Professor Lenore Grenoble of the University of Chicago studies the linguistic and cultural diversity of the Arctic and Subarctic. She is carrying out a project supported by the mega-grant program alongside scientists from the North-Eastern Federal University. On 28 July, Lenore Grenoble met with the Rector of the university, Anatoly Nikolaev, to discuss further steps within the framework of the mega-grant.
The Rector of the university noted that NEFU, as a federal university, has paved the way for all directions of scientific research: “In order to win the mega-grant, supervision of world-class and leading researchers is needed. Many criteria have to be met. Our collaboration on relevant topics led to a joint project, and consequently, we won the mega-grant”. Anatoly Nikolaev added that it is interesting to note that the university places great emphasis on preserving the languages and culture of the peoples of the Northeast. “Our educational and scientific departments are focused on this work. The NEFU project on the preservation of languages and culture has become one of the main projects during Russian Chairmanship in the Arctic Council. At the university, more than 6000 students study in areas focused on the Arctic. This is a particular strength of our university. I hope that the mega-grant will help humanities and social sciences to get involved in the process of digitalization of the university and develop in this direction,” the rector said. Lenore Grenoble told us about their plans for carrying out the mega-grant project. “Now we need to collect data, which is difficult during a pandemic. First of all, we will conduct sociolinguistic surveys in each village to find out the current state of the language and how it is spoken in a particular locality. The study of various factors influencing the culture can provide to its preservation. We plan to open the Arctic Laboratory of Linguistic Ecology at NEFU by the autumn, where we will study the material, we have collected. NEFU is a unique place to study the linguistic ecology of the North and study languages together with native speakers,” the professor said.