Presentation on Esperanto at the National Museum of Language

On 10 May 2014 James Ryan and I gave a presentation at the National Museum of Language in College Park, Maryland, on the topic . . .

Esperanto: One of the World's Best Underutilized Ideas and Its Contributions to World Culture.

The description of this program can be found at the above link along with two embedded videos. The abstract of my contribution is as follows:

The concept of culture is discussed, as is the question of whether and in what sense the Esperanto community can be considered a culture, a question on which even the most celebrated Esperantist literati have differed. Ralph Dumain will emphasize the Esperanto phenomenon as a subculture and culture-forming process, with overall humanitarian contributions to world civilization, and artistic, mainly literary contributions, of both original works and translations. He will discuss the perspective and literary contributions of Esperanto’s creator Zamenhof in relation to the Esperanto movement and world situation of his time. He will give a general historical map of the development of Esperanto literature.
The video in two parts can also be accessed directly at YouTube, but I have embedded them here for convenience:

Esperanto: One of the World's Best Underutilized Ideas and Its Contributions to World Culture (National Museum of Language as part of the Amelia Murdoch Speaker Series on May 10, 2014 in College Park, MD) (61:12 min) by James Ryan and Ralph Dumain

Esperanto: One of the World's Best Underutilized Ideas Part 2
(Question and Answer period) (55:14 min)

First, James Ryan presents. My talk begins 22 minutes into part 1 and ends 1 minute into part 2. The balance of part 2 is a question-and-answer period in which James Ryan and I both respond.

I highlight the Hungarian contribution central to the development of Esperanto literature. Part 1 ends with mention of Sándor Szathmári's utopian/dystopian masterwork Voyage to Kazohinia, available also in English translation. In part 2 I mention Szathmári's futuristic novella Maŝinmondo (Machine-World) at approximately the 38:45 minute mark. Later, at about 42:30, I recite Zamenhof's poem "Ho, mia kor'" (O my heart) in Esperanto with Marjorie Boulton's English translation, then at 46:35 Kálmán Kalocsay's Esperanto poem "Sunsubiro" (Sunset) with English translation by A. Z. Foreman.

A number of topics are discussed in the question-and-answer period, among them the engagement of the League of Nations and the United Nations with Esperanto, the teaching and learning of Esperanto, the speakers' personal histories, native speakers of Esperanto, games in Esperanto, Esperanto in cinema, Esperanto grammar, and the Soviet Russian poet Eŭgeno Miĥalski's linguistic experimentation.

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