Call for Chapters: The politics of researching multilingually, to be edited by Prue Holmes, Judith Reynolds, Sara Ganassin and published with Multilingual Matters. Deadline: 1 July 2019.
How researchers draw on their linguistic resources when they undertake their research is often impacted by institutional, contextual, and interpersonal politics, and this can be a salient issue for researchers working in multiple languages when they are planning, developing, conducting and/or writing up their research. This is especially the case as researchers undertake their work in conditions of migration as a result of poverty, precarity, conflict, and/or protracted crises—where languages are often overlooked, and their speakers silenced; or in other situations where languages and those who speak them may come into conflict with political regimes, and/or other forms of structural power and agency. Thus, when undertaking their research, researchers must make decisions about which language(s) to use, when, where, and why—decisions that are often politically charged.
These decisions may be influenced by multiple factors: the topic of the research; the contexts that shape the research; the relationships among the researcher and various stakeholders (e.g., supervisors and funders of the research, and gatekeepers such as governmental officials, non-governmental groups/employees and other community groups who determine access to the research site, resources, texts and other artefacts); the languages in play in the research context (whether national, minority, tribal, colonial, travelling languages, and lingua francas); and the languages of dissemination, e.g., for participants and stakeholders in the community, in theses (in the dominant national language only, or multiple languages), and in publications (e.g., in high impact journals which are often published in English). In this sense, the languages researchers employ in the research process, and how and when they draw on their linguistic resources, are as much politically influenced as they are culturally or linguistically.