The English of Exile
The Cultural and Linguistic Self-Translations of German-speaking Philosophers During and After World War II
Keywords:self-translation, exile, ELF, German-American identity, WWII, intellectual history, English as a lingua franca, twentieth-century Anglophone philosophy, Germanophone philosophers in exile
Much research has been devoted to the fates and careers of the Germanophone philosophers who were forced into exile from continental Europe during the rise of fascism. Yet little has been made of the confrontation of these thinkers with the militant monolingualism that has presided in the United States since the beginning of the Great War. This paper will discuss philosophers’ engagement with English when forced migration landed them in the United States or other Anglophone countries with large and growing university systems. While many German and Austrian writers living in the United States continued to write in German, the majority strove to master English-language publishing and to adopt the Anglophone research paradigm. The history of these scholars’ linguistic reeducation, I conclude, cannot be understood separately from the rise of English to its current position of prominence as the language of intellectual discourse globally.
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licence: CC BY-NC 4.0