David Karlander’s research focuses on people’s ideas about language, communication and other sign making activities. He has explored these issues in studies of minority language politics, the history of linguistic thought, and graffiti writing. His research agenda draws on and speaks to social theory, semiology and the philosophy of knowledge.
At the Society of Fellows in the Humanities, Karlander will be studying visions of unity in linguistic thought. His project takes interest in how and why ideas of unity – of order, systematicity and coherence – appear to precipitate in seemingly antagonistic conceptualizations of language and communication. Karlander will engage mainly with the intellectual history of socially invested language studies (e.g. sociolinguistics, applied linguistics), with the concept of critique in linguistics, and with the use of auxiliary languages for political ends. In addition to publishing on these topics, he will also finalize a study on the pursuit of semiotic unity under anti-graffiti regimes.
Karlander holds degrees from Uppsala University (BA, MA) and Stockholm University (PhD).