Born in California, raised in Mississippi and New Jersey, John Colarusso first studied physics and then took two degrees in philosophy (BA Cornell, MA Northwestern). He has been studying the Caucasus, its languages, myths and cultures since 1967 and earned his doctorate in linguistics from Harvard University in 1975.
He has taught at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario since 1976 and is a long-time advisor to policy makers in Washington, Ottawa, Moscow, and the Caucasus itself.
Professor Colarusso is the author of sixty-five articles on the linguistics, myths and politics of the Caucasus; he has also written three books and is currently finishing two more. From 1993 – 2001 he was an advisor and diplomat for the Clinton administration regarding wars in the Caucasus.
He is married and the father of three children. When relaxing he enjoys hiking and biking, reading math, studying paleontology, and the works of William Faulkner.
Daniel Kaufman, a linguist, is founder of the Endangered Language Alliance and adjunct professor at the City University of New York Graduate Center and Columbia University. He obtained his PhD from Cornell University in 2010 with a specialization in the Austronesian language family, which spans from Madagascar across the Pacific Ocean to Easter Island. He has conducted extensive fieldwork on Austronesian languages in the Philippines and Indonesia. In 2008, he founded the Urban Fieldstation for Linguistic Research with the purpose of initiating long-term language study. As director of the Endangered Language Alliance, Daniel works primarily to bring together speakers of endangered languages living in New York City with linguists and volunteers to help document, describe and conserve their linguistic heritage.