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GCSC Keynote Lecture | The end of language as we know it?


16.07.2019 von 18:00 bis 20:00 (Europe/Berlin / UTC200)


Phil I, Alter Steinbacher Weg 38, Raum 001

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The GCSC Keynote Lecture Series is open to anyone interested in attending. To provide relevant topics for the diverse set of research interests pursued within the GCSC, the lectures in this series are positioned for an interdisciplinary spectrum of listeners and centred on current concepts, questions and theories within the study of culture. The lectures are oriented according to the research areas of the GCSC and deliver theoretical and methodological impulses.




Boris Buden: Europe’s Translation. The Limits of a Promise.


This is quite an old news: the German spirit is dying again. This time, however, its passing away seems to be more dramatic than ever before. The deathbed on which it is lying today is in fact its own very cradle – the German language. The latter is rapidly deteriorating in the process of its re-vernacularization. This is at least what is claimed by Jürgen Trabant in his book Globalesisch oder Was/ Ein Plädoyer für Europas Sprachen. He understands this process as a new socio-linguistic and cultural condition that resembles the Europe of the Middle Ages, when Latin was used on all the higher levels of social, political or intellectual life, while the lower social strata were speaking the old vernaculars. Nowadays, however, it is English that has taken the role of the new lingua franca. It is spoken in all the higher and more important discourses of today’s Europe, forcing German and other European “cultural languages” to retreat onto the level of everyday life and less important discourses. At stake is a regression into a neomedieval diglossia. What are the social and political consequences of this development? How does it affect cultural relations within our societies and globally? Has it an impact on the existing forms of disciplinary knowledge production? The lecture will tackle these questions from the perspective of translation as a theoretical concept and a socio-cultural practice.


// Prof. Boris Buden (Humboldt University, Berlin)