Marjorie Boulton Fellowships Awarded

17 July 2023

The Esperantic Studies Foundation (ESF) has awarded this year’s Marjorie Boulton Fellowship to Dr. Cecilia Gialdini, a postdoctoral researcher at Ulster University whose research focuses on the measurement of linguistic justice.

In the course of doctoral studies at Ulster University, Dr. Gialdini identified a critical gap in the existing literature regarding concrete tools and indicators to evaluate the fairness of language policies. Their PhD thesis, "A Multidimensional Linguistic Justice Index: Measuring Language Policies through the Capability Approach,” served as a foundation for the Boulton application. Building upon previous contributions to evaluating linguistic justice, it addresses theoretical and methodological questions in the design of such an index. Among other objectives, the Fellowship will support the work of turning Gialdini's PhD thesis into a book with an international publisher.

Born and raised in Tuscany but adopted by Belfast, Dr Gialdini holds a BA in Politics and International Relations, an MSc in International Studies, and a PhD in Social Policy focusing on Linguistic Justice. Their passion for language studies emerged during their Master's degree. While on an Erasmus exchange at the University of Haifa, they conducted fieldwork for their final dissertation, focusing on the relationship between linguistic diversity and identity conflict in the State of Israel. Specifically, they examined educational policies for the Palestinian citizens of Israel. Dr Gialdini is committed to bringing linguistic justice to the forefront of discussions, not only within human rights but also in relation to political stability and peacebuilding.

The Boulton Fellowships support research in all fields of the humanities and social sciences, particularly as they relate to interlinguistics, linguistic justice, intercultural communication, Esperanto, and related phenomena. They were created in honor of the legacy of the late Marjorie Boulton, a prolific author of plays, poems, and prose in Esperanto, as well as the leading biographer in English of L. L. Zamenhof. Previous Fellowship recipients include postdoctoral researchers Edwin Micheilsen (now at the University of Hong Kong) and Guilherme Fians (currently a Leverhulme Research Fellow at the University of St. Andrews), and doctoral candidate Magdalena Madany-Saa, who recently defended her PhD at Pennsylvania State University.

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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.

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