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Speaker: Monja Stahlberger (ILCS)

Diaries give us valuable insights into the personal experiences and emotions of their writers. It is not just what they write about, but also the ways in which they write and the use of language that sheds light on the dynamic interplay between language, memory, everyday life, and belonging. Through nuanced examination of language in the diaries of six Kindertransport refugees, we can uncover a translingual narrative that transcends traditional boundaries and challenges a static categorisation of language. By analysing diary entries, the research demonstrates how language serves as a dynamic tool for expressing identity, negotiating belonging, and coping with displacement. 

In this year’s Sylvia Naish Lecture, Monja Stahlberger, PhD Candidate at the Institute of Languages, Cultures and Societies (University of London), explores the intricacies of exile experience and evolving notions of belonging in diaries of Kindertransport refugees by focusing on the role language plays in their writing. Understanding the ways in which language is used can contribute to our understanding of the exile experience and the multifaceted nature of linguistic identity in unfamiliar environments.

This lecture will be held in person at the University of London Senate House. All are welcome to attend. Advance online registration required. 

Photo by Pexels (2016) via Pixabay/1840276