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Linguistic cultures and communities in Europe past and present: building the EUROTALES Museum

Discover the intangible cultural heritage of the many languages used in Europe throughout history and contribute to the collections of EUROTALES - A Museum of the Voices of Europe

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CIVIS focus area
Society, culture, heritage
Open to
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
  • PhD
Field of studies
  • Social Science and humanities
  • Blended Intensive Programmes (BIP)
Course dates
3 November 2023 - 12 January 2024

The scope of the collaborative project is to contribute to EUROTALES - the first European Language Museum based in a university and conceived of as a research hub as well as an exhibiting space. It gathers research data with the active collaboration of staff, students and the general public.

We will discuss the concept of the museum and its methodological background, present its collections (Resonances Present and Past, Traces, Milestones) and train students during the online part of the project in field research and in historical research methods. By using interactive templates, they will learn how to retrieve anonymous linguistic biographies from community members (Resonances Present), which will be added to the database of over 5000 which is currently on display. They will also learn methods to retrieve data about the linguistic history from their communities, to reveal the archaeology of the languages in their territories through the study of linguistic Traces in monuments and places and Resonances of past languages. We are also building an archive of the Milestones which contributed to the birth and establishment of all European languages.

Students who complete the course well will have their work published in the physical Museum and on its website.

Main topics addressed

  • Languages and cultures in Europe (IX-XXI c.)
  • Methodologies in field work and contemporary sociolinguistics
  • Methodologies in historical sociolinguistics
  • Mulitilingualism and multiculturalism
  • Eco-museums and museums in society

Learning outcomes

  • Appreciation of the multicultural and multilayered nature of the linguistic history within European territory;
  • Recognition of multilingualism and multiculturalism in communities and nations;
  • Insight on how language shapes history, identity and culture;
  • Knowledge of how languages live and are shaped within different geographic spaces;
  • Retrieval of linguistic genealogies within individuals, past and present;
  • Retrieval of the memory of languages in objects and places;
  • Fieldwork research methods experience;
  • Presenting academic knowledge to the public (outreach);
  • Experience in publication.

At the end of the course, students are expected to have aquired research skills in linguistic anthropology, critical thinking, abilities of data analysis and work experience in digital humanities.

Dates: 3 November 2023 - 12 January 2024 Total workload: 170 hours
Format: Blended ECTS: 6
Location: Rome, Italy Language: English (C1) 

Recognition of ECTS depends on your home university.

The course will be held in English.

Physical mobility

The physical mobility part will take place in Rome, between 8 and 12 January 2024, and will include seminars and itineraries:

  • Discussion and presentation of the work that students did at their home university (Resonances, Traces)
  • Visit to the Eurotales museum
  • Visit to the Keats-Shelley House in Rome
  • Visit to the Non-Catholic Cemetery
  • Itineraries to explore the Traces in Rome held by Students and Faculty
  • Seminars on migration and transits and their bearing on the linguistic culture in Europe
  • Interviews with multilingual communities in Rome
  • Conversations with writers and media personalities about language culture in Europe

Virtual part

The online seminars will take place each Friday afternoon, between 3 November - 15 December, as it follows:

  • 3 November, 15:00 CET - 18:00 CET - Introduction and Scope of Eurotales Project and Museum - Language, Community and Place

a.    EUROTALES Museum Laboratory Concept and Collections [PPT lecture]

b.    Course Syllabus and Moodle Platform

c.    Resonances Present - Questionnaires

Task: Please complete two questionnaires on Moodle for the next meeting, on 10 November. 


  • 10 November, 15:00 CET - 18:00 CET - Field and Research Methods in sociolinguistics and history

a.    Resonances of the Past - What are they? - Template (PPT lecture)

b.    Traces - What are they? - Template - Making itineraries (PPT lecture)

c.    Discussion of First Questionnaires - Q & A

Task: Please identify topics for Resonances Past, Traces and Itineraries for the next meeting, on 10 November.

