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HUMSS - David Karlander

Dr. David Karlander

The University of Hong Kong

Invented languages and dreams of unity in the Swedish labour movement.
Wann 20.12.2021
von 15:00 bis 16:00
Wo Seminarraum
Teilnehmer Universitätsoffen / open to university members
Termin übernehmen vCal

Invented languages and dreams of unity in the Swedish labour movement. 


In this talk, I discuss the uptake and use of invented – or constructed – languages in the Swedish labour movement in the early twentieth century. I concentrate mainly on worker Esperantism, discussing the shifting and sometimes contradictory visions of unity in which Esperanto was embedded. The artificial genesis and sociolinguistic open-endedness of Esperanto not only made it possible to imagine this language as a pathway to radically new forms of sociality and solidarity, but also to align it with received models of ethnonational linguistic community. This ambiguity points to several contradictions inherent in most linguistic universalisms. More generally, it stresses the need of treating constructed languages as a relatively ordinary form of multilingualism.


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