Languages in Society Conference

Aimed at MLaC and students from other disciplines with at least an A2 level in a language, this conference led by and for students is a forum for the exchange of ideas, theories and practices on the topics of languages and identities with a key emphasis on interdisciplinarity.

The main objective is to encourage new collaborations between students from various disciplines around the themes of languages, identity and transitions. Rather than contrasting the study of languages and that of other subjects, participants will instead be given the opportunity to research the roles played by languages, in relation to and across disciplines. We thus strongly recommend for students from different disciplines to form partnerships based on their own interests and expertise in order to share and explore approaches to languages.

The conference aims to comprise subthemes including but not restricted to:
• Wandering and Wondering: Languages and Identities in Motion
• The Inception and the Experience of Language
• The Experience of Language: Empowerment and Disenfranchisement

You are invited to explore the role(s) played by language(s) in shaping identity. In a world characterized by movement – of people or information – and by identity crises at individual or group level, you will explore how identity is defined and how it evolves and negotiates the various changes occurring in society at individual, local, national and international levels.

You will identify one area where language plays a significant role in shaping our society and analyse the dynamics at play in the process. Papers may address a variety of issues and themes but must be analytical and research-based in nature and will be based on the relevant primary and secondary sources.

The project is open to groups or individual participants, for those of you with an existing background in interdisciplinary research or interests, and is open to all disciplines and levels, from undergraduate students to taught postgraduate students and PhD students.

Students are thus invited to form partnerships across disciplines, in Modern Languages and other disciplines (with at least an A2+ level (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) in the target language) and to formulate a research question on the topic of “Dynamics of Languages in Society”.

Participants are welcome to contact the academic team for guidance. Successful applicants will have the opportunity to receive guidance throughout their project. Each group will have the opportunity to submit a grant proposal of up to £300 to support their research.

Prize money will be awarded for best abstract and presentations.

Online forum: To find partners and share ideas, feel free to visit https://bit.ly/2MmYFQd

Abstract and grant submissions guidelines:Please submit abstracts (up to 300 words long) with a short bio to langinsoc.conf@durham.ac.uk giving an initial indication of whether you would like to present a 15, 20 or 30-minute paper and whether you want to do so in English or in the target language.

Your abstract should include the name(s) and area(s) of study of each participant along five keywords best summarising the project.

Should participants be applying for a grant, 300 further words should be added to the abstract, to explain the rationale for the grant with a breakdown of how the resources will be spent.

The successful applicants will be notified by 10th December 2018.

Conference registration will open on 21st January 2019.

The Conference will take place on 9th March 2019.

For further information, please contact langinsoc.conf@durham.ac.uk

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