Alejandro Dayan-Fernandez

PhD Candidate in Critical Sociolinguistics
Emaila.dayan-fernandez.1@research.gla.ac.uk
 https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0555-3638

Research Interests

I am interested in language as an inherent political element of social life. I thus study language from a political, sociological, and anthropological perspective. Particularly, how minoritised languages can act as catalysts for political resistance, grassroots social movements, and diaspora group-making (with a focus on Galicia, North-West Spain). I am currently exploring some of these notions in connection with the Galician diaspora in the UK and its transnational dynamics of ethnolinguistic mobilisation. 

Research title: A Critical Ethnographic Sociolinguistics of Galicianness in a UK city: Glottopolitics, Speakerhood, and Ethnolinguistic Mobilisation in the Diaspora

Research Summary

PhD Research

My thesis explores new geographies of minoritised languages in the diaspora, focusing on the Galician case (North-West Spain). While diaspora studies have largely examined displacement histories of nation-state ethnolinguistic subjectivities, their minoritised counterparts have often been overlooked. Within the UK, studies on heritage or community languages have paid no attention to European minoritised languages, cultures, and identities cohabiting with their hegemonic nation-state counterparts in UK’s diasporic spaces.

The economic crisis of 2008 has shifted Galician diaspora dynamics in the UK. Newer cohorts of Galician migrants with different socioeconomic and linguistic profiles have shaken the landscape of preceding Galician community-building processes. In seeking to comprehend how new dynamics of group-making have unfolded over time and how differing understandings of Galicianness are negotiated, my thesis explores:

  • how Galician activist diasporans set up new forms of group-making and the tensions arising from different ideologies of language and nationhood among competing groups;
  • the symbolic resources utilised to define spaces of diasporic groupness; and
  • the emergence of new speakers of Galician as mobilising agents in the diaspora.

Drawing on data collected via qualitative fieldwork conducted among Galician activists in the UK during 2017-2019, the thesis addresses both the conflictive and uniting nature of language as a key element of social life and argues that language is a pivotal component of diasporisation processes in relation to group-making and community-building.

Turning first to the creation of diaspora spaces, the thesis postulates that conflicts emerge when diasporic groups claim legitimacy over what Galicianness entails. The thesis then discusses the different types of advocacy put forward by pro-Spanish and pro-Galician groups and how diasporic dynamics and community expectations are influenced by them. Finally, it examines the investment of pro-Galician diasporans in creating momentum for the language while constructing new spaces of collective action. The thesis ultimately contends that newer forms of social practice in diasporic group-making must adhere to ideas of political neutrality dominated by existing groups in order to perdure.

Other Research Project(s)

I am also a co-investigator on the project “Sowing the Seeds at Semente: Grassroots Revitalization and Language Activism in Contemporary Galicia” (led by Prof Bernadette O'Rourke, PI), one of six case studies funded by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage as part of the Sustaining Minoritized Languages in Europe (SMiLE) project.

Publications

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Jump to: 2020
Number of items: 1.

2020

Dayan-Fernandez, A. and O'Rourke, B. (2020) Galician-Portuguese and the politics of language in contemporary Galicia. In: Strani, K. (ed.) Multilingualism and Politics. Springer, pp. 231-260. ISBN 9783030407001 (doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-40701-8_10)

This list was generated on Sat Jul 2 08:38:20 2022 BST.
Jump to: Book Sections
Number of items: 1.

Book Sections

Dayan-Fernandez, A. and O'Rourke, B. (2020) Galician-Portuguese and the politics of language in contemporary Galicia. In: Strani, K. (ed.) Multilingualism and Politics. Springer, pp. 231-260. ISBN 9783030407001 (doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-40701-8_10)

This list was generated on Sat Jul 2 08:38:20 2022 BST.

Grants

  • Doctoral Research Scholarship (2020-2021) Institute of Multilingualism. University of Fribourg. Switzerland. 
  • Early Career Mobility Scheme, ECMS (2019-2020) University of Glasgow. Funding provided for a research visit to the Smithsonian Institution (Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage) working on a policy report and establishing new lines of research on multilingualism between both institutions.
  • PhD Scholarship (2019-2021) College of Arts. University of Glasgow. 
  • PhD Scholarship (2017-2019) School of Social Sciences. Heriot-Watt University. 

