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CANCELLED: Linguistic landscapes of Kyiv and Lviv and the politics and economics of urban remembering

April 2, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm

Aneta Pavlenko, Professor of Applied Linguistics, University of Oslo

Location: 206 Ingraham Hall

In the past seventy years, public spaces of Kyiv and Lviv have been shaped by the same historical processes, political regimes, national agendas and global trends. Following Ukraine’s declaration of independence in 1991, both cities embarked on a campaign of de-Sovietization and de-russification and nowadays their streets and squares commemorate the same national heroes (Ivan Franko, Taras Shevchenko, Stepan Bandera) and feature signs in the same tongues: national Ukrainian and global English. The striking difference between the two cities involves recognition of the populations that have for centuries co-existed with Ukrainians – primarily, Russians, Poles and Jews – and representations of their languages and histories in urban semiotic landscapes. In this talk, we will walk together around Kyiv and Lviv, look closely at the signs and monuments, enter cafés, restaurants and bookstores, and reflect on political and economic forces that shape different multilingual hierarchies and on memory cultures and choices of ‘usable past’ that split the Ukrainian society today.

Aneta Pavlenko is a Ukrainian-American linguist, specializing in the study of bilingualism, particularly the relations between bilingualism and cognition and emotion.


April 2, 2020
4:00 pm - 5:15 pm


Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia (CREECA)
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