Call for Papers: Language and Migration: Experience and Memory, May 7-9, 2020. Part I, New York City: May 7-8. Part II, Princeton University: May 8-9. Deadline: November 1, 2019.
Language is a vital, but often underexplored, factor in the lives of migrants, immigrants and refugees. It has a direct impact on the experiences and choices of individuals displaced by war, terror, or natural disasters and the decisions made by agents who provide (or fail to provide) relief, services, and status. And, distilled through memory, it shapes the fictions, poems, memoirs, films and song lyrics in which migrants render loss and displacement, integration and discovery, the translation of history and culture, and the trials of identity.
This interdisciplinary, international conference on Language and Migration will place the role of language in the lives and works of migrants in sharp relief. In Part One, to take place in midtown Manhattan, participants are invited to consider how language differently affects the experiences of several populations: permanently settled refugees and migrants; temporarily settled refugees and migrants; and people in transit. These populations, in turn, are variegated by age and gender, literacy and educational attainment, culture and religion, and the political, economic and cultural contexts in which they seek to settle. Part Two of the conference will focus on memory in the cultural work of migrants and immigrants. On Friday evening the conference will resume at Princeton University with a reading by eminent faculty novelists in the Lewis Center for the Arts, followed on Saturday by a full-day symposium on memory, language, and migration. To foster conversation across disciplinary borders, participants are strongly urged to attend both parts of the conference
Princeton’s interdisciplinary Research Lab on “Migration: People and Cultures Across Borders” comprises both humanists and social scientists; accordingly, they invite proposals from a wide variety of disciplines, including comparative literature, history, translation studies and philosophy; political science, economics, education, sociology, and law; sociolinguistics, applied linguistics, interlinguistics and forensic linguistics, among other fields.