PhD fellows

Visnja Cicin-Sain holds a Master’s degree in English language and literature and Italian language and literature with specialization in linguistics in both fields, obtained from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, as well as a teacher qualification. Some of her current research interests cover cognitive linguistics, metaphor(isation), discourse analysis and language planning discourse.

PhD project: Metaphorical models in the discourse of national languages on the territory of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian vs. Serbo-Croatian)

The project addresses metaphorical, discursive models active throughout linguistic and public debates during the period prior to and following the break-up of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, whose aim was either to support or oppose the establishment of four current national languages (Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian and Montenegrin) out of what was labelled as Serbo-Croatian in both the former federal state and linguistics.  The aim is to be attained considering metaphorical models and expressions active in the academic, dominant discourse generated by linguists and cultural institutions, and those active in non-academic, public discourse and their role in constructing language identities for the languages in question. The following are some of the research questions:

Do academic and non-academic discourses addressing Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbina opposed to Serbo-Croatian rely on metaphorical models and to what extent? How are these four languages conceptualized in relation to one another and in relation to the concept of a single, 'unitary' language? More specifically, what is the role of metaphor and non-literal language in the establishment of their distinct language identities? What are differences and similarities observable across nation-states?



Ole Sneltvedt's background is from the University of Oslo. He has  a bachelor´s and a master´s degree in European and American Area Studies. The title of his thesis was: The Republican Narrative and American Political Culture: Wendell Berry, Christopher Lasch and the Great American Cultural Conversation.

The overarching aim of his PhD  project is to analyze the ethical and political status of patriotism, within the recently revitalized academic discourse on republican political theory, against the emergent grand-narratives of globalization and the trans- nationalization of the public sphere. Is it possible to replace special affection towards one´s country with state or constitution? What is the relationship between culture, political culture and civic nationalism? Is there a relationship between patriotism, moral agency and citizenship?

The main hypothesis of the project is that: patriotism, in the discourse on republicanism, should be seen as affection felt towards the preconditions of the polis, political life and political participation— i.e. the potentiality of political liberty. Such preconditions are in this project limited to include: a shared environment, a shared interpretative framework, and a shared ethical framework. Patriotism can thus imply agency in relation to— a particular environment, a common sense and a way of acting—the preconditions for a certain type of political life embedded in a particular political culture. This points perhaps to a new understanding of civic national identity construction as involving the recognition by others as moral agent—in relation to the preconditions above.


Published Feb. 5, 2016 3:46 PM - Last modified Feb. 8, 2016 6:59 PM