Before the modern nation-state became a stable, widespread phenomenon throughout northern Europe, multilingualism-the use of multiple languages in one geographical area-was common throughout the region. This book brings together historians and linguists, who apply their respective analytic tools to offer an interdisciplinary interpretation of the functions of multilingualism in identity-building in the period, and, from that, draw valuable lessons for understanding today's cosmopolitan societies.
Willem Frijhoff is Emeritus Professor of Modern History at VU University, Amsterdam, and is now G.Ph. Verhagen Professor of Cultural History at Erasmus University, Rotterdam. His scholarly work focuses on cultural, linguistic and religious identities in early modern France, the Netherlands and North America.
Marie-Christine Kok Escalle has been Associate Professor of French Culture and Intercultural Communication at Utrecht University, and after her retirement she continued as Senior Researcher at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry (Utrecht University). Her scholarly interests include the cultural role the French language has played in the Netherlands, specially in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the development of intercultural competence through foreign language learning and teaching in the past as well as nowadays.
Karène Sanchez Summerer is Associate Professor at Leiden University and the PI of the NWO (Dutch Research Council) VIDI project CrossRoads. Her scholarly interests include the French linguistic and cultural policy in the Levant, the educational impacts of French and British missions in the Middle East, and the relations between language and religion in the Middle Eastern nationalism and identity building processes (mid 19th-mid 20th centuries). Among her recent publications are: ‘Missions, Powers and Arabization’, Social Sciences and Missions, 32, 3-4 (Brill, 2019), with P. Bourmaud; European Cultural diplomacy, and Arab Christians in Palestine, 1918-1948. Between Contention and Connection (Palgrave MacMillan, 2021) and Imaging and Imaging Palestine: Photography, Modernity and the Biblical Lens, 1918-1948 (Brill, 2021) with S. Zananiri.