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Natalia Volvach

About me

Since February 2019, I have been employed as a PhD candidate at the Centre for Research on Bilingualism at the Stockholm University. In my on-going PhD project I explore the interconnectedness of people, places, and linguistic practices in a multilingual environment in Crimea.

In this project, I am investigating how linguistic (semiotic) landscapes in a society that undergoes transition are constructed by different social groups as shaped by conditions of political and social turbulence. Since my first pilot study in this region in 2017, and from 2019 on-ward as I joined the Centre, I have been studying the everyday ideologization of Crimean public spaces in the aftermath of the Crimean annexation. Between September and October 2019, I conducted an extesive data collection in various sites in Crimea, which resulted in a number of semi-structured interviews, walking tours, embodied observations, and photographs of semiotic landscapes.

Both the processes of space appropriation and regimentation, but also, and most importantly, the ways spaces are experienced, perceived, and lived by individuals and communities raise my interest since they offer insights about how speakers' semiotic practices are shaped by the new conditions they find themselves in.


Previous education

  • PhD Student at the Centre for the Study of Language and Society, University of Bern, Switzerland (02/2017– 01/2019)
  • Master’s Degree in German Studies and Eastern European Studies, University of Bern, Switzerland (09/2014–12/2016)
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Philology, degree with honors, Kherson National Technical University, Ukraine (09/2010–05/2014)


PhD Supervisors: 

  • Christopher Stroud (Centre for Research on Bilingualism, Stockholm University)
  • Caroline Kerfoot (Centre for Research on Bilingualism, Stockholm University) 



Volvach, N. (2021). Manoeuvres of dissent in dispossession. Working Papers in Urban Language & Literacies 279. King's College London.

Fleury, L./Fournier, M./Rudberg, T./Volvach, N. (2021): “When It Is Raining, Sell Umbrellas: The semiotic landscape of a commercial area of Stockholm in times of Covid-19”. 

Volvach, N. (2021). Constructing spaces of otherwise: Performing a politics through Linguistic Citizenship. Working Papers in Urban Language & Literacies 279. King's College London.

Volvach, N. (2019). “Still Ukrainian or Already Russian? Linguistic Landscape of Sevastopol in the Aftermath of Crimean Annexation”Euxeinos 9/28: pp. 93–111. 

Volvach, N. (2016). Annexion oder freiwilliger Beitritt? Kritische Diskursanalyse der ukrainischen und russischen Medienberichterstattung über das Krim-ReferendumUnpublished master thesis. Bern. 



  • Memory and meaning making: a collaborative experiment in analysis. University of Trento, September 8, 9, 10, 2021, Online format.
  • The Linguistic Landscape of Covid-19 Workshop. Transforming language, people, and place in a time of pandemic, organized by Jackie Lou, Dave Malinowski, and Amiena Peck, 2021, Online format.
  • Researching Semiotic Landscapes: New Directions, New Methods led by David Malinowski, Tommaso Milani, with funding from CUSO and from X-SCAPES at the University of Bern, May 2018.


Completed doctoral courses

  • The Dynamics of Multilingualism: Diasporas (5.0 hp) at Stockholm University led by Caroline Kerfoot and Maria Kuteeva.
  • The Dynamics of Multilingualism: Affinities (5.0 hp) at Stockholm University led by Caroline Kerfoot and Maria Kuteeva.
  • The Dynamics of Multilingualism: Dislocations (5.0 hp) at Stockholm University led by Caroline Kerfoot and Maria Kuteeva.
  • Linguistic Ethnography (7.5 hp) at Stockholm University led by Christina Hedman, Jenny Rosén, Kamilla György, Caroline Kerfoot, Angela Creese, Rickard Jonsson and Karin Aronsson.
  • Bilingualism in Society (7.5 hp) at Stockholm University led by Christopher Stroud.
  • Bilingualism from a Disciplinary and History of Ideas Perspective (7.5 hp) at Stockholm University led by Linus Salö.
  • Bilingualism from a learning perspective (7.5 hp) at Stockholm University led by Emanuel Bylund Spångberg.
  • Bilingualism from a psycho- and neurolinguistic perspective (7.5 hp) at Stockholm University led by Emanuel Bylund Spångberg.
  • Methods in Research on Bilingualism – an Overview (7.5 hp) at Stockholm University led by Caroline Kerfoot and José Alemán Bañón.
  • The Spatial Turn in the Humanities: Theories and Applications (5.0 hp) at Stockholm University led by Kurt Villads Jensen, Paul T. Levin, Mia Åkestam, Jenny Nilsson, Alexandra Petrulevich, Nanouschka Myrberg Burström, Peter Jackson Rova, and Gustav Zamore.
  • Landskapsforskning och historisk geografi (15.0 hp) at Stockholm University led by Danielle Drozdzewski.
  • Introduction to teaching (3.0 hp) led by Hans Färnlöf.
  • Professional development 1 Teaching and Learning (7.5 hp) at Stockholm University led by Ulf Olsson.
  • Swedish Language Courses A, B, C for International Employees at Stockholm University led by Göran Basth and Anna Karlsson.



