Constitutes the first book-length ethnography of Esperanto speakers and their cross-border sense of community
Challenges ideas about how loosely-established and geographically dispersed communities gain momentum and endure
Argues that the internet has brought about changes in language ideologies, learning and use
Buy it now
Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout
Other ways to access
This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check for access.
Table of contents (9 chapters)
About this book
Monica Heller, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Toronto, Canada and former President of the American Anthropological Association, USA.“Guilherme Fians’ incisive book stands out for its sharp ethnographic focus on political practices among Esperanto speakers in Paris. With insight and flair, Fians probes the central paradox of Esperanto: how what appears to be Esperanto’s greatest vulnerability – its ephemerality – is, for many of its speakers, its greatest allure.”
Esther Schor, Professor of English at Princeton University, USA and author of Bridge of Words: Esperanto and the Dream of a Universal Language.“This account shows how some of those very disabling factors that might have completely undermined the feasibility of an Esperanto-speaking community actually end up driving episodic subcommunity-building practices in enclaves which look mutually isolated but, counterintuitively, connect the dots. The Polish Student Esperanto Committee’s 1980 declaration stressed the need for ‘the individual [to] be a subject, not an object, in the [Esperanto] movement;’ Guilherme Fians magisterially spells out just how such dreams have come true.”
Probal Dasgupta, Professor of Linguistics at the Indian Statistical Institute Kolkata, India and Honorary Member of the Linguistic Society of America, USA.Guilherme Fians offers a path-breaking contribution to the ethnography of the Esperanto movement, focusing on who speaks the language, why they do so, and how this movement for an international language is changing as patterns of communication and political agendas change. In the process he reveals a social movement that is both widespread and insufficiently studied. An important addition to the literature.
Humphrey Tonkin, Professor of the Humanities and President Emeritus at Hartford University, USA
“In this insightful ethnography of Esperanto speakers, Guilherme Fians accomplishes the rare achievement of making important contributions to the study of topics as varied as language ideologies, cosmopolitanism, mediation and temporality. Moreover, by learning from a community defined by its dispersion and non-nativeness, the author masterfully leads the reader to reflect about the value of ephemerality in the contemporary world.”João Felipe Gonçalves, Professor of Anthropology at the University of São Paulo, Brazil
"Vividly engaging and theoretically sophisticated, this book stands out as the first substantial and extended anthropological account of the social life of Esperanto. Fians gives a vibrant portrayal of the complex and partially connected intergenerational collective who keep this constructed language and its broader social project alive. A must-read for anyone interested in language politics and contemporary social movements.”
Matei Candea, Reader in Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, UK and author of Corsican Fragments: Difference, Knowledge and Fieldwork.
Authors and Affiliations
Department of Anthropology, University of Brasília, Brasília, Brazil
About the author
Guilherme Fians is Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Brasília, Brazil and Co-Director of the Centre for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems, Netherlands/USA.
Book Title: Esperanto Revolutionaries and Geeks
Book Subtitle: Language Politics, Digital Media and the Making of an International Community
Authors: Guilherme Fians
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham
Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021
Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-84229-1Published: 05 January 2022
Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-84232-1Published: 06 January 2023
eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-84230-7Published: 04 January 2022
Edition Number: 1
Number of Pages: XXIV, 267
Number of Illustrations: 1 b/w illustrations, 7 illustrations in colour