Conference

  • Dayán-Fernández, A. (2018) Reinventing Transnational Networks: Contemporary Activism, Language Ideologies, and Cultural Identity (Re)constructions of the Galician diaspora in a UK city. PhD presentation at the LINCS Symposium. Heriot-Watt University. Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • Dayán-Fernández, A. (2018) Activismo, ideoloxías lingüísticas e identidade cultural da diáspora galega nunha cidade británica na contemporaneidade. Paper presented at the Instituto da Lingua Galega. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela. Santiago de Compostela, Galiza.
  • Dayán-Fernández, A. (2018) Activismo, ideoloxías lingüísticas e identidade cultural da diáspora galega nunha cidade británica na contemporaneidade. Paper presented at XII Congreso Internacional da AIEG (Asociación Internacional de Estudos Galegos); Novos horizontes para unha Galicia global: Redes, Territorio, Memoria. Madrid, Spain.
  • Dayán-Fernández, A. & O’Rourke, B. (2018) A Sustentar Linguas Minorizadas na Europa. Public engagement talk about the SMiLE (Sustaining Minoritized Languages in Europe) project given at the sociocultural centre Gentalha do Pichel. Santiago de Compostela, Galiza.
  • Dayán-Fernández, A. & O’Rourke, B. (2018) Sowing the Seeds at Semente – Grassroots Revitalization and Language Activism in Contemporary Galicia. Co-authored project presentation at the SMiLE Workshop. National University of Ireland. Galway, Ireland.
  • Dayán-Fernández, A. (2019) “I’m sorry you had to listen to my castrapo”: Language Ideologies of the Galician Diaspora in a UK city. Paper presented at the Non-Standard And Minority Varieties as Community Languages in the UK: Towards a New Strategy for Language Maintenance. University of Westminster. London, England.
  • O’Rourke, B. & Dayán-Fernández, A. (2019) Sowing the Seeds at Semente: Grassroots Revitalization and Language Activism in Contemporary Galicia. Co-authored paper presented at the Final Sorbian Conference for the SMiLE project. Sorbian Institute. Bautzen, Germany.
  • O’Rourke, B. & Dayán-Fernández, A. (2019) Language Activism and Language Revitalization through the Lens of Social Movement Theory: Participatory Methods and the Co-production of Knowledge. Co-organised panel with members of Semente Compostela at the IV International Symposium of EDiSO: Voices, Silences, and Silencing in Discourse Studies. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela. Santiago de Compostela, Galiza.  
  • Dayán-Fernández, A. (2019) O papel de falantes, centros sociais e diásporas na internalizaçom da língua. Paper presented at the Galician USC Summer School: Cursos de Verão – Galego, porta aberta para o mundo II. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela. Rianxo, Galiza.
  • O’Rourke, B. & Dayán-Fernández, A. (2019) Final Sustaining Minoritized Languages in Europe (SMiLE) workshop. Final Research Report co-presented. University of Glasgow. Glasgow, Scotland.   
  • Dayán-Fernández, A. (2019) Policy, Politics & Activism – in need of change? Grassroots Activism in Contemporary Galicia. Public engagement talk given at the Gaelic in a Global and Digital Age event, University of Glasgow & MOD Ghlaschu. Glasgow, Scotland.
  • Dayán-Fernández, A. (2020, postponed to 2021 due to Covid-19) A Glottopolitics of the Galician Diaspora in a UK city: Performing Indigeneity as Heritage & Negotiating Ethnolinguistic Claims for Recognition. Paper accepted for the Sociolinguistics Symposium 23 (SS23): Unsettling Language. University of Hong Kong. Hong Kong.
  • Dayán-Fernández, A. (2020, cancelled due to Covid-19) A lógica Carvalho revisitada hoje. Co-organised panel at the Galician USC Summer School: Galego, porta aberta para o mundo, III – A lógica de Carvalho Calero. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela. Santiago de Compostela, Galiza.
  • Dayán-Fernández, A. (2020) A Glottopolitics of the Galician Diaspora in a UK city: Performing Indigeneity as Heritage & Negotiating Ethnolinguistic Claims for Recognition. Paper to be presented at the European Linguistic Anthropology Conference COMELA 2020: Bounded Languages…Unbounded. American College of Greece. Athens, Greece.
  • Linn, M. & Dayán-Fernández, A. (2020) Who Saves Threatened Languages? An Introduction to Examining Agency in the Periphery. Co-organised panel to be conducted at the international conference: Conventional and Unconventional Ways of Transmitting and Revitalizing Minoritized Languages in the European Context and Beyond. Institute of Slavic Studies. Polish Academy of Sciences. Warsaw, Poland. 
  • O’Rourke, B. & Dayán-Fernández, A. (2020) The Dynamics of Language Activism in Contemporary Galicia: Grassroots Movements and Spaces of Resistance. Co-authored paper to be presented at the international conference: Conventional and Unconventional Ways of Transmitting and Revitalizing Minoritized Languages in the European Context and Beyond. Institute of Slavic Studies. Polish Academy of Sciences. Warsaw, Poland. 

Teaching

  • I have previously taught: Translation (Spanish to English); Intercultural Studies; Intercultural Issues in Business and Management; Translation Project Management; Applied Linguistics; and Sociolinguistics. After joining the University of Glasgow in April 2019, I was part of the tutoring team for Spanish Language II (first semester, 2019-2020). I also taught seminars in translanguaging and translation.
  • Culture II (2020-2021). 

Additional Information

Qualifications

  • Master's Degree in Political Science and Public Administration. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela. 
  • MA Translation Studies with Intercultural Communication. University of Surrey. 
  • Graduate Certificate in Spanish Language Teaching to Adults (GCSTLA) Instituto Cervantes London & University of Roehampton. 
  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PR147871) Heriot-Watt University. 

Professional Experience Outside of Academia

  • Extensive experience in Linguistic Project Management & Quality Assurance for international companies. 

Languages

  • Galician-Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • English
  • French

Affiliations