  • Volvach, N. (2020). “What’s in Communication? Exploring the Lived Experiences of Language” at the IV Міжнародна науково-практична конференція “Мова як засіб міжкультурної комунікації”, KNTU.


  • Volvach, N. (2021). Exploring violence and the words that injure: Russian narratives in the contested spaces of Crimea. Conference online series “Black Sea Region in the Times of Crises: New Theoretical Approaches and Research Methodologies”. St. Gallen, Online format.
  • Volvach, N. (2021). Ukrainian zombie landscapes: Traces of violence in the contested spaces of Crimea. The political economy of language and space/place. 12th Linguistic Landscape Workshop. 1-3 September 2021. Gothenburg, Online format.
  • Volvach, N. (2021). Breaking the Silence in ‘Spaces of Otherwise’. Walking tour through alternative social projects of Aqmeçıt. AILA2020: ‘Spaces of otherwise’? South-North dialogues on languaging, race, (im)mobilities. Groningen, Online format.
  • Volvach, N. (2021). “Manoeuvring dissent under territorial occupation: Resemiotization of protest in times of multilingual turbulence”. 23rd Sociolinguistic Symposium at the University of Hong Kong, Online format.
  • Higher Seminar "Performing politics of difference through Linguistic Citizenship: Constructing “Spaces of Otherwise”’. The Centre for Research on Bilingualism, Stockholm University. Online format, 11/2020.                           
  • Conference presentation “’Our nation trying to rebirth right now’: transformative walking through Crimean Tatar ‘spaces of otherwise’”. Explorations in Ethnography, Language and Communication 8, Online format (University of Oslo, Norway), 09/2020.
  • Conference presentation “(Re)inscribing the Crimean Tatar Nation into the Semiotic Landscape as a Way to Remember”. Chosen as a delegate to represent Stockholm University at the Cambridge AHRC DTP Conference 2020: Forms and Forgetting. Online format (Cambridge, the UK), 09/2020.
  • Poster presentation “Erasing the Past, Constructing the Present: Linguistic Landscape of the Russian hero-city” at the Symposium Ideologies, Attitudes, and Power in Language Contact Settings (Stockholm University, Sweden, 05/2019.
  • Paper presentation “Constructing Russian Nationalism in the Cityscape of Sevastopol” at the 24th Annual World Convention (ASN), Harriman Institute, Columbia University (New York, the USA), (05/2019).
  • Paper presentation “Russia’s claims on the Crimea peninsula in the reflection of the semiotic landscape”, at the conference Transcultural Contact Zones in Ukraine: Borders, Conflicts, and Multiple Identities (Uzhgorod, Ukraine), 09/2018.
  • Poster presentation “The semiotic landscape of a Crimean hero-city: The case of Sevastopol”, conference X-SCAPES, 10th Linguistic Landscape Workshop (University of Bern, Switzerland), 05/2018. 
  • MA thesis presentation “Critical discourse analysis of newspaper articles about the Crimean annexation” at the Summer School Greifswald’s Ukrainikum Closing Pandora’s Box: Ukraine’s Path to Peace. (University of Greifswald, Germany), 08/2016.




  • Research Methods of Bilingualism, MA course, Stockholm University (4 sessions and examination 2021).
  • Bilingualism and Society, MA course, Stockholm University (2 sessions each, 2020, 2021).
  • Linguistic Landscapes Approach, BA and MA level. 3 lectures and data sessions, Crimea.



Russian (Fluent), Ukrainian (Fluent), English (Fluent), German (Fluent), 

French (Understanding/reading), Swiss German (Understanding/reading), Swedish        (Understanding/reading)