Migration Archive

Results in BLC Posts

Lecture by Katharina Brizic, April 18, 2014

Multilingual Inequality: What narratives reveal about social segmentation and academic success in two European crossroads of migration   Katharina Brizic, Postdoctoral Scholar, Berkeley Language Center At the heart of the challenges of modern societies is social inequality. In my research, the term of social inequality refers to the academic success or failure of whole immigrant…

Lecture, February 11, 2011: Carol Pfaff

Language Development in an Urban Migrant Community: The Turkish/German/English of Children and Adolescents in Berlin by Professor Carol Pfaff, Department of Linguistics, John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin Photos from the event: Abstract: In the course of my 30+ years in Berlin, I have conducted several empirical studies of the…

Results in L2 Journal Articles

Writing the Translingual Life: Recent Memoirs and Auto-Fiction by Russian-American and Russian-German Novelists

One of the more remarkable developments in translingual literature over the past decade has been the rise of a new wave of Soviet-born authors writing in languages other than their native Russian. Autobiographical elements have always figured prominently in their fiction, and some of these authors have recently crossed the boundary into non-fiction by writing memoirs. The process of writing in a second language about becoming a writer in a second language gives these books a particular self-referential quality. This essay surveys the latest memoirs and auto-fiction (published 2012-14) of five Soviet-born immigrant novelists in the U.S. and Germany—Gary Shteyngart, Lena Gorelik, Lara Vapnyar, Olga Grjasnowa, and Maxim Shrayer.  It argues that constructing a narrative of the self for a foreign audience serves as a crucial step in the gestation of a translingual novelist. This narrative urge often predates the actual mastery of the new language. Rather than as the result of an already-achieved acquisition of a new linguistic medium, telling one’s story in a non-native language emerges as a means toward language learning and integration.

Language Use in the Negotiation of Linguistic and Cultural Knowledge and the Sustenance of Online Diasporic Relations

With ongoing immigration patterns, the movement of people has also meant the spread of languages. Mungaka, an indigenous language spoken in Bali, Cameroon has moved to domains beyond its borders due to such migration patterns. Mbonbani is an online forum created to maintain communication between those who moved away and those who stayed. This study investigates language use and ideologies ...