  • 17 November, 15:00 CET - 18:00 CET - Division into Working Groups on Resonances Past and Present: discuss results (Resonances Present), topics and bibliography (Resonances Past)

a.    The Basics: Inscriptions, Primary Sources and Bibliographies for Resonances Past and Traces

b.    Q & A

Task: Please identify Traces and Itinerary themes, collect bibliography and images and write the short label text for the next meeting, on 24 November. The completed Questionnaires would be uploaded on Moodle.

  • 24 November, 15:00 CET - 18:00 CET - Division into Working Groups on Traces: discuss topics, bibliography and itineraries

Task: Please complete Drafts of Resonances Past Due for the next meeting, on 1 December.

  • 1 December, 15:00 CET - 18:00 CET 

a.    Exchange between students of Drafts of Resonances Past

b.    Class time spent reading and commenting

c.    Conclude with reports on issues and problems in the drafts

Task: Please complete Drafts of Traces Due for the next meeting, on 8 December.

  • 8 December, 15:00 CET - 18:00 CET

a.    Exchange between students of Drafts of Traces Class time spent reading and commenting

b.    Conclude with reports on issues and problems in the drafts

Task: Based on classmates’ feedback, please revise Drafts of Traces and Resonances Past Due for the next meeting, on 8 December.

  • 15 December, 15:00 CET - 17:00 CET

a.    Discussion of issues and problems to fix in written work

b.   Rome preparations and proposals

c.    Q & A

  • 22 December, 15:00 CET - 17:00 CET (optional)

a.    Commented Resonances Past and Traces Returned

b.    Rome preparations Final

c.    Q & A



This course is open to Bachelor's, Master's and PhD students at CIVIS member universities with a keen interest in languages from any perspective (linguistic studies, history, anthropology, museology).

Participants should have a very good command of written and spoken English. 

NB: Visiting Students - Erasmus Funding Eligibility

To be eligible for your selected CIVIS programme, you must be a fully enrolled student at your CIVIS home university at the time you will be undertaking the programme. Click here to learn more about the eligibility criteria.

Application process

You can apply by filling in the online application form by 30 September 2023, uploading the following documents:

  • Motivation letter
  • CV

Applications will be evaluated according to the student's motivation, English level and interest for the project.


The assessment will be based on the following criteria:

  • 25% - participation in virtual and in-person seminars and workshops
  • 25% - field work for Resonances present
  • 50% - historical Traces and Resonances

Blended Intensive Programme

This CIVIS course is a Blended Intensive Programme (BIP): a new format of Erasmus+ mobility which combines online teaching with a short trip to another campus to learn alongside students and professors across Europe. Click here to learn more about CIVIS BIPs.

GDPR Consent

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  • Prof. Irene Baldriga, Museology, Sapienza Università di Roma
  • Prof. Lorenzo Bartoli, Italian Studies, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • Prof. Nadia Cannata, Linguistics, Sapienza Università di Roma
  • Prof. Simone Celani, Portuguese studies, Sapienza Università di Roma
  • Dr. Giulia Fabbiano, Anthropology, Aix-Marseille université
  • Prof. Maia W. Gahtan, Museology, Kent State University, Florence
  • Dr. Ghislaine Gallenga, Anthropology, Aix-Marseille université
  • Prof. Heidi Grönstrand, Finnish language and literature and Multilingualism, Stockholm University
  • Prof. Leìla Maziane, Modern History, Casablanca Hassan II
  • Prof. Domenica Minniti Gonias, Italian, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • Prof. Salem Mokni, Ancient History, University of Sfax
  • Prof. Margaret Sonmez, English language and literature, Middle Eastern Technical University, Ankara
  • Dr. Gaia Tomazzoli, Romance Linguistics, Sapienza Università di Roma
  • Prof. Roxana Utale, Romanian Language and Literature, University of Bucharest
  • Dr. Martine Van Geertruijden, French and Translation, Sapienza Università di Roma