Jake Zawlacki Publishes Capstone Research in Folklorica Journal

Jake Zawlacki, a 2019 graduate of the CREEES MA program, published "The Allegorical Aĭdaḣar: An Animated Look at Kazakh National Identity" in Folklorica, the peer-reviewed journal of the Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Folklore Association. 

In the article, Zawlacki expounds upon his capstone research to provide a comprehensive analysis of the Kazakh animated film, Why the Swallow’s Tail is Forked (1967), written and directed by Amen Khaydarov. Through his research, Zawlacki deconstructs alleged “traditional” Kazakh elements, then analyzes the dreamlike nature of pastoral national identity, the interplay of film, written, and spoken folklore, and the rhizomatic structure of folklore through audio and visual elements. Zawlacki considers the film as a construction of a specific nationalist narrative that sheds light on a broader Kazakh nationalist vision. 

At Stanford, Zawlacki was advised by Pavle Levi, Osgood Hooker Professor of Fine Arts and Director of CREEES (2013-19), Denise Gill, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology, and Gabriella Safran, the Eva Chernov Lokey Professor in Jewish Studies. During his year in the program, Zawlacki conducted archival research at the National Film Archive, the National Archive, the National Library as well as the KazakhFilm studio in Almaty, Kazakhstan, supported by the Stanford Global Studies Global Perspectives Award. To read more about his capstone experience, please visit the CREEES Capstone Repository.

Prior to coming to Stanford, Zawlacki, a graduate of the University of San Diego, lived for three years in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; Astana, Kazakhstan; and Ulgii, Mongolia, where he conducted medical anthropology research and community youth development projects. Zawlacki worked in the region as a Peace Corps volunteer and also as a Fulbright researcher. 

Zawlacki is currently enrolled in an MFA in Creative Writing at Louisiana State University.