Language as Casus Belli

Stalin the Linguist and Russia's LinguoGeoPolitics, between 1950 and 2014

The Danish Language Policy Network is pleased to announce an upcoming event, co-hosted by the Language Policy Network in coordination with the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies at the University of Copenhagen.

Professor of Culture Studies, Irina Sandomirskaja, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (Södertörns Högskola), will lecture on "Language as Casus Belli: Stalin the Linguist and Russia's LinguoGeoPolitics, between 1950 and 2014”.

The presentation will be given in English and will be followed by a discussion on language policy in Russia on the present day and in the past, led by Assistant Professor Tine Roesen, Dept. of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies (University of Copenhagen).

Everyone is welcome!

Further information


Irina Sandomirskaja b. 1959, a doctoral degree in Linguistics obtained in Moscow 1992. Since 2003 she is a professor of cultural studies at the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (Södertörn University).

Area of research: Language and language critique, critical cultural theory, Soviet cultural history. The subject presented in this talk is part of a larger research project on the politics of language in the context of the Stalinist regime of representation in the USSR. It is presented in a chapter of Sandomirskaja's latest book (published in Moscow and awarded the Andrei Bely prize as the 2013 best book in the humanities). The book is dedicated to the problems of language, history, and (bio)politics and the analysis of individual language strategies in the context of state-run symbolic violence.

Relevant publications

Blokada v slove: Ocerki kriticeskoj teorii i biopolitiki jazyka. (Besiegement in Language: Essays in the Critical Theory and Biopolitics of Language, Russ.) Moscow: NLO, 2013.

Rage, Body, and Power Talk in the City of Hunger - the Politics of Womanliness in Lidia Ginzburg’s Notes from the Siege of Leningrad. In: Embracing Arms Cultural Representation of Slavic and Balkan Women in War. Budapest: Central European University Press, 2012, pp. 131-151.

Skin to Skin: Language in the Soviet Education of Deaf–Blind Children, the 1920s and 1930s. In: Studies in East European thought, V 60, No 4, 2008, pp. 321-337.