Upcoming Lecture on Language and National Identity in Europe


By Rachel Brichta
Mar 06, 2012

The Center for European Studies is pleased to announce that the Annual Distinguished Lecture on Europe will be given by Diego Marani, a novelist, translator, and newspaper columnist, who is currently serving as senior linguist and policy officer at the European Commission. He will talk about how languages preserve separate and distinct national identities, often undermining the full potential for unity within Europe. While the European Union has fostered cooperation across the continent on monetary, social, and legal policy, the EU shares no common language and its citizens are often unable to communicate with each other, and Marani will argue that this is problematic for truly meaningful integration. He will ask how Europe can build a common identity out of the melting pot of languages and national identities, and question whether the nation-state model can be applied to Europe as a whole.

 

Diego Marani works for the Directorate General for Interpretation of the European Commission, where he is in charge of international cooperation, training, and support to universities. Born in Italy, he received a degree in classical studies from the Liceo Ludovico Ariosto in Ferrara and in simultaneous interpretation and translation at the University of Trieste, specializing in French and English. Marani is the inventor of Europanto, an artificial mock language that imitates language unity to show its inadequacy for Europe. Through this exercise, he tries to demolish the dogmas of the European linguistic tradition and to question in a satirical way the sacredness of the nation-state. Marani has published many novels and essays and is a columnist, blogger, and commentator for Italian newspapers, including Il Sole 24 Ore, Il Fatto Quotidiano, and La Nuova Ferrara.

 

Mr. Marani’s lecture is co-sponsored by the Department of Linguistics and is presented as part of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts’ Winter 2012 Theme Semester, “Language: The Human Quintessence.”

 

PLACE: 1636 International Institute, 1080 S. University Ave, Ann Arbor

SPONSORS: Center for European Studies, Department of Linguistics

CONTACT: Nataša Gruden-Alajbegovic, 734-647-2743, cesmichigan@umich.edu