International Conference Languaging Diversity 2018

THU 27 SEPT – SAT 29 SEPTEMBER 2018, ANTWERP

Following the four successful events hosted by the Universities of Naples (2013), Catania (2014), Macerata (2016) and Cagliari (2017) where topics such as diversity, alterity, power and social class have been explored with reference to gender, ethnicity and culture, we bring the Languaging Diversity Conference outside of Italy and into Belgium. The theme of the conference this year is discourse and diversity in the global city.

Conference theme: Discourse and Diversity in the Global City

Discourses in/of/about the city vibrantly conceptualize, narrate and imagine the past, present and future of a city and its citizens. The city’s status, character, spirit and image are constantly imagined, reproduced and framed in private and public communication. In urban discourse languages, identities and subcultures meet, as old and new inhabitants interact with temporary visitors and guests. Accordingly, alternative city images may arise, as existing discourse representations of cities are recontextualized and transformed in other visions about the city and citizenship. This process implies utopian or dystopian views on the city, as discourse zooms in on challenges, problems and possible solutions over time. Discourse as such displays different social actors evolving around urban life, which gives an insight into to attitudes, opinions and sentiments about the city. In global cities, social experience, spaces and activities are lived through the linguascape of complex multilingual, multisensory and multimodal repertoires, as citizens’ identities and (absence of) interactions cross borders which connect different languages, time, space and semiotic modes.

This conference brings together interdisciplinary research about discourse(s) in global cities, and wishes to analyze and discuss commonalities and distinctiveness between urban areas, conceived of as networks of spatial and symbolic nodal points and peripheral zones. The interdisciplinary focus looks for discussions and connections which involve the broad field of discourse studies and correlated issues, including but not limited to

  • Sociolinguistics of globalization
  • Politics, communication policy and governance
  • Mobility, migration, circulation, tourism
  • Cultural spaces, capitals of culture
  • Imagined cities
  • Social, economic and technological aspects of global cities (smart cities, the future internet, digital cities)
  • City marketing and city branding
  • Sustainable cities
  • Privacy and public safety, (transnational) crime fighting
  • Community building, community involvement and ghettoisation
  • Cultural mediation and multilingualism

The following macro-areas and/or methodological approaches are to be understood as a general guideline and can be further extended:

  • Critical Discourse Analysis, Critical Discourse Studies
  • Socio-cognition  and Systemic Functional Linguistics
  • Linguistic anthropology
  • Corpus-based discourse studies
  • Language crossing, switching, and mixing
  • Language variation and language change
  • Multimodal, digital and audio-visual discourse(s)
  • Contrastive Pragmatics
  • Sociolinguistics, sociolinguistics of globalization
  • Ethnographic approaches to language
  • Literary studies
  • Translation Studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • Media Studies
  • Documentary and Film Studies
  • History of ideas
Call for papers
We welcome individual presentations and posters, which will be submitted to anonymous review. Proposals for thematically organized sessions can be proposed to the organizers, with a short rationale for the session in the conference format. This proposal should contain a list with speakers and titles. All papers in the session need to be submitted through the general review process.
Important dates
Proposals for theme sessions: 15 April 2018.
Approval theme sessions: 20 April 2018.
New extended call deadline: Individual abstracts (including papers in sessions) should be submitted by 15 May 2018.
Approval papers: 1 June 2018.Early bird registration: before 10 August 2018.
Late registration: before 10 September 2018.