Article published in:History of Linguistics 2011: Selected Papers from the 12th International Conference on the History of the Language Sciences (ICHoLS XII), Saint Petersburg, 28 August - 2 September 2011
Edited by Vadim Kasevich, Yuri A. Kleiner and Patrick Sériot
[Studies in the History of the Language Sciences 123] 2014
► pp. 145–155
Russian philologist Roman Jakobson (1896–1982) incubated his ideas within a sequence of “Circles”, self-consciously established groups of scholars who crossed institutional affiliations to discuss shared interests and support each others’ (and sometimes, the group’s communal) work. Jakobson’s experiences within various Circles differed: those in Moscow and Prague provided a stimulating context for social and intellectual exchange, which was valuable to the gregarious Jakobson. During his years in Scandinavia, Jakobson’s professional contacts supported him politically and even economically, mitigating his experiences of forced serial exile. On immigrating to the U.S., he co-founded a Linguistic Circle of New York. But this last Jakobsonian Circle never recaptured the collegiality of Moscow or Prague. After he moved to Harvard in 1949, his activities expanded beyond the university to a joint appointment at MIT. Jakobson moved between the two institutions, although in his last 30 years he worked outside a formal “Circle” of colleagues.
Published online: 29 August 2014
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