FEL Executive Committee member Cassie Smith-Christmas

In today’s post, we introduce another member of the FEL Executive Committee.

Cassie Smith-Christmas

I live in Ireland and am a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action Fellow in the Roinn na Gaeilge at the National University of Ireland, Galway. I have done  extensive research within the sociolinguistic sub-field known as ‘Family Language Policy’ and previously worked at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, the Irish Research Council, the Institute for the Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh, and Soillse, the inter-university Scottish Gaelic research network, at the University of the Highlands and Islands (more details are here).

My interest in endangered languages began when I was six or seven years old. My parents were always playing Scottish and Irish music at home, including songs in the Scottish Gaelic and Irish languages. I quickly came to love many of those songs (although saying that my favourite song in the world was ‘Fear A’ Bhàta’ certainly didn’t help me fit in with my peers at school in Virginia, USA!).  In my third year of university, I took a class with Peter Mülhäusler, University of Adelaide, during study abroad, and since then, I have studied issues related to endangered languages, particularly looking at language transmission in the family.  I am the author of Family Language Policy:  Maintaining an Endangered Language in the Home and co-editor Gaelic in Contemporary Scotland:  The Revitalisation of an Endangered Language and New Speakers of Minority Languages: Linguistic Ideologies and Practices.

I am co-editor of the FEL blog, and am keen to facilitate a space for speakers of endangered languages to share their stories, as well as create a forum for academics working on minoritised languages to share their thoughts in an accessible, engaging way.  If you have an idea for a blog post, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me!