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Fellow seminar: Switching to Ukrainian from Russian in Wartime: Linguistic Conversion in Eastern Ukraine

18 January @ 16:30 - 18:30

Natalia Kudriavtseva (SUS Fellow, Nov ‘23 – Jul ‘24) will deliver her presentation on the topic:

Switching to Ukrainian from Russian in Wartime: Linguistic Conversion in Eastern Ukraine

Abstract: The protection of Ukraine’s Russian speakers was among the pretexts for the 2014 Russian invasion as well as the full-scale war unleashed by Russia in 2022. Russia’s claims of authority over the speakers of Russian have been based on simplistic equations of language and national identification. To show that these speculations bear little resemblance to how the things stand on the ground, Ukrainians have started the process of linguistic conversion. The years following the 2014 Russian invasion have seen a growing shift to Ukrainian from Russian whereby language choice is perceived as a social action with an existential effect. My project is an ethnographic study of Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine who are involved in linguistic conversion. I concentrate primarily on those individuals who are switching to Ukrainian from Russian within grassroots Ukrainian language initiatives. Besides the motivations behind their language choice, I explore the reasons prompting them to invest in the language learning, as well as the process of education. I aim to establish the role of the war in the mass transition to Ukrainian from Russian, define its impact on Ukrainian language pedagogy, and also cast light upon the transformation of identities in eastern Ukraine.

18 January 2024 (Thursday), at 16:30 h.

Moderated by Ihor Dvorkin.


18 January
16:30 - 18:30


Centre for Advanced Study Sofia


Centre for Advanced Study Sofia
7B Stefan Karadzha St, entr. 3
Sofia,‎ ‎1000‎ ‎Bulgaria
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