I am honored to have received the Joff Hanauer Fellowship for Excellence in Western Civilization for the 2020-2021 academic year. I am excited to be learning once again from our very own Professor Sabine Wilke as we explore how human relationships with the environment and one another have come to shape us and events around us.
For the colloquium I will focus on my dissertation, tentatively titled: “A Rajža to the Špajz – Linguistic Crossings from the Yugoslav Diaspora in German.” My project examines how writers from the former Yugoslavia who write in German discuss and process traumatic events through writing in multiple languages. With a theoretical basis in how words transmit meaning and how linguistic code-switching is used to express concepts from another culture as a basis, I want to examine how writers from a minority, or migrant background, use language to discuss their experiences of trauma. This can be through writing in a second language to create emotional distance from a difficult subject to code-switching into to their first language within a German text to express something of their culture or to create emotional closeness to a subject.
Hearing the ideas of other scholars outside my direct field of interests will be a fantastic experience to broaden the scope of my thinking for my own project. I am excited to take part in the discussions and workshops this upcoming academic year!