Poltics, Plurilingualism and Linguistic Identity (IALIC)

Venue: Dublin City University

Location: Dublin, Ireland

Event Date/Time: Nov 11, 2004 End Date/Time: Nov 14, 2004
Early Registration Date: Sep 15, 2004
Abstract Submission Date: Aug 31, 2004
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The Context
The themes addressed in recent years by IALIC conferences have been a direct expression of the politics and interdisciplinarity which lie at the heart of Intercultural Studies. Having had as their central concern the nature and role of languages in intercultural communication, conferences have focused on borders and boundaries, the global and the local, translation and, latterly, on the intercultural narrative. The emphasis has been shared between exploring pedagogical innovation and defining the research priorities of an emergent field which draws variously on the disciplines of anthropology, linguistics, education, psychology, management, literary studies, languages and cultural studies.
Critical engagement with research and praxis in the field of languages and Intercultural Communication has been a primary feature of previous conferences. In tandem the journal Language and Intercultural Communication has developed as a critical forum for high quality research that engages with political issues in the field.

The Focus
The aim of the 2004 IALIC conference is to sharpen thinking on the politics of plurilingualism and linguistic identity.
Politics implies the taking of a position and the art of dealing with the myriad manifestations of languages and intercultural communication. To address political questions is to engage with the ideologies of those engaged in public and ethical debates in the social domain, including our own. It is also to ask questions of identity: individual, social, cultural, intercultural and linguistic. Such questions may be addressed to the educational domain, to the field of literature, media and the visual arts through the politics of the intercultural narrative. They may concern developments in public discourse, language rights, policy decisions concerning the place of languages and translation in society. They may equally seek to describe, compare and analyse different social and cultural forms of plurilingualism and linguistic identity.
The conference will seek to engage with the politics of plurilingualism and linguistic identity at both the macro and micro levels: what these themes mean for citizens of a 'post-colonial' or 'multi-cultural' world and what they mean for language learners and students of intercultural communication in our schools and universities. The aim of conference is both to reconsider concepts, review practices and develop strategies, and to reflect on the empirical reality of language in intercultural communication. Our concerns are as much with practical analysis as they are with theoretical definition.

The questions
The topic of our conference prompts a range of theoretical and applied questions. These can be grouped around three key, interwoven themes:

1. Conceptual and Ideological
· What are the politics of plurilingualism?
· What body of theory informs the study of plurilingualism? How might this be applied in intercultural studies?
· How does monolingualism and plurilingualism impact on linguistic identity?
· How do different disciplines engage critically with other languages and with intercultural communication ?
· What evidence do we have for the emergent power of an ‘intercultural’ turn and what responsibilities does this engender?

2. Literary, Visual and Cultural
· How do aesthetic techniques associated with 'fiction' interact with factual or historical testimonies in the public domains of the politics of plurilingualism and linguistic identity?
· What role do literature and the visual arts play in defining and forming linguistic identities?
· What is the role of narrative in developing intercultural communicators and intercultured selves?
· How do the politics of plurilingualism play out in particular localities, post-colonially, and among differing social and cultural groups?
· Are the representations found in literature and the arts indicative of plurilingualism? What might be the politics of intercultural representation?

3. Educational, Linguistic and Discursive
· In what way can the discourses surrounding the ‘intercultural turn’ in language learning, and other disciplines, be described as ‘political’? What are the forms of expression which justify that appellation? What are their patterns of use and social practice in defining new epistemologies?
· What reflections, reactions and resistances do such discourses
provoke in learners and teachers? How do they shape linguistic identities?
· How does the character of the debate surrounding ‘the intercultural turn’ affect curricula in different educational environments?
· To what extent must language learning, to be effective, engage and even transform the cultural identity of learners? Is such an engagement/transformation feasible in an institutional setting? How might it affect the cultural or national allegiances of learners?

Call for Papers
The conference will have an explicitly interdisciplinary focus. We welcome contributions from any of the following fields: languages, linguistics and discourse analysis, media and communication studies, film and theatre studies, business studies, literary criticism, anthropology, psychology, education, and cultural and area studies.


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