Nitobe Seminar 2021

26-27 July 2021

Language, Conflict, and Security

The Nitobe symposium is co-organised by Ulster University and the Centre for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems (CED) with the financial support of the Esperantic Studies Foundation (ESF).  Because of current conditions, the Symposium will run as a virtual event over two days: 26-27 July 2021.  The working languages of the event will be English and Esperanto. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided.

The 2021 Symposium will explore four principal topics of current importance to the theme:

• Language policy in Northern Ireland and implications for power-sharing in contested societies;
• Language in the context of security and conflict resolution in Europe;
• Language in humanitarian crises and pro-active peace-building in the global context.
• Promoting Linguistic Justice

More information

Marjorie Boulton Fellowships Awarded

29 June 2021


Guilherme Moreira Fians and Edwin Michielsen are the 2021 recipients of the Marjorie Boulton Fellowships of the Esperantic Studies Foundation.

Guilherme Moreira Fians (Brazil) received his Ph.D. in social anthropology from the University of Manchester in 2019 and is currently Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Brasília. He is co-editor of the journal Esperantologio / Esperanto Studies and serves on the board of the Center for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems (CED).  His research project builds on the subject of his Ph.D. dissertation, an ethnographic study of the Esperanto movement in France, and seeks to understand how languages and digital media have an impact on the way people develop and convey political perspectives. “My project will explore how right-wing nationalists mobilize hashtags, bots, languages and other discursive mechanisms to make online political discussions more dynamic and, at the same time, confrontational,” comments Dr. Fians. “Investigating these themes from an original perspective that accounts for these phenomena’s cross-border manifestations, my work will take Brazilians who speak Esperanto as its focus.”

Edwin Michielsen (Netherlands and Canada) holds BA and MA degrees from the University of Leiden in Japanese studies and has recently (2021) completed his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto with a dissertation on “Proletarian Arts and Internationalism in East Asia.” He has served as Visiting Research Fellow at Waseda University and Visiting Junior Fellow at Seoul National University and has done additional research work in China (Tsinghua University) and Japan (Tokyo University). His Marjorie Boulton Fellowship will take him back to Waseda University and to the Japanese Esperanto Institute to examine the early history of Esperanto in Japan and China and particularly how Esperanto was utilized by proletarian writers in the first half of the twentieth century to assemble a linguistic solidarity worldwide against imperial languages and linguistic oppression.

The Boulton Fellowships are named for Marjorie Boulton (1924-2017), a leading poet and scholar in Esperanto over many years and well known also as an educator and scholar of English language and literature. Author of a series of eight popular books on literature beginning with The Anatomy of Poetry (1953), Dr. Boulton also produced the standard biography of the founder of Esperanto, L.L. Zamenhof, in both English and Esperanto editions. In Esperanto she wrote original poems, essays and plays. She held a doctorate from Oxford University and was a member of the Esperanto Academy.

“We are delighted to be able to assist these two young scholars in their examination of the way in which the movement for the International Language Esperanto intersects with larger political and linguistic forces,” commented Charles O. Mays, executive director of the Esperantic Studies Foundation, “We are honored to welcome them into the ESF research community.”


Statement of purpose

ESF works to further the understanding and practice of linguistic justice in a multicultural world.

We aim to develop and support excellence in scholarship, education, and interlingual communication.

Our priorities and values are shaped through engagement with the worldwide community of Esperanto speakers, as well as with researchers, educators and activists in many language-related fields.

Tivadar Soros Lecture Series

Through support provided by the Soros family, the Esperantic Studies Foundation recently sponsored the Tivadar Soros Lectures, presented at the City University of New York. We are now able to make available these interviews with four of the lecturers.

Esther Schor

Ulrich Lins

Ulrich Becker

Michael Gordin

Esperanto history and its place in society

Support ESF!

By supporting the Esperantic Studies Foundation, you will be supporting efforts to promote language equality in the world and equitable, high-quality communication across cultures and language groups. Click here to make a donation.

  • Students at Poznan Interlinguistics Program (photo: Ilona Koutny)

2020 ESF Update

by Grant Goodall (in Esperanto)

2020 End of Year Message

Read ESF's 2020 year-end message from President, Humphrey Tonkin by clicking here.

New ESF Blog

The new blog presents the work, services, accomplishments, etc of ESF, as a
public face for the foundation to the rest of the educated world. Articles will be written by
the board, recipients of grants, members of the advisory board, symposium organisers, and
special guests. The blog has just gone live; please subscribe, read the posts and comment!

Subscribe to our Newsletter


donors_treffle_mercierI don't hesitate to support ESF, because for me, this foundation is the most important and effective for spreading Esperanto and getting people to accept it. You only need to take a look at the various activities that ESF supports, to understand that the money donated to this foundation is well used and bears concrete and useful fruits.

(Trefflé Mercier, Canada)


donors_fernando_maia_jrI donate to ESF because I agree with and trust the work that they fund. ESF runs and supports some of the most important spaces for Esperanto on the internet, always with a modern eye and inspiring results

(Fernando Maia Jr., Brazil)

Tonkin elected Honorary President of the Universal Esperanto Association

In the first session of its Annual General Meeting, which is taking place online this year for the first time, the International Committee of the Universal Esperanto Assocation awarded Humphrey Tonkin its highest honor, naming him an Honorary President of the Association. It has been 56 years since the UEA last awarded such an honour to one of its leaders.

In its motivation of the award, the UEA Executive Board described Tonkin as “undoubtedly the most influential and multifaceted leader of the UEA in the last fifty years.” President of the Association for three terms (1974-77, 1977-80 kaj 1986-89), and a Board member for three more, the latter two as Vice-President (1980-83, 1983-86 kaj 2001-04), Tonkin has also made important contributions outside the Board in the fields of literature, research and documentation, and external relations. More than any other individual, he is associated with the expanding global activities of the UEA throughout this period, and with Esperanto’s growing prestige in the professional and non-governmental milieus of the United Nations and UNESCO and in the fields of language policy and language planning.

Tonkin learned Esperanto as a teenager in 1954, and two years later took part in his first World Congress in Copenhagen (since then he has attended more than 50 Congresses). After more than a decade of active participation in the youth movement, he took on the presidency of the UEA in 1974, at the age of 34. He led a wide-ranging renewal of the Association’s structures and activities, rewriting its constitution and bylaws, opening offices in Budapest, Antwerp and New York, and launching several initiatives to strengthen its finances. At the same time he modernized and strengthened the Centre for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems, whose flagship journal Language Problems and Language Planning, in thirty years under his editorship, reached the top tier of international journals in that field. He has written and translated extensively in Esperanto (including two of Shakespeare’s plays and the essay collection Lingvo kaj popolo [Language and People], 2006), and is also responsible for the English translations of several important Esperanto works, among them Lins’s La danĝera lingvo [The Dangerous Language]. He has also long been a popular and frequent lecturer in the International Congress University, in the Interlinguistic Studies program in Poznan, Poland, and in many other Esperanto events of an educational, cultural or activist nature. From 2004 to 2016 he presided over the international Arts Competition in Esperanto, and over an even longer period he was responsible for the UEA’s relationship with the United Nations, most recently as its representative in the international steering committee of the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations (CoNGO). Since 1968 he has additionally been, almost without interruption, the president of the Esperantic Studies Foundation, which has played an ever more important role in fostering the development of the UEA and the Esperanto movement over the last two decades.

Update on and PIV 2020

by Bertilo Wennegren (in Esperanto)

Quick links to some ESF-supported projects

Comments are closed