CFP: Failing Identities: Identification and Resistance

20-21 September 2018
University of Liège, Belgium

This conference aims to scrutinize, clarify and elaborate upon the concept of identity, which ranks among the most (ab)used concepts in the humanities since the end of the 20th century.

The popularity of the concept is, first and foremost, to be situated in the aftermath of the linguistic turn, which led to identity being conceived of as the product of discursive interpellations. This theoretical reframing of the subject constitutes the theoretical basis of multiple strands of discourse theory and analysis, and of various types of (post)poststructuralist theory.

The pervasive presence of identity as an object of study is, however, and to an even greater degree, also explained by the postmodern critique of universality and the concomitant deconstruction of the universal subject as a fiction subservient to particular (masculine, white, western, heterosexual…) interests. It is precisely this critique that drives the various forms of progressive identity politics that are so conspicuously present today.

To put it simply and provocatively: where do we go from here? This fundamental question translates into a wide range of more specific questions, such as:

  • Is what (post)structuralism calls the decentred subject a mere passive recipient of discursive interpellations, or does it resist and, if so, in which way(s)? How should this resistance be understood – as an inability or rather as a refusal to accept discursive interpellations? As a rearticulation and ‘slanting’ of a given discourse? As a form of more or less subtle and agile negotiation with hegemonic pressures? As the articulation of a counterhegemonic discourse?
  • How paradoxical and/or ambivalent are identification processes? If a seemingly official and explicit refusal often hides a more fundamental implicit identification (‘I am no racist, but…’) and vice versa (‘We are determined to tackle tax evasion’), how do both levels interact with one another and what audiences are they intended for? How can identificatory acts and utterances be construed as positioning the subject within the conflictual and dialogic contexts from which they emerged?
  • How easy is it to cancel or replace identifications? Have ‘postmodern subjects’ really become fluid and endlessly malleable in a ‘liquid modernity’ (Zygmunt Bauman), or are they tough, inert and persistent? Do they have ‘hard kernels’ and, if so, what would be the nature of these? How important is the impact of discursive sedimentation on individual subjects, cultures and societies? How do deliberate or involuntary cancellations of identifications affect the subject? Are they emancipatory or destructive – or both?
  • Does the postmodern critique of the universal subject not in fact continue to refer to a universal horizon of equality and justice? Should this critique be maintained or should it give way to a dialectical vision of the opposition between the universal and the particular?
  • Are ‘progressive identity politics’ more needed than ever or are they at risk of becoming essentialist and unbearably reductionist stances?
  • Are ‘progressive identity politics’ genuinely progressive or do they allow the researchers involved to view themselves as ‘progressive’? What makes them superior to traditional, conservative identity politics? Do they hamper attempts to unite progressive groups and efforts, uniting only ‘deplorable  antiliberal, reactionary forces, as is argued by such varied authors as Eric Hobsbawm, Terry Eagleton, Slavoj Žižek, Vivek Chibber and Mark Lilla?
  • What are relevant methodological underpinnings of research on identity and identification? Which linguistic means can be observed to index identity (as one of their multiple functions), and how can we classify them meaningfully? For example, how can such phenomena as taboo expressions, metaphors, language varieties (e.g. sociolects and slang), language contact and learner languages enhance our understanding of identity and identification? What about language policy and (official and unofficial) puristic movements?

Proposals will be judged on their ability to address theoretical issues and methodological questions, or the latter’s application to concrete cases and corpora

Since the conference is interdisciplinary in nature, we welcome proposals from the fields of literary studies, linguistics, translation studies, cultural studies, communication studies, political studies, social sciences, philosophy and history.

Abstracts (in English or French) should not exceed 300 words and be submitted along with a brief biobibliographical note (100 words max.) by 1 March 2018 at the latest to the following address: letl@uliege.be. Participants will be notified by 1 May 2018.

Papers may be delivered in Dutch, English, French, German and Spanish, with discussions taking place in English and French.

Organizing committee (ULiège): Kim Andringa, Lieselotte Brems, Louis Gerrekens, Maxim Proesmans, Laurent Rasier, Erik Spinoy, Kris Steyaert, An Van linden, Patricia Willson
External: Ted Laros (Open Universiteit Nederland), Lieven Vandelanotte (UNamur)

Please check www.letl.uliege.be/cms/c_3141291/fr/letl-activites for up-to-date information.

19th International CALL Research Conference

Dear colleagues,

We hereby extend a cordial invitation to submit a proposal for our 19th International CALL Research Conference, which will be held in Bruges (Belgium) from 4 to 6 July 2018. The theme of the conference is CALL your Data.

You are invited to submit a proposal where you describe your past or current research and, more importantly, the challenges encountered and solutions found regarding the “Openness” of the data you make, use of and/or produce. Your submission should consist of a one page abstract (500 words). You should use the template provided. Deadline for submission of abstracts will be January 31st 2018.

Early-bird registration will be 340 EUR. Alex Boulton and Rose Luckin will be our keynote speakers. Updated details on the programme, venue, accommodation, registration and deadlines can be found on the conference website: www.call2018.org.

