David Karlander studies language and communication. His research covers topics in intellectual history, sociolinguistics, semiology and the philosophy of language. He currently investigates visions of auxiliary languages in political thought, mainly during the first half of the 20th century. He has previously published on minority language politics, graffiti, the history of Scandinavian dialectology, and the idea of deficit in theories of bilingualism.
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).