- What role did institutions such as chancelleries, academies, universities, and schools, play in developing, defining, and standardizing “official” vernacular languages and in distinguishing them from other language varieties? What role did such institutions play in processes of language instruction and socialization across metropolitan and peripheral settings? How were these institutions themselves shaped by the range of (often multilingual) milieus in which they operated?
- To what extent, in the contexts of colonial expansion, imperial consolidation and inter-imperial rivalry, did specialized cadres—including diplomatic interpreters, commercial brokers, missionaries, court scribes, notaries, lexicographers, and philologists—develop to regulate linguistic and cultural difference?
- What language ideologies and practices emerged in the inherently bilingual contexts of imperial borderlands, such as medieval Iberia and North Africa, Venetian Dalmatia, the Eastern Mediterranean, and Ottoman Bosnia?
- How were linguistic and cultural differences objectified and mapped onto one another through a range of genres, from court records and commercial manuals to travelogues and polyglot comedies?
- How do the histories of premodern translation, mediation, and circulation speak to current debates about knowledge production in the digital age and the role of scholarly networks in the acquisition and dissemination of texts and technologies?
___________ E. Natalie Rothman Assistant Professor of History University of Toronto firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/~rothman