The Future of Russian project was represented by two of its core group members, Ingunn Lunde and Martin Paulsen, at The 18th Congress of Scandinavian Slavists in Tampere, Finland last week. Lunde, head of the Future of Russian-project, and the University of Bergen, came to play central roles in the general assembly that marked the end of the congress, as Lunde was elected head of both the Norwegian and the Scandinavian association of slavists, and the University of Bergen was given the task of organizing the 19th Congress of Scandinavian Slavists in 2013.

Both Lunde and Paulsen participated in the PhD seminar that preceeded the opening of the congress. Lunde gave a plenary lecture with the title “Philology, New Philology, New Philologies: Reflections on the “Humanism” of the Humanities” where she discussed the relationship between traditional philology and the new philology of recent decades, and the place of the humanities in contemporary society. Paulsen contributed to a round table discussion on Scandinavian slavistics with the presentation “Is there a Scandinavian niche in Slavic studies?”

At the conference proper, which gathered around one hundred participants (mainly) from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, Lunde gave a talk on metalinguistic reflections in Evgenii Popov’s novels Nakanune nakanune (1993) and Podlinnaia istoriia zelenykh muzykantov (1999), entitled “Fra remake til fotnoter: Evgenij Popov og 1990-årenes russiske språkkultur (om Nakanune nakanune og Podlinnaja istorija zelenykh muzykantov). Lunde showed how Popov’s perspective changed in the six years that passed between the publication of the two novels, and while the first novel describes a linguistic state, in the latter the author is more involved in the linguistic debate.

The title of Paulsen’s paper was “Det kyrilliske alfabetets digitale utfordring” and it dealt with the macroeconomic preconditions for the adaptation of digital technology to the needs of the Russian language society. Paulsen found that compared to other language societies with non-Latin alphabets like the Arabic and Greek, the Russians have better conditions for the adaptation of digital technology. This might be the reason why translit seems to be less widespread among speakers of (digital) Russian than the similar phenomena in the Greek and Arabic language societies.

The University of Bergen was also represented by Lillian Helle and Margje Post, and now the four delegates will need to sit down with the rest of the colleagues in Bergen to start the preparations for 2013.