Jenanne K. Ferguson


Assistant Professor
PhD University of Aberdeen, 2013
Ansari Business 506
(775) 682-7629

Office Hours Fall 2019: Wednesdays 1:00-4:00 PM


Linguistic anthropology; sociolinguistics; indigenous and minority languages; the Circumpolar North (Russia: Republic of Sakha-Yakutia; Canada); multilingualism and code-mixing; language transmission and maintenance; urban-rural migration; language ideologies; linguistic landscapes; Northern globalization and language; verbal art; language and education


My current research deals with the maintenance and transmission of the Sakha (Yakut) language in northeastern Siberia, Russia, through the lens of mobility by and through language. My dissertation work dealt with ways of speaking Sakha among Sakha-Russian bilinguals living in urban and rural regions and the language ideologies shaping their language choices and practices. Ongoing and future work deals with the revitalization and transformation of Sakha oral literary genres and the local creation of new online spaces (e.g. social networking, SMS, Wikipedia) for Sakha language transmission and usage, as well as a project comparing the politics and aesthetics of indigenous storytelling in Canada and Russia.

I have also worked on questions and themes (language in education; language in the visual spheres) with Canadian indigenous languages in the past. I welcome inquiries from students interested in similar themes and approaches to language, regardless of geographic area!


  • Anth 101: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • Anth 281: Introduction to Language
  • Anth 405/605: Language, Religion and Politics
  • Anth 439: Special Topics- Indigenous and Minority Languages
  • Anth 480/680: Anthropological Linguistics
  • Anth 485/685 Language and Culture
  • Anth 709: Graduate Seminar in Linguistic Anthropology

Selected Publications

(to appear 2018) Words Like Birds: Sakha Discourses and Practices in the City. undercontract with University of Nebraska Press.

(2017) Introduction: Language Sustainability in the Circumpolar North /Viabilité de la langue et le Nord circumpolaire. Anthropologica:

Journal of the Canadian Anthropology Society / Société canadienne d'Anthropologie                 59(1). First author, co-authored with Laura Siragusa.

(2016) What does Sakha advertise? Ethnographic branding in the Linguistic Landscape. Language Policy.First author, Co-authored with Lena Sidorova.

Online first: DOI 10.1007/s10993-016-9420-4

(2016) Code-mixing among Sakha-Russian bilinguals in Yakutsk: a spectrum of features and shifting indexical fields. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 26(2):141-161.

(2016) Language Has a Spirit: Sakha (Yakut) Language Ideologies and Aesthetics of Sustenance. Arctic Anthropology 53(1):95-111.

(2015) Is it bad that we try to speak two languages? Language ideologies and choices among urban Sakha bilingual families. Sibirica14(1):1-27.