Laura  Siragusa Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Laura Siragusa

University of Helsinki

Linguistic Anthropology intrigues me both as a discipline and as a method to explore diversity, human experiences of the world, and relations between human and non-human beings, and the environment. I am enchanted by the ways indigenous people (but not only) relate to the landscape, its human and non-human inhabitants through verbal art and ways of speaking. My interest has continued to grow thanks to my work with indigenous languages in the North, Vepsian in particular.


I obtained my BA and MA in Foreign Language and Literatures at the University of Pisa (Major: Slavonic Linguistics). A new interest for ways of speaking, language ecology, and multilingual practices grew out of a 9-year experience as a teacher of English. In 2009 I took the blunt decision to return to University and embarked on a project on Vepsian ways of speaking, revival, human-animal relations, human-environment relations, which I continue to be passionate about!
After completing my doctoral studies, indeed, I worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Tartu (2013-2015), Aberdeen (2015-2017), and am currently working at the University of Helsinki (2017->) where I primarily focused on verbal art and healing practices and human-environment relations through a linguistic lens. I am currently working on a project on the materiality of Indigenous Languages, for which I received funding from the Faculty of Arts (HU) and on a project on language responsibility.


    1999 University of Pisa, BA/MA in Foreign Langs and Lits
    2009 University of Aberdeen, MRes in Anthropology
    2012 University of Aberdeen, PhD in Anthropology

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Linguistic Anthropology, Environmental Anthropology, The North, Finno-Ugric world, Verbal Art, Healing, Secrecy, Language Materiality, Language Responsibility.

Personal Interests

    I am utterly fascinated by how people speak, their symbolic and indexical charge in relation to the ecology in which people live and manifest language. This continues to enchant me on a daily basis!


Featured Title
 Featured Title - Siragusa_Promoting Heritage Language in Northwest Russia - 1st Edition book cover



Reflecting “field:” two Vepsian villages and three researchers

Published: May 01, 2017 by Sibirica
Authors: Laura Siragusa and Madis Arukask
Subjects: History, Anthropology - Soc Sci, Research Methods

For social researchers a field site is continuously made by the interactions between the researchers and the ecology, including ideologies, present at the time when research is conducted. Such interactions and their interpretations change over time due to the dynamism of life in the field and the emergence of new methods and academic discussions.


Introduction : Viabilité de la langue et le Nord circumpolaire

Published: Apr 01, 2017 by Anthropologica
Authors: Jenanne K. Ferguson and Laura Siragusa
Subjects: Anthropology - Soc Sci, Environment and Sustainability, Sociolinguistics

Cette introduction vise à situer les contributions de ce volume dans le champ de la durabilité linguistique, de la revitalisation et de la préservation des langues.


Secrecy and Sustainability: How Concealment and Revelation Shape Vepsian Languag

Published: Apr 01, 2017 by Anthropologica
Authors: Laura Siragusa
Subjects: Language Learning, Anthropology - Soc Sci, Sociolinguistics

In this article, I explore questions related to language sustainability, examining whether secrecy practices, both in written and oral form, support or hinder language revival.


Introduction: Language Sustainability in the Circumpolar North

Published: Apr 01, 2017 by Anthropologica
Authors: Jenanne K. Ferguson and Laura Siragusa
Subjects: Anthropology - Soc Sci, Environment and Sustainability, Sociolinguistics

This introduction serves to situate this special theme within the broader fields of language sustainability and language revitalisation and maintenance. It aims to highlight both the unique aspects of linguistic situations in the Circumpolar North as well as to present the under-theorised and practical concerns that speakers of Indigenous and minority languages in this broad region share with each other and speakers in similar linguistic ecologies worldwide.


Towards a broader inclusion of heritage language and traditional knowledge in...

Published: Nov 01, 2015 by Routledge
Authors: Laura Siragusa
Subjects: Anthropology - Soc Sci, Sociolinguistics

This article presents the challenges that elderly villagers have in being included in their heritage language revival.


Monolingual and bi-lingual practices in Pondala: managing relations and power

Published: Nov 01, 2015 by Folklore
Authors: Laura Siragusa
Subjects: Anthropology - Soc Sci, Sociolinguistics

This article explores bilingual practices and relations of power in convivial settings.


Metaphors of language: the Vepsian ecology challenges an international paradigm

Published: Oct 01, 2015 by JEFUL
Authors: Laura Siragusa
Subjects: Anthropology - Soc Sci, Sociolinguistics

Language is understood differently by all agents involved in a language revival movement - what does this imply? I am trying to answer this question in this article.

CCI Press

Securing a Minority Language: the Veps of North-Western Russia

Published: Jan 01, 2010 by CCI Press
Authors: Laura Siragusa
Subjects: Built Environment, Anthropology - Soc Sci, Sociolinguistics

This article is a literature review on language revival movements.