Jessica R. Storey-Nagy

Linguistic and Political Anthropology
Area and International Studies
Hungarian Studies

I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Central Eurasian Studies (Hungarian Studies Program) with a PhD minor in Anthropology at Indiana University Bloomington. I’m a political and linguistic anthropologist interested in how talk and text form our understanding of ourselves as citizens and political actors, how talk contributes to our understanding of sovereignty and nationhood, and how the way we converse (or don’t) with our friends and family members can influence our preference as voters. An as area studies scholar, I study language ideology and culture in modern-day Hungary.

To explore different facets of political talk, I conducted field work in Hungary under a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship (2019- early 2020). In my dissertation, titled “Sovereign Voices: Negotiating National Identity, the State, and Meaning-Making in Contemporary Hungary,” I employ qualitative anthropological field methods to explore how talk during a municipal election aids citizens in negotiating political meaning.
My dissertation further explores and makes way for future research concerning linguistic landscaping and its role in the multimodal process of political communication, and the divide between (or fractal recursivity of) “Soviet-ness” and “Hungarianness” as it manifests in material objects. I am currently designing a research project that will explore citizens’ use of certain political texts as they realize and negotiate mismatched language ideologies.

I have taught as an Associate Instructor in Indiana University’s Department of International Studies and am a current Lead Instructor at IU’s Collins Living-Learning Center. Past courses taught include Introduction to International Studies (INTL-I100) and Peace and Conflict (INTL-I206). I am currently teaching Nation and Governance in Hungary (CLLC-120), a course I designed and implement wherein students simulate a semester-long “model EU” in order to gain a deeper understanding of the complex relationship between state sovereignty and the supranational Union.
In 2020 I worked as the Curriculum Coordinator at IU’s Russian and East European Institute (REEI) developing area-specific curriculum for primary school students. You can find some of my lesson plans here.

I believe talking about politics in a conscious, respectful way can lead to productive compromise and is the best way toward positive large and small scale political change. I encourage conversation about the political problems that plague us all among my students, and have worked with outreach programs at both IU’s Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center and the Russian and East European Institute, where I worked for one academic year as the Outreach Graduate Assistant. I enjoyed my time with the IAUNRC’s outreach program at Claflin University and said as much, here.