The village of Uspenka, on the Kulundinskaja steppe, was settled by Ukrainian migrants who came here in search of land and a better life during the Russian Empire’s Stolypin land reforms (1906-1914). Our team will document family history, songs, stories of the supernatural, beliefs, rituals, and material culture, with an aim to understanding the mechanism by which Ukrainian language and traditions adapted to the new location and to close contact with Russian- and Kazakh-speaking populations.

This expedition is part of a larger project of comparative research into the migration of Ukrainian groups to Siberia and to Kazakhstan.

Expedition starts and ends in:

Pavlodar, Kazakhstan

Applications are now closed. Please view our other upcoming trips!

About This Expedition

  • Dates:

    August 18, 2023 to August 30, 2023

  • Location:

    Uspenka village, Uspenskii district, Pavlodar province, Republic of Kazakhstan

  • Expedition Languages:

    Russian, English

  • Team Size:


  • Projected Fee:

    $2406- $3614 (depending on number of volunteers)

Meet The Team

  • head shot Yelena Minyonok

    Dr. Yelena Minyonok

    Major Researcher and Chief Curator of the Folklore Archive
    Gorky Institute of World Literature, Moscow

    Lena Minyonok is a philologist, folklorist, and Principal Investigator of the American Friends of Russian Folklore. Dr. Minyonok graduated from the Philological Department of the Moscow State University, where she received her M.A. degree from in 1988. Her postgraduate studies were at the Gorky Institute of World Literature (Russian Academy of Sciences, 1988-1991). She received her Ph.D. in Folklore (Moscow, 1998) and now serves as Chief Curator of the Folklore Archive and Major Researcher in the Folklore Division of the Gorky Institute. Dr. Minyonok has been a Principal Investigator for countless folklore expeditions and has published over 60 articles about Russian folklore traditions. Most recently, she has led expeditions for the American Friends of Russian Folklore (PREEEF’s former name) in conjunction with the Institute of World Literature at the Russian Academy of Sciences. She was a visiting professor at the University of Kentucky in 2007, as a Fulbright scholar.

  • head shot of woman, trees in background

    Dr. Alevtina Tsvetkova

    Professor of Russian Philology, specializing in Folklore, at Pavlodar State University in Pavlodar, Kazakhstan

    Dr. Tsvetkova has been making folklore expeditions to Siberia and the Altai Mountains (on both sides of the Russia/Kazakhstan border) since 1983. Her special interests include family folklore, family life-cycle rituals, and the contemporary role of folk legend and belief.

Applications are now closed.
Please view our other upcoming trips!