship under a regime that selectively promoted and repressed Jewish identity.

[Media coverage]

Project fields:
Jewish Studies; Russian History

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2017 – 12/31/2017