23.208, Calls: Sociolinguistics/Germany

Wed Jan 11 17:01:47 UTC 2012

LINGUIST List: Vol-23-208. Wed Jan 11 2012. ISSN: 1069 - 4875.

Subject: 23.208, Calls: Sociolinguistics/Germany

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Date: 11-Jan-2012
From: Anastassia Zabrodskaja [anastassia.zabrodskaja at gmail.com]
Subject: Ethnicity, Language and Culture in a Post-Soviet City

-------------------------Message 1 ---------------------------------- 
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 2012 12:01:11
From: Anastassia Zabrodskaja [anastassia.zabrodskaja at gmail.com]
Subject: Ethnicity, Language and Culture in a Post-Soviet City

E-mail this message to a friend:
Full Title: Ethnicity, Language and Culture in a Post-Soviet City 

Date: 22-Aug-2012 - 24-Aug-2012
Location: Berlin, Germany 
Contact Person: Anastassia Zabrodskaja
Meeting Email: anastassia.zabrodskaja at gmail.com
Web Site: http://www.sociolinguistics-symposium-2012.de/ 

Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics 

Call Deadline: 31-Jan-2012 

Meeting Description:

The last decade has witnessed a rise in scholarly interest towards the post-Soviet language situation. The agenda remains being dominated by research in language policy and macro-sociolinguistics (Korth 2005, Hogan-Brun et al. 2008) as well as overall descriptions of the status change of Russian (Pavlenko 2008a, 2008b).
Under post-Soviet conditions one of the most topical sociolinguistic dilemmas covers variety of issues related to changing language hierarchies (Russian versus titular languages). Numerous manifestations of this radical turn include top-down initiatives of the so called nationalizing states (including the legislative measures) as well as shift in individual linguistic behaviour and cultural orientations (in the everyday life, in career building, educational choices, marriage preferences, etc.). Big cities, especially capital cities, provide a very good site for exploring these changes, with their thick communicative environment; variety of cultural products produced and consumed; rapidly changing public spaces; visualization of 'national revival' measures embodied in changes in toponymy, re-symbolization of city space, appearance of new cultural markers, etc. In addition, population of many cities of the New Independent States (NIS) has undergone serious ethno-cultural transformation after the break-up of the USSR, starting with massive outflow of the so called Russian-speakers (ethnic Russians and other non-titular Russophones) during the 1990s, and ending with influx of transnational and/or internal rural migrants during the current decade. 

Call for Papers:

The general aim of the session is to throw light on everyday linguistic practices and identities' (re)negotiation of urban dwellers contextualized within transformation of post-Soviet urban socio-cultural and linguistic environment. As far as more concrete objectives are concerned, we expect contributions which will take into account striking heterogeneity of regions within post-Soviet space and between the countries within these regions in what is related to de facto and de jure status of the Russian language and popular perceptions of challenges provoked by changes in sociolinguistic situation. Thus, as minimum, two distinct regions might be defined; these are the Baltic countries and those of Central Asia (the cases polarity of which in regard to Russophones' position and Russian language status is deeply rooted in the pattern of colonization of the two regions). These territories within the post-Soviet space, in their turn, provide a contrasting picture in comparison with Ukraine, Byelorussia and Azerbaijan, also being the regions with a noticeable presence of Russian-speakers.
Questions to be raised by the session participants may include, but not are limited to, the following ones:
- Can mastering of Russian as a native language be taken as a synonym of urban culture and a base for urban identity?
- Do parameters of cultural identity overlap or not with those of ethnic self-identification?
- What urban ethno-cultural groups are most liable to this kind of divergence/convergence?
- How is identity negotiated in bilingual (multilingual) environments?
- To what extent do post-Soviet cities of the NIS, being multi-ethnic, still retain practices of Russian or titular monolingualism?
- What ethno-cultural groups are most successful in maintaining/enriching these practices?
- Can Russian linguistic and cultural space in post-Soviet cities be taken as a 'Cheshire cat smile', functioning without Russians themselves? What could be the factors contributing to maintenance/erosion of this space?
The other themes of interest might include:
- Russian-based cultural urban spaces versus those dominated by titular languages
- Monolingual versus multilingual public spaces (linguistic landscapes)
- Pragmatism versus cultural nostalgia as motors of titulars' interest towards studying of the Russian language
- Last but not least, differences in attitudes towards above-mentioned issues among Russian-speakers, members of titular groups and non-Russian and non-titular minority groups

Abstracts have to be submitted via the conference website:


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