Looking forward to seeing you in Bruges,

The organizing committee.
Ann Aerts
Jozef Colpaert
Frederik Cornillie
Piet Desmet
Ine Windey

CFP: 39th International GERAS Conference

15-17 March 2018

University of Mons, Belgium

Diachronic dimensions in specialised varieties of English:

implications in communications, didactics and translation studies

As a rule, practitioners of English for Specific Purposes show little interest in diachrony and, particularly, in the past of specialised languages. Their main motivation stems from learners’ needs, and needs analyses generally place them in the present or near future rather than in the past. Conversely, a growing number of researchers in continental Europe regard specialised languages as enduring linguistic objects – e.g. specialised varieties of English (SVEs) such as medical or legal English – and exploring these SVEs’ diachronic dimensions plays an increasing part in their scientific interests. This conference invites researchers to examine the diachronic dimensions of specialised English and to explore their various facets.

One first group of questions may bear on the communicational stakes of the subject. Languages aptly serve specialised communication in synchronic conditions, but what are the impacts of diachronic distantiation on comprehension and interpretation? Learners frequently engage in documentary research and they consult texts that may belong in temporal settings lying outside their immediate learning time sphere. Do they have to be made aware of the evolutions in terms, discourse, genres, institutional reference, and of the influence of history on their specialised communities? These questions expand further if the history of SVEs comes into

consideration and if we wonder about their origins. Training learners to become erudite in specialised languages is clearly not an option; yet, totally ignoring the

diachronic dimension of SVEs may not be an adequate posture when it comes to training qualified teachers of English irrespective of their specialised domains.

A second set of questions flows from answers given to the first. If some scientific investment in diachrony makes sense for some SVEs, how can we design

learning/teaching strategies that meet the requirements of the “didactic transposition” put forward by Yves Chevallard (1985: 20)? The aim of the didactic transposition is to produce “knowledge for learners” from “scholars’ knowledge” and the challenge here is to introduce the diachronic dimension into the process. Motivation concerns are also a major issue if learners are invited to devote some time and effort to long-term aspects instead of engaging fully in hic and nunclanguage priorities.

The third group of interrogations concerns translation issues. Culture has long been a major object of research in translation studies (often contrasting “natural” with

“exotic” translations), but diachrony seems to have attracted limited interest. Yet, translators are often challenged by source elements that have changed in the course of time such as terminological evolutions like neologisms or changes in nomenclature; modifications in phraseology resulting from usage or imposed by competent authorities; or paradigmatic changes in the truth conditions of the world, as when one scientific theory is proved wrong and is replaced by another.

In translation studies, source-oriented translation and target-oriented translation only meet part of the translators’ dilemmas when they are confronted with diachrony. The source-oriented translator would simply keep the past elements of the source text and include them in the target text while the target-oriented translator would aim at adapting past elements to make them fit the present. Functionalist translation theories offer better strategies in these cases. Following the

skopos theory, every translation has a purpose. The source text has to be translated so as to make sense for addressees, their knowledge and their needs, in the target circumstances. In this theoretical framework, diachrony-dependent translation decisions are subject to the function of the target text. In that respect, Christiane Nord (1997) stresses that translators have to compare source texts and target texts in terms of addressees and of the medium employed, but also in terms of the place and time of reception. By comparing, translators may make translation decisions which largely determine the target text. Functionalists have duly addressed the issue of time difference between source and target texts, but diachrony is a transversal phenomenon in translation because it is inherent in linguistic evolutions, whether in languages for general or specialised purposes. In that context, it would be of interest to study the evolutions in the translation of neologisms, of theory-constitutive metaphorical terms – their evolutions are often marked by scientific discoveries in the course of time. Other relevant prospective questions may include the translation of specialised phraseologies where parallel corpus analyses highlight diachronic markers.

 

References

Chevallard, Yves. 1985. La transposition didactique : du savoir savant au savoir enseigné. Grenoble: La Pensée Sauvage.

Nord, Christiane. 1997. Translating as a Purposeful Activity: Functionalist Approaches Explained. Manchester, UK: St Jerome.

 

Submission format

Languages: French or English

Number of words: 300

EXTENDED Deadline: 20 January 2018

Forward to: christine.michaux@umons.ac.bem.memet@orange.fr

Site

https://portail.umons.ac.be/FR/universite/admin/cerp/congres_colloques/Pages/15-17mars2018-39%C3%A8meColloqueInternationalduGERAS.aspx

French (construction) morphology meets medieval medical vocabulary

Dear fellow BKL/CBL-members,

We would like to invite you to our workshop French (Construction) Morphology meets medieval medical vocabulary in Leuven on the 16th of March 2018.

This workshop will focus on morphology and Construction Morphology used for lexical analysis, as well as the study of modern and medieval medical terminology. Particularly of interest is the morphological analysis of complex, viz medical, words, namely compounds and derivatives.

Please find more information (program, venue, registration, registration fees…) on our website: https://www.arts.kuleuven.be/chromed/english/workshop-2018/

Regards,

Céline Szecel, on behalf of the organizing committee