Tutor: Dr Habil Tomasz Kamusella, Reader in Modern History (University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK)
Historians and social scientists see language(s) as an unanalyzable ‘black box’ that only linguists can comprehend. Yet, with the rise of ethnolinguistic nationalism in the 19th century, making and unmaking languages has become the basis of doing politics in Central and Eastern Europe. Linguists and scholars often double as politicians in this region. As a result, some of their pet hypotheses may be imposed on millions with horrific consequences, as now exemplified by Russia’s ongoing war on Ukraine. The module aspires to shed light on the mechanisms of language politics by focusing on cases drawn mostly from the Slavic-speaking areas.
1 Introduction and Methodology
A Concepts, Terminology
B Counting Languages or Playing Power Games?
2 Ethnolinguistic Nationalism: Norm or Aberration?
A History and Uses of this Ideology
B Operationalization for Analysis: Normative Isomorphism
3 Case Study: Upper Silesia Between Language, Nationalism and Religion
A From Estates to Nations
B Silesian: A Dialect, Language or bάρbαρbαρ Barbarbar?
4 The Politics of Script
A Yugoslavia: Between Croatian and Serbian
B Belarus: Belarusian and Polish Between Cyrillic and Latin Letters
5 The EU and the Balkans, Again
A Bulgaria: The Politics of Script
B Bulgaria’s 2019 Ultimatum: ‘Macedonian Does Not Exist’
6 The Politics of Mutual (In)Comprehensibility
A Arabic: A Latin of Modernity?
B Czech and Slovak, Norwegian(s), Moldovan and Romanian
7 Russian: Between Ruthenian and the Russkii Mir
A What is in the Name?
B Between Monocentric Russian and World Russians
8 Yiddish and German: Victims’ and Murderers’ Languages?
A The strange Case of Heinz Kloss
B Should Yiddish-language Sources Be Used to Study the Holocaust?
Addendum: Korienizatsiia in communist and postcommunist Ethiopia?