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Sustaining Minority Languages in Europe (SMiLE)

Regional Library of Bizkaia, Bilbo (Bilbao), Bizkaia
Regional Library of Bizkaia, Bilbo (Bilbao), Bizkaia. Photo by Mary Linn, Smithsonian

Languages are integral to our identity, our heritage, and our humanity. With most of the world’s languages severely threatened, thousands of language communities have committed to revitalization efforts, from documentation and renewal to revitalization and maintenance. These efforts respond to the urgency of the situation in the absence of robust comparative research.

At the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, we believe that sustained efforts in language revitalization and the accumulated literature on these efforts are at a point where larger-scaled comparative analysis and synthesis is possible. To address this need, we have developed an interdisciplinary research program, Sustaining Minority Languages in Europe (SMiLE), that seeks to examine autochthonous or minoritized language revitalization initiatives in Europe in a more systematic manner.

Collaborative Research Awards

SMiLE will fund six teams of two or more academic researchers, community-based scholars, language advocates, policy experts, and others. Support is available for various combinations of fieldwork, consultation, project-related travel, and archival research for periods up to eighteen months. Each research team will be eligible for awards up to $120,800 USD.

Grantees are expected to present their works-in-progress at three workshops sponsored by the Smithsonian and collaborate with other grantees and SMiLE advisors to synthesize findings.

SMiLE Research Awards are sponsored by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage with funding from Ferring Pharmaceutics Inc.

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