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Languages in an Open World – LOW 2019

Date: 20 November 2019–22 November 2019
Venue:
European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe (ECML), Graz
Type of Event:
Conference

The SOAS World Languages Institute (UK), Mercator European Research Centre, the Interdisciplinary Centre for Social and Language Documentation, and the Plurilingualism Research Unit – treffpunkt sprachen (AT) cordially invite scholars, community organisations and community members to join the international conference on “Languages in an Open World” that will take place in Graz, Austria, November 20-22 2019, at the ECML in Graz, Austria.

Although linguistic plurality and the power relations between languages (or rather their speakers) are subject to constant and accelerating change due to global migration and ongoing democratisation processes, the general perception of languages—at least in Europe—still reflects hierarchical classifications based on a 19th century European nation state ideology. Differences in status between languages and the accompanying structures of power, however, cannot be explored through 19th century concepts and terminologies. This understanding would negate all socio-political and socio-cultural developments of the last decades. Globalisation, increased mobility, transnational networking, as well as communication technologies have over the past decades opened up new modes of language use, more complex and diverse power relations, and multifaceted perspectives on language in general.

The upcoming conference aims to address relevant aspects in relation to status dimensions of language against the background of the ideal of an open, pluralistic society:

  • Changes in the linguistic landscape as a consequence of migration and globalisation
  • Role and status of languages in pluralistic societies
  • The relationship between native languages, diaspora languages, languages of migrants, and majority languages
  • Languages and the relevance of ICT (Information Communication Technology)
  • Power relations between languages

The conference "Languages in an Open World" intends to bring together scholars from linguistics and related disciplines with an interest and expertise in language and globalisation, with a special focus on status and power relations between languages and their speakers and their impact and/or transformation in a world characterised by mobility, increased complexity, and diverse and dynamic formations of cultural, linguistic, and societal identities.

Submission of abstracts

The deadline for submissions is Sunday, 30 June 2019

Presentations will last 30 minutes in total, with 20 minutes for the talk and 10 minutes for discussion. Abstracts should be no longer than 300 words, not including any references. Each author is limited to a single abstract, including co-authored submissions. Please submit your abstract through EasyChair.

Important dates

Deadline for abstract submission: 30 June 2019
Notification of acceptance: 31 July 2019
Conference: 20–22 November 2019

Organisers

Mandana Seyfeddinipur (SOAS World Languages Institute, London, UK)
Cor van der Meer (Mercator European Research Centre / Fryske Akademy, The Netherlands)
Vera Ferreira (Interdisciplinary Centre for Social and Language Documentation, Portugal)
Dieter Halwachs (treffpunkt sprachen – Plurilingualism Research Unit, Graz, Austria)   

Contact email: low2019@uni-graz.at

Conference website: https://languages-open-world2019.uni-graz.at

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