24.2027, Confs: Ling & Literature, Anthropological Ling, Socioling/UK

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Mon May 13 14:14:41 UTC 2013

LINGUIST List: Vol-24-2027. Mon May 13 2013. ISSN: 1069 - 4875.

Subject: 24.2027, Confs: Ling & Literature, Anthropological Ling, Socioling/UK

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Date: Mon, 13 May 2013 10:14:21
From: Daniel Weston [daniel.weston at ntnu.no]
Subject: Code-switching in Literature

E-mail this message to a friend:
Code-switching in Literature 

Date: 05-Jul-2013 - 05-Jul-2013 
Location: London, United Kingdom 
Contact: Penelope Gardner-Chloros 
Contact Email: p.gardner-chloros at bbk.ac.uk 
Meeting URL: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/events-calendar/code-switching-in-literature 

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics; Ling & Literature; Sociolinguistics 

Meeting Description: 

Bilingual language mixing, or code-switching, has recently entered the public 
imagination through popular films such as ‘Spanglish’ and ‘Slumdog 
Millionaire’. This is gratifying for linguists, for whom this is a lively field of 
study (Gardner-Chloros 2009; Bullock & Toribio 2009). However, what is less 
widely studied in both academic and public arenas is the flourishing of code-
switching in literature. The spread of English is one factor currently giving rise 
to this worldwide phenomenon, from Latino literature (Montes-Alcalá 2012) to 
the Urban London speech of Zadie Smith’s White Teeth, from Helen de Witt’s 
The Last Sumarai to Mulk Raj Anan’s Coolie. Elsewhere, from French-
speaking Canada to the Caribbean, poets and writers are exploiting the 
creative possibilities of combining languages within the same works. 

This conference is a first step towards formalizing and theorizing a 
phenomenon which concerns both the study of linguistics and literature 
equally, and is represented in both burgeoning musical genres and the 
electronic media. There is now considerable interest in written code-switching 
generally, across a range of genres and text types (Sebba, Mahootian & 
Jonsson 2012). ‘Translingual’ writers, i.e. those who write in a language other 
than their mother-tongue (Kellman 2000; 2003) are also a focus of scholarly 
attention, as is bilingual creativity (Jarvis & Pavlenko 2007; Kharkhurin 2012). 
But although multilingual literature has been of significance for centuries 
(Forster 1970/2009; Schendl & Wright 2011), the specific study of code-
switching in literature has been contingent on its study within linguistics and 
is only now taking off. Papers are expected to combine an interest in 
theoretical issues to do with the role of code-switching in literature with the 
description of specific texts or writers. Anticipated output will take the form of 
an edited collection, which will be the subject of a preliminary discussion at 
the conference.

To attend this conference, please visit the webpage 
(http://www.bbk.ac.uk/events-calendar/code-switching-in-literature) and click 
on “Payment and Registration”.

The conference schedule is available below; a full programme, with abstracts, 
is available at the conference webpage. 

Full programme, with speaker abstracts, is available at 

Programme of Speakers
5 July, 2013
Birkbeck, University of London: The Keynes Library


Plenary: Penelope Gardner-Chloros & Daniel Weston
Birkbeck University of London & The Norwegian University of Science and 
Multilingualism in Literature


Plenary: Herbert Schendl
University of Vienna
Code-switching in Early English Literature


Plenary: Cecilia Montes-Alcalá
Georgia Institute of Technology
Code-switching in US Latino Literature


Tina Bennett-Kastor
Wichita State University
Code- and Script-switching in Written Language

Katharina Müller
Justus-Liebig-University Giessen
Code-switching in Italo-Brazilian Literature

Nichola Smalley
University College London
Translating Code-switching in Literature


Katalin Egri Ku-Mesu
University of Leicester
Code-switching and the Metonymic Gap in Post-colonial Literatures

Alex Mullen
All Souls College, University of Oxford
Graece hoc melius: Code-switching in Written texts from the Classical World


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