My doctoral research focused on the province of South Tyrol, Italy, a border region situated just south of Austria. The region is considered a ‘peace model’ by many nation-states since the creation of the province’s autonomy statutes. The objective of these statutes was to allow for minority protection of the German- and Ladin-speaking communities while also permitting Austria to be the ‘protector’ of South Tyrol. Another bi-product of these statutes was the creation of the ‘separate but equal’ education system, which allowed the German-, Italian- and Ladin-speaking communities to have individual schools in order to protect their culture and language identity.
In the past several decades, there has been an increase in ‘mixed’ marriages with members of differing language groups producing bilingual children. Additionally, civil service positions now require that all applicants have a mandatory comprehension of the region’s second language, or in some cases third language, in order to apply for certain posts. As the education system tries to adjust to local concerns regarding the insufficient teaching of the second language in monolingual education, the concept of South Tyrol as a ‘peace model’ was brought into question during the course of my research.
In my thesis, I examined how the South Tyrolean school system was reflective of society at large as its divided education mirrors the current fissures existent amongst the language communities. With parents looking for alternative measures to instruct their children in the second language, some residents would prefer a bilingual schooling option to encourage inter-group assimilation.
Furthermore, I discussed, outside of education, external social factors in the region which impact second language learning creating language learning ‘blocks’ and ‘victim’ versus ‘conqueror’ mentalities. The objective of this research was to try and understand how South Tyrol continues to be in transition as the province adjusts to more bilingualism despite the historical need to preserve the language minorities.
During my time as a Research Associate, I will be working towards a monograph manuscript based off my doctoral research. In addition, I run an Early Career Researchers’ podcast called, ‘Coffee & Cocktails’ in the Oxfordshire area designed to help ECRs promote their work to both academic and non-academic audiences. More information can be found on my Facebook page @coffeeandcocktails1.
Wand, A., 2018 (forthcoming). How South Tyrolean dialect, identity and German-speaking education effect second language acquisition. Journal of multilingual and multicultural development (2018).
Wand, A., 2018 (forthcoming). Introduction: the (re)invention of tradition and identity politics in five European case studies. Ethnoscripts Special Issue: Tradition, performance and identity politics in European festivals, [e-journal] 20(1) (2018). Available through: University of Hamburg [Accessed 13 October 2017].
Wand, A., 2016. “Separate but equal”, segregated or stymied? Second language learning issues in South Tyrol. Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford. 8(3) (2016).
Selected conferences and guest presentations:
17 November 2017, Nationalism, language identity, and education in South Tyrol, Italy, Guest presenter, Oxford Brookes University.
25 March 2017, Winter festivals and traditions, University of Oxford.
26 October 2016, History and Heimat: navigating German-speakers’ (language) identity in Italy’s South Tyrol province, Department of European Languages and Cultures, University of Groningen, Netherlands
22 September 2016, South Tyrolean Anthropological Association (EV-AA), South Tyrol, Italy, Guest presenter.
7 February 2014, Controversies in second language acquisition: the case of South Tyrol, Language Studies department, Umeå University, Sweden.
11-12 October 2013, Difficulties in second language acquisition: the case study of South Tyrol, 'Breaking classroom silences: addressing sensitive issues in education', European University of Cyprus.
Selected podcast, media and blogs:
Coffee & Cocktails, 2018. English language policy and UK security (February 2018), Coffee & Cocktails Podcast [podcast] February 2018 [Accessed 28 February 28 2018].
Coffee & Cocktails, 2017. The use of Camfranglais amongst the diaspora (December 2017), Coffee & Cocktails Podcast [podcast] December 2017 [Accessed 12 December 2017].
Coffee & Cocktails, 2017. Dealing with isolation in academia (November 2017), Coffee & Cocktails Podcast [podcast] November 2017 [Accessed 27 November 2017].
Coffee & Cocktails, 2017. Translanguaging in Senegal (September 2017), Coffee & Cocktails Podcast. [podcast] September 2017 [Accessed 13 October 2017].
Wand, A., et al., 2017. Job insecurity for ECRs: a roundtable discussion, Allegralab, [online] 29 August [Accessed 13 October 2017].
Coffee & Cocktails, 2017. Part 2- ECRs and the job market (August 2017), Coffee & Cocktails Podcast. [podcast] August 2017 [Accessed 13 October 2017].
Coffee & Cocktails, 2017. Part 1- ECRs and the job market (June 2017), Coffee & Cocktails Podcast. [podcast] June 2017 [Accessed 13 October 2017].
Theories and approaches to Anthropology
Anthropology of Europe
Fieldwork methods and ethics
Honour and Shame
Festivals and Rituals (in Europe)
Multiculturalism and the European Right
Nationalism and (im)migration
Anthropology of Education
Interests include: Identity politics, anthropology of education, anthropology of borders, religion, ritual, multiculturalism, multilingualism, second language acquisition, land attachment, minority issues, nationalism, regionalism and the anthropology of Europe