Transnational Societies and Organisations and New Sociabilities


Esperanto Paradigme III :

Transnational Societies and Organisations and new Sociabilities

Venue and Time: Paris, Campus Condorcet; 5-7 July 2023

In the early 20th century the Esperanto movement created novel forms of mobility and interaction on a non-territorial scale. These new forms of sociability were most often based on soft and geographically distant (but also on close and established) networks. Generally, the movement was organised in a decentralised manner and in terms of organisation it was largely built on correspondence, travel, encounters, and contacts. To some extent this made Esperantists “amateur ethnographers”.

These modes of organisation and practices invited activists to leave their homes, their heimat, their nation, in order to be in direct contact and part of the Esperanto movement, this was particularly the case during regional meetings and during international congresses. The movement thus relied on constant exchange and movement,  most importantly travels to congresses. The chosen places and cities for congresses thus carried a symbolic meaning.  They functioned as symbolic spaces in which the Esperanto movement developed and constantly (re)constituted itself. The annual international congresses (from 1905 onward) also acted as catalysts for new forms of sociability, e.g. in the form of couch surfing from 1974 onward when the Pasporta Servo (a world-wide Esperanto passport) enabled a language-based free accommodation service in order to foster contacts between Esperanto-speakers.

This workshop aims to investigate these novel forms of informal networks, practices of mobility and transnational exchanges. While it takes its inspiration from the Esperanto movement and its forms of sociability, we invite scholars with interests in practices and forms of sociability of other organisations, societies, and networks.


Practicalities & Organisation

The workshop in Paris in 2023 is the third and last in a series of workshops around the theme: Esperanto paradigm, and financed by the French-German University (UFA/DFH). The first was held at the Centre Marc Bloch in September 2021, the second at the University of Bonn in May 2022. The workshop will take place at the Campus Condorcet (Paris-Aubervilliers) from 5-7 July 2023.

The workshop invites contributions from MA students, PhD researchers, and Postdocs.

Working languages (without translation) are German, French, English, and Esperanto.



We invite various forms of presentations and contributions including short reports on current MA and PhD thesis as well as on research projects and longer research papers. Please send your application (max. 200 words and a short CV of max. 2 pages) until April 14th, 2023, to