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This lecture focuses on Polish-Jewish-German-Russian Łódź around 1900. It argues that the right sources and their analysis can shed light on how the city’s historical multilingualism worked in actual practice.
Multilingualism is a frequently referenced factor in the history of East Central Europe. It emerged historically, rather than as the result of other processes, such as postcolonial migration, and became a key characteristic of many cities in this region in particular. Yet it remains poorly understood, as it cannot be subject to direct observation.
Jan Fellerer graduated in Slavonic languages from the University of Vienna, including semesters abroad in Prague and Cracow. After several years at the University of Basel, he took up the post of Lecturer, and is now Associate Professor, of non-Russian Slavonic languages at the University of Oxford, Wolfson College. His main areas of research are the history and structure of West and East Slavonic languages, in particular, Polish, Czech and Ukrainian.