English spoken: The position of "English in Brussels" is an exploratory research day the aim of which is to bring together researchers in any discipline with an interest in English in Brussels.
Rationale: Located in a Germanic dialectal area as attested by all historical toponyms, Brussels has known over the centuries an increasing influence of French that culminated in the 19th century when French became de facto the language of the newly funded Belgian state. That state of affairs discriminated against speakers of Dutch dialects, which led to claims for linguistic equality that is still being pursued through the reforms of the Belgian State. Since 1989, Brussels is officially bilingual (French-Dutch). However this status does not reflect the linguistic diversity of the capital city where over 100 languages are spoken according to the latest “Taalbarometer” (Janssens 2013) nor the influence of English that is the second best known language after French. The presence of English as a world language is well documented in metropolises but it may have found in Brussels a very fertile ground due to the presence of EU- and international institutions but also due to its increasing instrumental value as a lingua franca between French- and Dutch-speaking Belgians.
Submission Guidelines: Abstracts of about 400 words (+ references) to be submitted by 5th March 2017.
The symposium "Multilingualism as Migration" will take place at the University of Luxembourg, Campus Belval, on 3 and 4 July 2017.
Call for papers
The fourth symposium organised by the Key Area for Migration and Intercultural Studies (MIS) at the University of Luxembourg attempts to describe multilingualism as migration. It tackles multilingualism as cross-border movement, with borders in this context not restricted to the solely territorial. Describing multilingualism as migration enables the ‘idioms’ (in the broadest sense of the word) involved not to be viewed as fixed, well-defined units but rather to be understood and described as entities in motion. Texts and the historical and cultural contexts to which they refer can thus be interpreted as the setting for interaction between various linguistic processes. If the linguistic production and allocation of significance – and thus of communicative relevance – is ultimately considered, in its contingency, as a moment of culture, then it is perhaps possible to achieve even more: for in such an instance, texts which establish a relationship between different idioms and thus different ways of generating significance are a key space for political discourse on how society should handle culture and cultural differences.
A corresponding description of texts (in the broadest sense) as a space for political discourse on cultural difference could be particularly fruitful if multilingualism is ‘nailed down’ via its bearers, i. e., both individual texts or artefacts/performances and historical semantics or discourses.
The symposium views multilingualism itself as the variety of methods used to generate significance, with multilingualism thus existing, e. g., under the following circumstances:
Where the social practices of code switching are in use or contact languages are formed
Where words from various dialects or standardised national languages are used in (literary) texts
Where different visual languages or other forms of symbolic understanding are combined in a single performance
Where historical semantics build on structures and elements of different linguistic and cultural origins
In the context of the symposium, migration will be defined as the cross-border movement of linguistically or culturally marked structures and elements. This movement is often linked to the movement of people, but it can also be medially conveyed. For example, literary texts can engage in forms of language mixing which indicate their authors’ migration from one language area to another. Linguistically hybrid texts such as these generally defy fixed cultural or linguistic attributions, and thus demonstrate the redundancy of traditional integrations based on taxonomic linguistics. However, it is also conceivable that interaction with another linguistic tradition could result in comprehensive quotations or acquisitions which could then be described as variations of aesthetic migration. In view of this, migration can shape different forms of movement and demonstrate different directions and degrees of fixedness, which can be traced using the empirical material as a route of reinterpretation and transformation.
The examination of language movement in and via texts/artefacts/performances and historical semantics can also be related to different forms of human migration and to the resulting cultural and political configurations. Multilingualism is thus examined as a dynamic process relying on very divergent relationships to the sociocultural context.
The symposium is, firstly, seeking contributions which attempt to use this description of multilingualism as migration to reap philological benefit and to assess the processes and effects of artistic multilingualism (in the broadest sense). Secondly, it is looking for the inclusion of sociolinguistic and cultural sciences approaches in the broader sense, enabling language movement to be described on the level of historical semantics and discourses, society (or societies) and culture(s). Finally, the symposium is intended to encourage attempts to seek links between these two levels of examination.
Interested participants are asked to submit a short abstract of max. 3,000 characters (incl. space characters) to Till Dembeck.
The Centre for Translation Studies announces the V International Conference Translating Voices, Translating Regions, convened by Dr Christophe Declercq and Dr Federico M. Federici.
‘Minority languages, risks, disasters and regional crises’
DATES: 13-15 DECEMBER 2017 VENUE: EUROPE HOUSE, LONDON TIMES: 9:30-16:30
Deadline to submit panel proposals: 15 February 2017 Deadline to submit abstracts for individual papers: 28 March 2017
The fifth International conference aims to address questions focused on the role of professional and non-professional translators and interpreters as mediators during crises. Communication in disasters, emergencies, and in the different phases of developing crises is crucial and is normally an intercultural interaction.
MIME researcher Michele Gazzola from Humbold Universität Berlin just published an article in the Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade entitled "Multilingualism and the International Patent System: an Assessment of the Fairness of the Language Policy of WIPO". Enjoy reading!
21 November 2016
MIME deputy coordinator László K. Marácz has recently published an article entitled "Prospects on Hungarian as a Regional Official Language and Szeklerland’s Territorial Autonomy in Romania" in the International journal on minority and group rights.
This article analyses two options the Hungarian ethno-linguistic community in the Transylvanian region of Romania has in order to preserve its ethno-linguistic iden- tity. Firstly, there is the option of unrestricted language use in the public domain. At present the Romanian legal framework assigns members of the Hungarian speaking community in Transylvania individual linguistic and cultural rights only. The Roma- nian language policy is further restricted by a threshold rule. The ratio of minority must number 20 per cent of the total inhabitants of a certain administrative-territorial unit in order to have their language recognised officially. The second possibility is that historical territories where Transylvanian Hungarians statistically form a dominant majority (i.e. Szeklerland) are granted territorial autonomy. The territoriality principle would secure linguistic minority rights. We will conclude that the prospects for Hun- garian as a regional language in Romania are more realistic than the recognition of Szeklerland’s territorial autonomy.
the full article can be found in International journal on minority and group rights 23 (2016) 530-559.
MIME will be presented at the Conference: 'Great start in life! The best possible education in early years'.
The conference will be held on the 30th of November (from 9:00) and 1st of December 2016 (until 13:00) in Brussels, Hotel Husa President Park, Boulevard du Roi Albert II 44 . The conference is co-organised by the Education and Culture and Research and Innovation Directorates General of the European Commission. 250 participants are expected.
Please visit the conference website (password: GSIL2016) where you will find the programme and all relevant information. Should you be interested in joining, please kindly register there at your earliest convenience.
There will be a large exhibition space where projects and organisations will display their material/activities, with 20 stands in the networking area where coffee breaks, lunch and dinner (30/11 from 18:30 – 21:30) will also be served. During the breaks, and in particular during the “walking dinner”, participants will be invited to visit the exhibition.