Curriculum Vitae

Research Projects

Language in Motion: Exploring the Linguistic Repertoire and Media Biographies in the Context of Forced Displacement.
March 2020-Mach 2023
Funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)

Abstract: The aim of this project is to explore a dimension of the linguistic repertoire that has up to now received little attention: how mediality affects the experience of language, i.e. how we expect a certain materiality of the linguistic sign to affect that what we want to say. To this end, language and media biographies are going to be collected in the form of in-depth interviews, elicited with the aid of media artefacts. Central to this study is the generation who fled with their parents as children and grew up in Austria due to the breakout of war in Yugoslavia in the 1990s. The outcomes are expected to contribute to understanding language and media use in multilingual biographies in the context of forced displacement.

A Journey to Heterotopia: Practices of Memory on the Vienna Central Cemetery

August 2019-January 2020
Funded by the City of Vienna

Abstract: The Vienna Central Cemetery (Zentralfriedhof) is one of the largest in Europe and corresponds with what Foucault sketched out as heterotopia: sites juxtaposing several spaces and layers of historical times in a single real place. This project explores practices of remembrance as multimodal representations, displayed in different forms of rituals, scripts and languages emblematic of the capital of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy as well as of the more recent heterogeneity of a globalized city. Field research comprising participant observation and interviews with a focus on material culture are being conducted to this end.

Academic training

March 2009 – November 2016

Doctoral dissertation:

Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna

Thesis title: Transmitted Memory in South Africa. The born-free generation's interpretation of apartheid and the democratic transition. (Erinnerung aus zweiter Hand. Die born-free Generation in Südafrika und ihre Interpretation der Apartheid und des demokratischen Übergangs.)

Supervisor: Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Brigitta Busch (Department of Linguistics, University of Vienna)

Abstract:  More than 20 years after the first democratic elections in South Africa, a new generation has grown up who knows about apartheid only from transmitted memory. With this dissertation project, two objectives are pursued: firstly, to illustrate how the young people position the experience of their families in relation to apartheid. Secondly, to interpret the stances they take in relation to sources of knowledge and discourse positions about the past as active social identifications. 40 students of heterogeneous backgrounds, aged 16-19, from six different schools in Cape Town and its surroundings were interviewed about their biographies and family stories. I show that the sources of transmitted memory which the interview partners refer to and their attitudes towards these sources are taken from a variety of networked interactions. Notably, they cannot be ascribed to a single aspect such as race, ethnicity or the historical experience of their parents but to their own positioning and agency.

Grants and prizes received:

  • Marietta-Blau-Grant (01-12/2011), allocated by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science

  • Forschungsstipendium (01-08/2012), Förderstipendium, Stipendium für kurzfristige wissenschaftliche Arbeiten im Ausland, allocated by the University of Vienna

  • Kulturen im Dialog (University of Bozen/Bolzano), prize and grant for the publication of the dissertation

October 2002 – December 2008

Master degree, Slavonic Studies (Russian), University of Vienna

Title of diploma thesis: Anton Čechov and Mark Aurel. A comparison based on the novels Skučnaja istorija, Černyj monach and Palata No.6. (Anton Čechov und Mark Aurel. Ein Vergleich anhand der Erzählungen Skučnaja istorija, Černyj monach und Palata No.6.)

October 2003 – 2014

Study module, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna

Focus of study: historical anthropology, inter- and intracultural conflict studies, political anthropology, methods of anthropology

October 2003 – March 2010

Study module, Department of Linguistics, University of Vienna

Focus of study: sociolinguistics and discourse analysis


Field research

February 2011 – January 2012

Cape Town/South Africa: field research for the doctoral dissertation

Qualitative interviews and life-story interviews with 45 South Africans aged 17-20

October 2012 – December 2012

Cape Town/South Africa: further research, writing up and discussion of preliminary findings


Participation in research projects

August 2013 – April 2014

Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research project Multilingualism – Trauma – Resilience, Department of Linguistics, University of Vienna, head of project: Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Brigitta Busch

March 2007 – June 2007

Research project Spaces of linguistic diversity in Vienna, Department of Linguistics, University of Vienna, head of project: Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Brigitta Busch


Conference organisation

15 October 2013

Conference Multilingualism – Trauma – Resilience, funded by the city of Vienna


Conference contributions


Apartheid was an Inconceivable Space – The past as a chronotope in post-segregation Cape Town. Paper accepted for panel Memories of belonging: Mobility, memory and place-making.
DGV-Tagung (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Völkerkunde), FU Berlin


Stance in discourse as reflective work: transmitted memory of apartheid.
Sociolinguistics Forum Murcia, Attitudes and Prestige


Patchwork Past: Die Apartheid und der demokratische Übergang aus Perspektive der born-free Generation.
SADOCC (Dokumentations- und Kooperationszentrum Südliches Afrika), Wien


Because they don't want us to be stuck in that whole thing of apartheid”: Intergenerational transmission of memory in South Africa.
ECAS (European Conference On African Studies) an der Sorbonne (Paris)


Memory of South African Youth. The transmission of memory and the reinterpretation of history.
Interdisziplinärer Workshop Erinnerungssubkulturen an der Universität Klagenfurt


South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Perspectives of the 'born-free' generation.
AEGIS-Konferenz (African Studies in Europe) Trust and Reconciliation in Post-Conflict Societies am Centre for African Studies in Basel


The historical consciousness of the 'born-free' generation in South Africa.
10. Moving Anthropology Student Network Conference, Being Consciousness, in Kauzen, Österreich


Contribution to the workshop Sprachkontakt und Mehrsprachigkeit als Herausforderung für Soziolinguistik und Systemlinguistik
37. Österreichische Linguistiktagung, Universität Salzburg


Raum für sprachliche Diversität: die Wiener städtische Bücherei als Nexus transidiomatischer Praktiken. Gemeinsam mit Prof. Brigitta Busch
35. Österreichische Linguistiktagung, Universität Innsbruck