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Eda Derhemi

Profile picture for Eda Derhemi

Contact Information

2123 FLB

Office Hours

Spring 2024:
Tuesday 1pm, and any day by appointment (Office: 2123 FLB)
Teaching Associate Professor


Professor Derhemi completed her undergraduate studies in Linguistics and Literature at the University of Tirana, Albania, where she then taught for five years before leaving her native country in 1990. After living and working for some years in Italy, including working as a correspondent for Deutsche Welle, she came to the US to enter graduate studies at Illinois (UIUC) where she received a Master's degree in Linguistics and a Ph.D. in Communications. In 2001, while finalizing her doctorate at Illinois, she completed an internship working on indigenous languages and cultures of the world at the Office of Management of Social Transformation at UNESCO in Paris. In 2007 she conducted a year of Postdoc Research in Albania and Kosovo, with an Award from IREX for work on the linguistic representation of ethnic conflict in Kosovar Media. In 2014 she was awarded a grant as a Fulbright Scholar for research and teaching in Albania on language and propaganda. She has extensive teaching, field-work and research experience in various countries and universities lecturing in linguistics, Italian and Albanian language, and communications. In the recent years she has taught courses with a focus on sociological and sociolinguistic aspects of “Linguistic Endangerment”, “Language and Minorities in Europe”, “Languages and Cultures of the Mediterranean” and “Linguistic and Sociolinguistic Changes in the Balkans". She regularly writes cultural and political opinion pieces for the main Albanian media. Recently she has co-edited the volume "Endangered Languages in the 21st century" (Routledge. 2023), and she is now working on a contracted volume with Brill "Endangered Languages and Diaspora". 

In her free time, professor Derhemi enjoys writing essays, short stories and poetry, translating, gardening, running and cooking (she normally runs during cooking, but seldom cooks during running). She loves good films of all times and new films produced in young countries. A heavenly evening for her often includes a good slow-paced film with great photography and a glass of a berrylike chewy red wine. Eda is an indefatigable traveler, and very devoted to her family, her friends, and the many communities she has lived in.


Research Interests

  • Linguistic Endangerment and Language Death
  • Linguistic Minorities, Diaspora and Migration
  • Italian Language Studies
  • European Union  and Diversity in Europe
  • Mediterranean Studies
  • Language, Media and the Post-Socialist Condition
  • Translation Studies

Languages of Focus in my Teaching and Research: Italian, Albanian, Arbëresh, Arvanitika

Research Description

Eda Derhemi has presented her research in over 40 international conferences all over the world. Her work on linguistic endangerment, minorities and diaspora communities, post-socialist migration, extensive analyses on Arbëresh (in Italy) and Arvanitika (in Greece), and on linguistic representation in the media of ethnic conflict has been published in several academic journals.

Her co-edited volume "Endangered Languages in the 21st century" (Routledge) which collects works by some of the most proponent world researchers in the field today, just came out on February 24, 2023.…

She is the author of five edited volumes: Sociolinguistic Studies on the Albanian Language (IJSL, Nr.178 - 2006); Protecting Endangered Minority Languages: Sociolinguistic Perspectives (UNESCO's MOST, vol. 4, Nr. 2, 2002 -…); and Perpjekja - The Albanian Migration after 1990, Nr. 146-147. 2011; and Endangered Languages and Diaspora - FEL XXV proceedings. 2021

She is now working on a sixth edited volume to be published by Brill in 2024-2025 on Endangered Languages and Diaspora.

Her last book chapter (Routledge, 2023) "Examining the Role of Change in Endangered Languages with Some Reference to Arbëresh and Arvanitika" can be read here:…

Her book chapter "Zeriqi dhe etniciteti emërhumbur i arvanitëve: një ese narrative dhe një trajtesë teorike" (Zeriki and the nameless ethnicity of the arvanitis: a narrative essay and a theoretical examination) was published in 2022 by the Albanian Academy of Sciences to honor the 80th anniversary of the Greek-Arvanit linguist Titos Jochalas.

The article "Arberesh as an endangered language" was published the previous year in the Journal Continuum. 2021 p. 212-225.(

Derhemi is an IREX and Fulbright scholar. In 2022 she won a prestigious campus research fellowship by the Humanities Research Institute at UIUC, to work on Arvanitika language. (….

She is working on her newest project on Arvanitika language and culture in Greece, with the goal to publish it as a monograph in 2025. 

Her most recent translation (with Francesco Ferrari) is that of the Albanian novel "Mjaltë në teh" (Miele sul coltello) in Italian. October 2020 - Besa Editrice (Italy). Read an interview on her translation here:…

Below are some of her recent blog entries about linguistic endangerment and minority languages published in English:   (pp. 9-11)…

Most of her works in Albanian journalism, linguistics, and literature are published in the prestigious online Albanian cultural magazine Peizazhe të fjalës -


This is a 30-min interview given to Radio Radicale on the state of the Arbresh language in Italy and the role of Albanian vs. Italian institutions on language maintenance (October 10, 2023):


This is a UIUC campus spotlight for "Europe now", of one of prof. Derhemi's courses on the languages and cultures of the Mediterranean from 2020:…


Below read Derhemi's recent interview for the European Center faculty spotlight (April 2023):







  • PhD in Communications (ICR): University of Illinois at U-C
  • Master's in Linguistics: University of Illinois at U-C
  • Bachelor's degree in Linguistics and Literature: University of Tirana, Albania



Additional Campus Affiliations

  • European Union Center;
  • Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies;
  • Translation Studies;
  • Media and Cinema Studies


Recent Publications

Derhemi, E., & Moseley, C. (Eds.) (2023). Endangered Languages in the 21st Century. Routledge.

Derhemi, E. (2023). Examining the Role of Change in Endangered Languages with Some Reference to Arbëresh and Arvanitika. In E. Derhemi, & C. Moseley (Eds.), Endangered Languages In The 21St Century (pp. 158-175). Routledge.

Derhemi, E. (2013). Small local press as a dynamic tool for maintaining linguistic diversity: The newspaper Mondo Albanese and the endangered Arbëresh vs. new media. International Journal of Community Diversity, 12(2), 41-51.

Costanzo, E., Montecchi, G., & Derhemi, E. (2011). Prison libraries in Italy. Library Trends, 59(3), 509-519.

Derhemi, E. (2006). Features of dysfunctional attrition in the Arbresh of Piana degli Albanesi. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, (178), 31-53.

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