[lg policy] call: 2nd LINEE Conference: Multilingualism in the Public Sphere

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at GMAIL.COM
Wed Nov 2 14:23:25 UTC 2011

nd LINEE Conference: Multilingualism in the Public Sphere

Date: 04-May-2012 - 06-May-2012
Location: Dubrovnik, Croatia
Contact Person: Josip Lah
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site: http://www.amiando.com/lineeconference2012

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics; Applied Linguistics;

Call Deadline: 01-Dec-2011

Meeting Description:

LINEE (Languages in a Network of European Excellence) is a scientific
network aimed at investigating linguistic diversity in Europe in a coherent
and interdisciplinary way. Following on a very successful international
conference on New Challenges for Multilingualism organized by LINEE in 2010
in Dubrovnik, it has been decided to organise the second international
conference in 2012 again in Dubrovnik to continue to critically examine the
concept of multilingualism in the context of complex cultural and
linguistic diversity characterized by mobility, migration and minorities,
and to propose further theoretical and research perspectives.

The objective of this second international conference is to provide a forum
for researchers studying multilingualism as social practice in various
public spaces in order to rethink both the concept of 'language', its role
in fostering social cohesion, and the concept of the public sphere. Instead
of the dominant understanding of the public sphere in political and social
theory associated with the capacity for reasoned public choice attained
through free and open public debates of citizens, we propose a broader
anthropologically grounded concept of the sphere of public communication
associated to the sociability and the potential of the encounters and
communication between strangers. It refers to multiple inherently unstable
and fluid publics as socially constituted by difference, and citizens
communicating across linguistic and cultural boundaries within an
interactive public space. The wealth of such multilingual contexts and uses
of plurilingual resources in the process of intercultural communication is
often neglected in public and academic domains.

The conference will gather 100-120 researchers who investigate plurilingual
communication from a perspective that seeks to critically address power
relations and includes different types of public spaces as concrete
empirical settings, each with their specific contribution to communication
across linguistic and cultural boundaries, such as: public places (shops,
markets, tourist sites); field of economy and work-organizations;
functional/sectoral public arenas of differentiated service-provision (such
as education, health-care, administration etc.) and media.

Venue: Inter-University Centre - Dubrovnik, Frana Bulica 4:

The centre has nice internet facilities and a number of rooms for lectures
and limited possibilities for accommodation in the building itself. It is
located very close to the famous late medieval city of Dubrovnik, i.e.
about 300 meters in the direction North-West to the central medieval gate.
Accommodation can be found in one of the many hotels in Dubrovnik (Hotel
Imperial is the closest to the centre, but expensive, Hotel Lero is
cheaper, and about 1 1/2 kilometre from the Centre) or in one of many private
accommodations (Room or 'Sobe') which are very reasonable and can be found

Call for Papers:

While the public sphere as a communicative space has been mostly studied
through the mass media discourse, we suggest a 'bottom up' perspective,
which takes all levels of the public sphere as relevant by also studying
non-mediated public arenas. We would like to explore these themes in terms
of the relationships between conventional notions of the institutional
public sphere, alongside informal, everyday linguistic and cultural
practices through which the public is negotiated. The organizers invite
interdisciplinary contributions which investigate plurilingual
communication from a perspective that seeks to critically address
asymmetries in knowledge and power relations and includes different types
of public spaces as concrete empirical settings of functional
plurilingualism, each with their specific contribution to shared
intercultural communication.

Session Topics:

1) Multilingual Practices in Public Places and Linguistic Landscape

The session will look at freely accessible public places (streets, parks,
shops, bars, markets, clubs, tourist resorts as well as unrooted places
marked by mobility and travel) as sites of social communicative
interactions between strangers. Such public spaces with high level of
heterogeneous co-presence as loci of power and politics are the most
important places for studying the 'right to a communicative city'. The
primary interest is on place sociability, its capacity to encourage and
generate spontaneous encounters and activities with the 'Other', and all
imperfect linguistic practices, and creative uses of multilingual resources
(like poly-lingualism or languaging that challenge the notion of bounded,
and clearly defined languages) on which people draw while striving to
create meaning. Such multilingual practices are not restricted to oral
communication, but can be found in different signs of linguistic landscape.

2) Multilingualism in Institutional Settings

The focus of this session is on theoretical and empirical research of
institutional challenges posed by mobility and linguistic diversity. It
strives to examine intercultural communication in various
functional/sectoral public arenas of differentiated service-provision (such
as education, health and social care, bureaucratic administration, law
etc.) through institutional ideologies and processes of social
exclusion/inclusion as reflected in linguistic and interactional routines
and practices. Empirical settings of less-studied institutional sites that
challenge powerful language ideologies, control and authority that often
support 'monolingual multilingualism' through the compartmentalization of
languages and the privileging of particular sets of linguistic resources
over others are particularly welcome, as well as issues connected to
intercultural communication and competence.

3) Multilingualism in Economy

The session will explore different aspects of the relationship between
language and economy in an interdisciplinary way such as, management of
human resources under conditions of linguistic diversity; knowledge
transfer through multilingual practices; multilingual communication and
interaction in the realization of economic production processes (e.g.
marketing), and language as commodity at the linguistic market and language

4) Historical Perspectives of Multilingualism

Critical, comparative transnational approach to historical multilingualism
can illuminate its legacy and linguistic and social challenges stemming
from the historical basis for the present linguistic and cultural diversity
in Europe and elsewhere. We can particularly benefit from historical
socio-political overviews and specific case studies of multilingual states
in the past that reveal ideologies of official language policies, the
interaction between national and imperial/colonial policies and their
effects. Alternative perspectives that consider language use and ideologies
circulating from below, e.g. in popular press and literature, might reveal
the social impact of such policies and different manifestations of
historical multilingualism.

5) General Session

Empirical and theoretical papers on other topics related to language as
social practice and intercultural communication.

Abstract Submission:

The abstract submission deadline for individual papers is 1 December 2011.
Notification of acceptance will be on 15 January 2012. Further details
regarding abstract submission and registration are available on the
conference website:


Scientific Committee:

Anna Fennyvesi (University of Szeged)
Tamah Sherman (Charles University Prague)
Rita Franceschini (Free University of Bozen)
Anita Sujoldžić (Institute for Anthropological Research, Zagreb)
Vesna Muhvić-Dimanovski (University of Zagreb)
Dick Vigers (University of Southampton)
Jiri Nekvapil (Charles University Prague)
Peter Weber (University of Applied Languages, Munich)
Rosita Schjerve-Rindler (University of Vienna)
Iwar Werlen (University of Bern)

Organizing Committee:

Anita Sujoldžić (president)
Pavao Rudan
Mirna Jernej
Lucija Šimičić
Anja Iveković-Martinis
Josip Lah
Olga Orlić



 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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