The Concept of Logoclastic Violence in Carinthia

  • Dejan Makovec
Keywords: Logoclastic Violence, Bilingualism, Imagined Community, Carinthian Slovenes, Nationalism

Abstract

The Ortstafelsturm, the ‘storm on the town signs’, was a series of political events in 1972 in Carinthia, Austria, in which up to 300 individuals participated in tearing down bilingual street signs that were erected days before by the Austrian government in areas where an autochthonous Slovene minority lives. Jennifer M. Gully (2011) refers to these events as instances of logoclastic or ‘language-breaking’ violence. With this term Gully identifies a rather complex political phenomenon that involves a conflict over bilingualism. The term, however, goes otherwise undefined. In this paper I try to reverse-engineer Gully’s notion of logoclastic violence from the particular phenomenon it is applied to. With reference to Benedict Anderson’s and Ernest Gellner’s theories of nationalism, I argue that it can be understood as a struggle between monolingual and multilingual conceptions of an imagined community.

References

Anderson, Benedict R.O. (2006), Imagined communities: reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism, Vero, London-New York.

Gellner, Ernest (1987), Culture, identity, and politics, Cambridge University Press, New York.

Gellner, Ernest (1990), Nations and nationalism, Blackwell, Oxford.

Gellner, Ernest (1994), Encounters with nationalism, Blackewell, Oxford-Cambridge, USA.

Gstettner, Peter (2004), «‘...wo alle Macht vom Volk ausgeht’. Eine nachhaltige Verhinderung. Zur Mikropolitik rund um den ‘Ortstafelsturm’ in Kärnten», in Österreichische Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft (ÖZP), 33 Jg., H. 1, pp. 81-94.

Gully, Jennifer M. (2011), «Bilingual Signs in Carinthia: International Treaties, the, and the Spaces of German», in Transit, 7(1), retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/ite

m/9vv4c23p.pdf

Rautz, Günther (2017), «Die neue Kärntner Landesverfassung – Eine Posse in drei Akten», in European Journal of Minority Studies, vol. 10, n. 1-2, pp. 156-172.

Romaine, Suzanne (2000), Language in society: an introduction to sociolinguistics, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

How to Cite
Makovec, D. (1) “The Concept of Logoclastic Violence in Carinthia”, Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio, 13(2). Available at: http://rifl.unical.it/index.php/rifl/article/view/548 (Accessed: 14August2020).