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From Oppression to Emancipation: Breton Language Schools and a New Celtic Identity

Wednesday, 20 February, 2013

Dr. Sébastien Dubreil, Dept. of Modern Foreign Languages & Literatures

Over the course of history, the centralizing tendencies of the French government have been hostile to regional identities in order to unify the nation, especially through language. But the Breton identity is still deeply alive in Western France, a culturally Celtic region. Moreover, the perception of the Breton language has recently changed, both on the part of Breton speakers and on the part of the central political power. Learning Breton is now envisioned as a tool of emancipation and reclaiming of a positive cultural identity, as a means to encourage multilingualism/multiculturalism, and as a tool to promote ecological diversity in a new European context. These issues are examined in the context of the sociolinguistic trajectory of Brittany, as they materialize in two particular settings: Celtic circles and Breton language schools.

A presentation of the Center for the Study of Social Justice Colloquium series




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