Language, power, ethics and superdiversity (UK)

Language, power, ethics and superdiversity
Friday 13th May  2016,
10.30am – 5.15pm
Centre for Language, Discourse and Communication
King’s College London
Franklin-Wilkins Building Waterloo Bridge Wing Room G552

In an era characterised by increasingly dynamic population mobility, traditional presuppositions about the substance of individual and group identities, and about the social and political semiotics that shape them, seem inadequate. In superdiverse societies, the question of language poses a particularly difficult challenge, owing both to its identitarian and communicative dimensions. These new realities raise new questions, empirical and normative alike: in such circumstances, what constitutes a linguistic identity? How do linguistic identity and political agency interplay? Are all linguistic identities necessarily political, and, if so, are they of equal value? What forms of linguistic prioritisation, e.g. in civic life, education and the job market, may be considered legitimate? Are national governments justifiable in intervening in the linguistic repertoires, practices and identities of citizens and non-citizens? Are some notions of linguistic integration and citizenship more compatible with democratic principles than others? Could these notions be grounded in sufficiently common social and political semiotics? And what role is there for the state in a rapidly globalising world? These and similar questions unavoidably require principled interdisciplinary collaboration between linguists, philosophers, political scientists and public policy researchers.

• Language ethics and the interdisciplinary challenge – Yael Peled, IHSP and Law, McGill University
• Pluricentric linguistic justice: a normative approach to the question of language ownership – Leigh Oakes, French and Linguistics, Queen Mary University of London
• The normative stakes of academic Anglicisation: language/power/knowledge/ethics – Daniel Weinstock, IHSP and Law, McGill University
• Language Revitalization and Social Transformation: Empirical and Normative Questions – Huw Lewis, International Politics, Aberystwyth

Attendance is free, though places are limited.  Book a place online.