Greg Niedt is a PhD candidate at Drexel University in Philadelphia (USA), in the department of Communication, Culture, and Media, with a background in Sociolinguistics. His research is centered on the connections between language and identity (especially among diaspora communities and queer communities), the ways those connections manifest in the world, and how they become points of interaction or conflict for individuals. Currently, Greg is conducting dissertation research on how linguistic and semiotic landscapes factor into the phenomenology of being a resident in South Philly, a traditionally Italian-American neighborhood with recent waves of immigration from Southeast Asia and Latin America. As a linguist who believes in social justice, he hopes this work will facilitate a deeper understanding of how people use language to claim and contest space, freedom of self-expression, diversity, and equality.
Greg’s Fulbright project will echo this work in a European context, with an additional emphasis on the role of language policy and how it affects the public texts that fill residents’ everyday environment. The different social and ethnolinguistic realities of the European field sites (in Germany, Italy, and France) will, he hopes, add depth and contrast to the singular American case he is examining.
Stay at MPI-MMG:
September - November 2017