Kevin Kenjar

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

California, Berkeley, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9281

Approve Date

April 18, 2016

Project Title

Kenjar, Kevin N., U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Linguistic Landscapes and Ideological Horizons: Language and Ideology in Post-Yugoslav Space,' supervised by Dr. Charles L. Briggs

KEVIN N. KENJAR, then a graduate student at University of California, Berkeley, California, was awarded a grant in April 2016 to aid research on ‘Linguistic Landscapes and Ideological Horizons: Language and Ideology in Post-Yugoslav Space,’ supervised by Dr. Charles L. Briggs. Funding assisted the successful completion of fieldwork in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Montenegro. The primary purpose of this period was to collect data on the diverse linguistic landscapes (official signs, advertising, graffiti, and other forms of public signage) throughout the region, paying strict attention to place, space, and the linguistic forms used. This was paired with archival work and photo-elicitation based interviews, in which a diverse group of informants would interpret the linguistic information present in ways that differed not only from the grantee’s interpretations, but also from each other based largely on respective experience and positioning. As a result of the interview process, in which the linguistic landscape was portrayed and delineated as a space of action, numerous informants became engaged with the linguistic landscape in ways they had not previously. This includes not only paying heed to the writing on the walls around them (nearly universal among informants), but also documenting it on their own and sending the researcher photographs (entirely unsolicited) and even making and documenting interventions of their own, such as modifying fascist graffiti to present anti-fascist sentiments. This revelation forced a reconsideration of the curatorial power of this project.