Dr Guilherme Fians explains his research on Esperanto speakers in Europe

Hums Researcher publikigis antaŭ 7 monatoj

01:14

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My current research focuses on how Esperanto speakers and members of the Esperanto speech community and movement engage with this language and with the political programme linked to it in their everyday lives.

Esperanto is a constructed, international auxiliary language whose fundamentals were created in the late nineteenth century. Nowadays, 130 years after its creation, some surveys consider that it counts on around two million speakers worldwide. It was originally designed to be a peace-oriented, neutral and secular language that would not replace national languages, being used mostly for international communication. Alternatively supported by intellectuals and left-wing activists in the past, Esperanto has currently attracted the interest of young people through online courses and mobile phone apps. By being more than a language, it has developed a widespread, geographically unbounded speech community, a language-based social movement, and a set of cosmopolitan dispositions and sociabilities.

By doing fieldwork among Esperanto speakers in France – the country in which Esperanto gained significant momentum in this language’s early days – and focusing on Paris, where larger Esperanto associations and networks are located, I aim to map the ways Esperanto speakers relate to this language, looking at these speakers’ conceptions and practices regarding internationalism, communication, mobilities, hopes for the future, and activism. I also look at how different age groups and generations use this language, seeing it through the lenses of intellectual game or political activism, and how a speech community that cannot rely on intergenerational transmission can be rendered stable.

Social Anthropology – The University of Manchester

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