Multilingualism and politics in contemporary Baltic and German-speaking cultures

Duration of the project

01.06.2019. - 15.11.2019.

Countries and institutions involved in the project

Tartu universitāte
Tallinas Universitāte
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
University of Potsdam
University of Göttingen
Vītauta Dižā Universitāte
University of Latvia

Aim of the project

The project consists of an international Postgrad- and MA conference on the topic of multilingualism and politics in contemporary Baltic and Germanophone culture, focusing on literature and film.

The results should contribute to the mutual knowledge of current developments in these countries and to a deeper understanding of multilingualism, so topical for today’s situation in the Baltic republics in-between national affirmation and internationalisation. The topic was approached from diverse angles and in a very interdisciplinary manner, combining poetical and theoretical as well as linguistic and socio-political aspects. Key question: how languages react to historical-political situations and how they influence them in their turn.

The topic of multilingualism has attracted much attention recently, however, in the historically multilingual space of the Baltics, it is so far mostly dealt with under a historical perspective (Undusk, Klöker, Lukas) and socio-linguistically (Martens, Verschik), and it has been relatively little applied to our contemporary (also political) situation. The comparison between the different situations should shed light on the EU-claim to multilingualism. The conference aimed to promote the collaboration within the Baltics as well as between the Baltics and Germany, to create a forum for this topic in the Baltics. Alongside the papers of the junior researchers three key notes were given by Sandra Vlasta, Till Dembeck and Liina Lukas.

Direct and indirect target group

Direct: 13 junior researchers and 3 established key note speakers.

Indirect: all students and colleagues interested in multilingualism, more concretely the philologists (staff and students) at the University of Tartu.

Number of attendees: 14.

Public events

MA- and postgraduate conference at the University of Tartu on 14/15 November 2019. Key note speakers Sandra Vlasta, Till Dembeck and Liina Lukas, as well as papers from 13 junior researchers.

Press release