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Indigenous Literature and Perspectives on Reindeer, Art, and Politics in the High North

Laura Janda, University of Norway
Monday, February 26, 2018 -
12:00pm to 1:30pm
144 Louis A. Simpson International Building
Monday, February 26, 2018 -
12:00pm to 1:30pm

Abstract: While seeking linguistic examples to gain insight into the North Sámi language, I became so captivated by the storytelling of Máret Ánne Sara, that I decided to translate her novel In Between Worlds into English. Little did I know that I would be propelled into the midst of a human rights crisis for the author and her people, the indigenous Sámi reindeer herders of the Scandinavian High North. The novel weaves together traditional Sámi and contemporary elements in a tale of invasive colonization and environmental devastation, issues that have made the author’s brother the subject of a landmark lawsuit against the Norwegian state. I will detail this adventure in translation, sharing both challenges and surprises.

Bio: Laura A. Janda (Ph.D., UCLA, 1984) is Professor of Russian Linguistics at UiT the Arctic University of Norway. Her special areas of interest are the complex factors associated with the grammatical categories of case and aspect and how these can be investigated using corpus data and experiments. She is Associate Editor of Cognitive Linguistics and has recent publications in major journals such as Lingua and Diachronica.