The Esperantic Studies Foundation had a busy and productive year in 2021 despite the limitations caused by the pandemic. In this post I’ll give some highlights since the update in July.

The US Summer Esperanto Program (NASK) was held virtually again in 2021 with 68 participants. The post-beginner course was taught by veteran instructor Hans Becklin. NASK welcomed Christophe Chazarein-Béa (France) who taught the intermediate course and Tim Owen (Britain) who taught the advanced course as first-time instructors. The NASK team is preparing to return to in-person classes in 2022 and is planning an online preparatory course for those needing a refresher before NASK and before the world congress in Montreal in July 2022.

A new program, the Marjorie Boulton Fellowships, was started in 2021 and will continue in 2022. Two fellowships were awarded to young scholars Guilherme Fians and Edwin Michielsen.

Fians’ research project builds on the subject of his Ph.D. dissertation, an ethnographic study of the Esperanto movement in France, and seeks to understand how languages and digital media have an impact on the way people develop and convey political perspectives.

Michielsen’s fellowship will take him back to Waseda University and to the Japanese Esperanto Institute to examine the early history of Esperanto in Japan and China and particularly how Esperanto was utilized by proletarian writers in the first half of the twentieth century to assemble a linguistic solidarity worldwide against imperial languages and linguistic oppression.

Our annual board retreat was held virtually for the second year. In five sessions in September and early October the board made plans for 2022 and beyond. One outcome is the addition of three board members: Paige Feldmann, a lawyer in private practice in Raleigh, North Carolina; Professor Francis Hult of the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC); and Marcia Rego, Associate Professor of the Practice of Thompson Writing Program at Duke University. These talented additions to the board strengthen the already experienced and dynamic board members who are guiding the Esperantic Studies Foundation. With regrets, two board members are no longer able to serve: Ben Speakmon, software engineer from Seattle and Esther Schor, professor at Princeton. ESF thanks them for their dedication and years of service.

Thank you for your support for the Esperantic Studies Foundation in 2021. We are looking forward to 2022 and hope to be able to greet you in person in Montreal.

Chuck Mays is the Executive Director for ESF.
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