Another professor at AAB College obtains her Doctorate in the domain of sociolinguistics

15 January 2020

Uranela Demaj, Vice Dean at Faculty of English Language at AAB College, obtained her doctorate degree at Ghent University, on 12 December 2019, titled Language, ethnic identity and conflict in the historical urban Linguistic landscapes in Prishtina. Kosovo.

Ghent University is ranked at no. 66 according to the Shangai rankings, and therefore occupies a place in the top 100 best universities in the world. Prof. Uranela Demaj’s PhD dissertation is a unique sociolinguistic study on the language dispute between the Albanians and the Serbs in the capital of Kosovo, Pristina, as shaped by the ethno-nationalist processes of identity building after the dissolution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) The Albanian – Serbian relations have traditionally been defined in terms of an ongoing dispute over Kosovo’s ethnic identity.

These interethnic strains are retraced to beliefs in early twentieth century notions of ethnic nationalism. Although the ethno-nationalist transformations of the entity have been explored in various political studies, the sociolinguistic facet of the interethnic dispute has not been examined in much depth. Therefore, this study presents a unique historical examination of the relationship between societal language display in the urban public environments of Kosovo and the historically competing ethno-nationalist projects and language ideologies of the politically dominant groups.

The research was supervised by prominent academics in the area of sociolinguistics, Prof. dr. Stef Slembrouck and Dr. Mieke Vandenbroucke. Among the members of the evaluation commission According to the renown Balkan historian, Prof. Emeritus Raymond Detrez, who formed part of the exam commission, the dissertation presents a critical reflection of the intricate Albanian-Serbian relations in Kosovo. Furthermore, sociolinguist Prof. dr. Sebastian Muth from Lancaster University praised the research by stating that her doctoral research is a “valuable resource and a key reading for sociolinguists and sociologists and even linguistic anthropologists interested in the ways, language (or broader, signs and symbols) takes part in the discursive construction of nation (nationality, national identity) in countries of the former Federation of Yugoslavia.”

The full text can be accessed at the following link: