Kaylin Land (she/her)

Nominated by member scholarly associations of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, the 2022 Congress Graduate Merit Awards recognize exceptional graduate students who will be presenting their work at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. 

Tell us about yourself.

I am a doctoral candidate in Russian Studies at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. I am interested in autobiography studies, twentieth century Russian literature and digital humanities. 

Which scholarly association(s) are currently a member of?

  • Canadian Association of Slavists
  • Canadian Society of Digital Humanities
  • American Council of Teachers of Russian
  • American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages 

At which conference(s) will you be presenting and/or attending?

Canadian Association of Slavists  

What is the title of your Congress 2022 presentation?

“Soviet and American Memories of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project”  

How would you describe the research you will be presenting at Congress 2022?

My research compares memoirs of the American and Soviet/Russian space programs. The goal of my project is to understand how astronauts and cosmonauts make sense of their time off the planet and the ways in which their understanding of themselves changed because of space travel. In this paper I compare memoirs written by participants of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, the first joint manned space program between the USSR and the US. I ask how astronauts and cosmonauts understand their role as representatives of two nations who saw each other as enemies and how they memorialize their participation in the collaborative project. 

How does the research you will be presenting connect with the Congress 2022 theme, Transitions?

My work focuses on a moment of historical transition when the Space Race was effectively over, and the USSR and US began to work together on manned space flight. I look at ways in which becoming a member of an international crew changed individuals’ understanding of themselves and their former ideological enemies.  

What is your favourite part of the Congress experience? 

My favourite part of Congress is getting to hear the inspirational work of other scholars and engage in conversations with people who I would not otherwise meet. 

Share your hopes for Congress 2022.

My hope for Congress 2022 is that it can serve as a chance to reflect on the challenges of the last few years and engage with other scholars with whom I have not had a chance to interact.