Halyna Leontiy

As a cultural sociologist, I research micro-sociologically a wide range of questions in the field of interculturality, migration, multilingualism, diversity and humour research. My own biography has a significant influence on my view of the “migration background”, which I do not see as a deficit, but as a great potential. In many respects, the occupation with interculturality and multilingualism has accompanied me throughout my life. As a native of Bukovina (Chernivtsi, Western Ukraine) I grew up with the peaceful coexistence of multilingual and multicultural individuals. The first language I learned was a western Ukrainian dialect. When I started school, other languages were added: literary Ukrainian, Russian and German.

After graduating from school with in-depth German language instruction, I studied German language and literature for two years at the Chernowitz State University. After moving to Germany for my studies, I finally received my Magister Artium degree in 1999 in linguistics with a focus on German studies, sociology and law. Already in my master’s thesis I analyzed German and Ukrainian telephone conversations in contrast. The subject area of intercultural, empirical, sociological and sociolinguistic research continues to fascinate me. Since 1996, projects, publications and courses in various collaborations have emerged from this interest. Following my master’s degree, I received my doctorate under supervision of Prof. Hans-Georg Soeffner (Sociology, University of Konstanz) and Prof. Helga Kotthoff (Linguistics, University of Freiburg) with the thesis “Intercultural Business Communication using the Example of German-Ukrainian Work Contexts”.

Parallel to my teaching, I then developed my own post-doc research project on “Migration and Humour”. With the help of start-up funding, I set up my own position at the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI) in Essen via a DFG application (Eigene Stelle), where I finally researched “Migration and Humour – Social Functions and Conversational Potentials of Humour and Satire in Germany’s Interethnic Relationships” from October 2012 to March 2016. During the years at the Centre for Gender and Diversity Research (ZGD) in Tübingen from 2016 to 2019, I expanded my scientific experience by the enriching category of “diversity” in the context of university cultures.

Since 01.11.2019 I have been a guest researcher at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Integration and Migration Research (InZentIM) at the University of Duisburg-Essen, from where I develop new, mostly international research projects:

  • Multilingualism as a resource in migration societies
  • Impact of EU policy on the human rights of sexual minorities on European societies
  • Consequences of “replacement working migration” between Ukraine, Poland and Germany
  • Interpersonal relations in civil society as a resource for de-occupation and reintegration in zones of long-term military conflict.