Conflict, Borders, Multilingualism, Translation

This Global Seminar treats the language politics of Cyprus as a way into discussions of borders, conflict, translation, and, more generally, intercultural communication.

Conflict, Borders, Multilingualism, Translation

Association for Historical Dialogue and Research, Nicosia, Cyprus

July 6 - August 14, 2020
(Arrive July 4; Depart: August 15)

Karen Emmerich, associate professor of comparative literature

Nicosia—Lefkosia in Greek, Lefkoşa in Turkish—is, as the triple name suggests, the site of intense linguistic and cultural interaction. It is the last divided city in the world; its old, walled city center is split roughly in half by a UN buffer zone that has been in place since the détente of 1974. It is both a post-conflict and a post-colonial city, with a past as a British protectorate, with strong political and cultural ties to both Greece and Turkey. The languages of Nicosia, and of Cyprus more generally, are multiple and ever-shifting, from Greek and Turkish to Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot—all of them also multiple and shifting even within themselves—to the many languages of third-country nationals living on the island, including UN personnel, economic migrants, refugees and foreign investors.

This Global Seminar treats the language politics of Cyprus as a way into discussions of borders, conflict, translation, and, more generally, intercultural communication. Students will read literary, historical, anthropological, sociological, legal and other materials dealing with the island, its linguistic and social makeup, its present and its past. In addition to critical readings in these fields, students will meet with numerous individuals living and working on the island, including writers, artists, anthropologists, politicians, activists, and of course translators actively engaged in multicommunal efforts to forge connections and relationships across Cyprus’s many divides. Our classes will meet in the buffer zone itself, at the offices of the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research, an NGO invested in peace and reconciliation efforts on the island. Trips further afield will take us to sites of cultural, political, and historical interest both north and south of the Green Line, including Limassol, Larnaca, Kyrenia, Famagusta, and Karpasia.

Each student will choose to study either Greek or Turkish during their time on Cyprus; this mix will allow students, too, to take part in the language brokering aspect of the course, serving as de facto translators for one another during both formal and informal excursions in Nicosia and Cyprus.

This course fulfills the Social Analysis (SA) general education requirement.

"Conflict, Borders, Multilingualism, Translation" is co-sponsored by the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies, with the support of the Erric B. Kertsikoff Fund for Hellenic Studies.


Course fee (will be charged to your student account): $3,100

Estimated travel: $1,770

Immunizations: $50

Personal meals: $680

Personal expenses: $600

Total Seminar Cost: $6,200

  • Course fee: Includes housing with breakfast, weekday lunch, required course excursions and group events, and related academic expenses.
  • Estimated travel: World Travel, the University travel agency, will book all participants’ flights. The flight cost varies based on point of origin. Details on the required booking process will be provided by seminar administrators.
  • Immunizations: As required/recommended by University Health Services. Immunization costs are covered in full for students enrolled in the University’s Student Health Plan. For students covered by families’ health insurance or other insurance plans, the associated costs will vary but should fall well within the estimate.
  • Personal meals: For meals not covered by the seminar fee.
  • Personal expenses: Includes laundry and other personal needs, gifts, souvenirs, and miscellaneous day-to-day items.

Financial Aid

Students who receive term financial aid automatically receive funding from PIIRS toward the cost of a Global Seminar, except for personal expenses. Contact the seminar administrator for details on these awards.

Possibilities for additional financial support may be available through the Student Activities Funding Engine (SAFE). Princeton subsidized Student Loans, available from the Office of Financial Aid, are also highly recommended. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information.

Withdrawal Policy

Withdrawing from a PIIRS Global Seminar after accepting a place may incur a cancellation fee. Click here for the policy details.

This seminar is co-sponsored with the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies. PIIRS Global Seminars are also made possible in part by the generous contributions of alumni and friends and ongoing efforts of the Office of Development.

For more information about this Global Seminar, please contact Yolanda Sullivan