February 2017 – first symposium

Symposium Transnational perspectives

To celebrate its foundation, Jafet organised a symposium which has as theme ‘Transnational perspectives: current ways of studying the European languages, cultures and politics.‘ During this symposium, researchers, teachers, students and alumni met and discussed current issues and themes concerning ELC. We’re very happy that this first symposium was a success.

The symposium took place on Friday, February 3rd, at Louis XV (Oude Kijk in ’t Jatstraat 47, 9712 EC Groningen).

Please read the poem below by university poet Esmé van den Boom, in which the themes that were discussed and the participants’ reactions are summarized and interconnected.



Om haar oprichting te vieren heeft Jafet een symposium georganiseerd met als thema ‘Transnational perspectives: current ways of studying the European languages, cultures and politics.‘ Tijdens dit symposium hebben onderzoekers, docenten, studenten en alumni elkaar ontmoet en over actuele ETC-gerelateerde thema’s gepraat. We zijn erg tevreden met het resultaat en we zijn trots dat het eerste symposium een succes is geweest.

Het symposium heeft plaatsgevonden op vrijdag 3 februari in Louis XV (Oude Kijk in ’t Jatstraat 47, 9712 EC, Groningen).

Hieronder kunt u het gedicht lezen, geschreven door RUG-huisdichter Esmé van den Boom, waarin de besproken thema’s en de reacties van de aanwezigen bij elkaar worden gebracht en aan elkaar worden gelinkt.


It’s an open day, so open that
Bob de Jonge couldn’t make it
no – wait, he barges in
there are obviously various modes of integrations
As Bob Dylan, recent Nobel Prize Winner, shows

His ring of fire loops round
old friends meeting and new friends
being voted against
We won’t talk about the South today
as that is not our specialty
– nobody likes to feel like a complete idiot –
(we don’t know entirely but we’ve read articles)
in a minute you’ll have that regulation
but what’s your source

yet we all make civilizational choices
hoping to feel like members
unwilling to die under flags for values
that we do write down requirements for

We look at borders in all forms
and work across them
(there’s an awkward pause when
she mentions gaining power)

All eyes on America
while we look at Europe
The Watch on the Rhine
politicians wear watches
they cannot possibly afford on public salaries
which side of the pond are you on?
If you need to breathe, do it quietly
Don’t cut your passport to handbag size
even though you need to be able to take it with you at all times
If a mother tongue fits in there, sacrifice its space
share a language
hatred also unites
question: in a post-Trump America?

Meanwhile, Douglas Adams seems to be writing from beyond the grave
Where do the typelines lie in an Encyclopaedia of stupidity
when it’s a fundamental concept of human beings to determine territory
identity exists through contrast

It’s all
Experiential reality and definitions
‘depending on how you define it’
– it’s mine, it’s
something that’s not yours
this is present and that’s past
with real pirates to fight in it
yet we will all go home remembering
the X-ray image of a teddy bear
barbed wire circled thrice around the world

On behalf of the board,
I’d like to say
stay connected
in a room barely heated
we dress up a statue
to make ourselves feel warm again
a book published with a new afterword
there is poetry in Esperanto
even though it was created