Guilherme Moreira Fians


    • KY16 9AR

      United Kingdom

    Personal profile


    Guilherme Fians is a Leverhulme Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews and Co-Director of the Centre for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems (Netherlands/USA). Guilherme holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Manchester and has previously held teaching and research positions at the universities of Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Manchester, São Paulo, Brasília, and Massachusetts Amherst.

    Research overview

    Guilherme's current project examines how languages and media have been mobilised for the (re)production of certain viewpoints about political and scientific issues. This project asks: what role have particular languages and particular media played regarding international knowledge production in the late twentieth century and at present? This involves two core avenues of research. On the one hand, an analysis of controversies over how to convey (or avoid) debates about imperialism and post-colonialism in the Esperanto media during the Cold War period. On the other hand, a study of how historical revisionism following the death of Elizabeth II takes the shape of a heightened edit war in the English-language Wikipedia at present.

    From 2015 to 2021, Guilherme looked at how young Esperanto speakers in France engage with the language through activism for free speech and against linguistic discrimination. In using Esperanto online and in street protests, the joint activism for the language and other causes gains ground through the freedom to code supported by open-source software activists and through the prefigurative practices advanced by alter-globalisation movements such as the Gilets jaunes.

    Previously, Guilherme's interest in the intergenerational transmission of language and knowledge led him to a project on meaning-making in dialogue with scholarship on child development and youth studies. In line with his commitment to multilingualism in academia, Guilherme has published and communicated his research outcomes in English, Portuguese, French, German, Spanish, and Esperanto.

    Profile Keywords

    Late Modern History, Knowledge Production, Media and Translation, Digital Anthropology, Language Politics, Social Movements, Europe and the global South

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 4 - Quality Education
    • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
    • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

    External positions

    Co-Director, Centre for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems

    1 Apr 2020 → …


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