October 19 – KFU organized international conference Multilingualism in the context of political transformations.
The event took place under the net project Zones of cultural contacts and conflicts in Eastern Europe. This project explores imperial and national language fields, transitional and conflict zones, as well as urban space, which are all characterized by ethno-linguistic, religious and other cultural contact and conflict scenarios. It also covers contact zones which no longer have pre-existing cultural pluralism, but still play a significant role in the collective memory, identity or policy of historical and literary reflection.
The following partner universities are involved in academic cooperation through this project: University of Łódź (Poland), University of Babes-Boliaj (Romania), Kazakh University of international relations and world languages (Kazakhstan), Belarus State University (Belarus), Kazan Federal University (Russia). Giessen Center for Eastern European Studies established in 2006, is in charge of mentoring the project.
Representatives of these universities are engaged in joint effort to develop ways of supporting young researchers, to introduce special training programs in the fields of linguistics, literary studies and history, to allow participation in international scientific communication modules of research and teaching as well as present regular joint publications on the network project.
The director of the Centre and initiator of the project, prof. Monika Wingender, described the expected program of activities: academic exchange of young scientists on research and training programs between Germany and partner countries, short-term visits from universities-participants of the program, presentations, performances, lectures, workshops, summer schools and conferences.
Presentations at the Conference could have been marked as interdisciplinary. The participants discussed linguistic aspects in Tatarstan and Kazakhstan; the role of the European charter of regional languages in Eastern Europe; linguistic policy in the context of increasing civic activity; multicultural urban space of the last Soviet decades according to Kazan witnesses; features of ethno-political conflict in the former Yugoslavia and a number of other issues.