You will find details of events as well as webinars and videos of our seminar series and workshops here. For details of Monash-hosted events, please visit the MITN Monash websiteLink opens in a new window.
Exploring the journeys to re-employment of highly-skilled refugee women in the UK: Insights from the ESRI project
Dr Sara Ganassin, Newcastle University
Wednesday 25th October, 17:00-18:00 BST
A small body of research has explored the barriers to employment faced by highly-skilled refugees, highlighting the importance of resilience and intercultural communicative competence (Young et al., 2022). In their journeys to appropriate qualified (re) employment, women are comparatively more disadvantaged than men (e.g., they are often the main caregivers in their families). However, little attention has been given to the specific experiences and needs of women-refugees with professional qualifications and/or professional experience.
This talk presents the initial findings from an ongoing project funded by the British Academy Leverhulme Small Research Grants scheme: ESRI (Exploring the experiences of highly-skilled refugee women in the UK: An intersectional approach). It draws data from the first phase of the project, a series of nine qualitative interviews that explored the personal (e.g., mental health) and structural barriers (e.g., recognition of qualifications) encountered by the participants in their journeys to re-employment in the UK. Thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2019) and discourse analysis (Cameron, 2001) were used to uncover the participants’ realities as discourses that shape and are being shaped by social construction. Ultimately, this approach enabled us to unpack how of gender, race/ethnicity, and language can result in compounded disadvantages for displaced women.
Please click to join via Teams slightly before the start time and do email us if you experience any difficulties in joining. It would be helpful if you could let us know in advance that you plan to join.
The Falklands/Malvinas War taken to Wikipedia: What can Multimodal Discourse Analysis tell us about neutrality in the world’s largest encyclopædia?
Dr José Gustavo Góngora-Goloubintseff, University of Manchester, University of York & The Open University
Wednesday 1st November, 17:00-18:00 GMT
Wikipedia is a multilingual collaborative, user-generated encyclopaedia. As the largest source of free knowledge on the Internet, Wikipedia is at the crossroads of diverse cultural and national groups largely characterised by distinctive ideologies. Such ideologies often converge and have for the most part contributed to the encyclopaedia’s unprecedented success. Nonetheless, as several studies on Wikipedia have highlighted, the ideological stance of the authors is known to pose challenges to neutrality, often leading to “edit wars” that ultimately cast doubts on Wikipedia’s credibility when presenting seemingly controversial subjects. Despite the copious amount of literature on neutrality in Wikipedia, little research has yet applied multimodal discourse analysis to tackle cross-lingual violations of the Neutral Point of View (NPOV).
Consequently, based on a study conducted in 2019, this webinar aims to discuss specific examples of selected visual and textual data from the English and Spanish Wikipedia entries for the Falklands/Malvinas War to prove that the inclusion of certain images and lexemes in particular contexts can be good indicators of NPOV violations. The data set used in the research consisted of the introductory sections, table of contents and images from the two Wikipedia entries and a set of selected comments posted on their talk pages. The findings suggest that specific lexical and visual choices are ideologically motivated and go against the principles advocated by NPOV. This is further attested by the fact that some lexical choices are contested by Wikipedia editors on the talk pages, thus showing that neutrality in the user-driven encyclopaedia is a relative and local position.
Please click to join via Teams slightly before the start time and do email us if you experience any difficulties in joining. It would be helpful if you could let us know in advance that you plan to join.
Rethinking Arab migration narratives: Literary and cultural reflections
Dr Nadeen Dakkak, University of Exeter
Wednesday 8th November, 17:00-18:00 GMT
“Hosting refugees is the most rewarding experience.” Migrant Identity and Affective Positioning in UK Charity organisation narratives
Dr. Sofia Lampropoulou, University of Liverpool; Dr. Korina Giaxoglou, The Open University; Paige Johnson,University of Liverpool
Wednesday 15th November, 17:00-18:00 GMT
This talk focuses on the practices and implications of curating and mobilizing storytelling in the context of positive migration discourses advocated by international organizations supporting migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. Migration in he UK is a highly politicised issue, particularly amid the resurgence of right-wing nationalist ideologies which problematize immigration as a process of social, cultural, and political integration (Bennett, 2018). At the same time, philanthropic organisations, including non-governmental and/or charity organisations, are well established in the UK to support and assist immigrants. In their desire to “do the right thing” (Lester and Dussart, 2014: 24) they promote positive migrant stories of deserving and successful migrants (Lampropoulou & Johnson, 2023). We focus on 21 curated narratives of personal experience published by UNHCR as ‘News and stories’ on their website between 2016 and 2018. We take one narrative in particular as our focal point: the story of Abdul and his hostess Ingrid. Drawing on the affective positioning (Giaxoglou, 2021) of the characters in the story, we observe that the indebtness of refuges to host individuals’ discourse is naturalised, serving to frame the UK as a welcoming society. Additionally, discourses of assimilation are couched in narratives of integration as much as in relationships of dependence. These serve to reproduce the UK as white saviour. We conclude by pointing to the canonization of positive stories about migrants and their implications. In doing so, our study delves deeper into the political economy of storytelling by cross-fertilising tools from narrative positioning and critical discourse studies.
Please click to join via Teams slightly before the start time and do email us if you experience any difficulties in joining. It would be helpful if you could let us know in advance that you plan to join.
From voice to text: Harnessing variation and negotiating standardisation when writing documentary theatre
Dr Claire French, Theatre maker & Asst Prof, University of Birmingham
Wednesday 6th December, 17:00-18:00 GMT
This seminar presents a methodology of transcribing and editing audio testimony from a storytelling project to create the documentary play, Courage Songs (2022). The storytelling project of the same name brought together five Birmingham-based women, including me, to share songs and their impact on our lives. The project, which took place at the University of Birmingham’s Department of Drama and Theatre Arts, explored the women’s approaches to multilingual storytelling and female post-migration experiences. The women consented for these stories to be audio recorded and written into the play, which they read and approved.
I negotiated the stages of transcribing and editing their/our voices with a view to providing the greatest linguistic variation. By harnessing variation across the characters’ English varieties, I attempted to communicate their/our personalities, cultural sensibilities and ‘ways of knowing’ cultural knowledge.
In this seminar, I focus on two excerpts. The first is from the testimony of a woman who became the British Bangladeshi character, Uzma, who draws on a British English variety, having grown up in the West Midlands since she was three years old. The second, taken from the script, voices the character of Claire (based on me), who draws on an Australian English variety, having grown up in Australia and lived in Germany and the UK for thirteen years. Both English varieties display patterns that suggest some mixing with other linguistic resources. My approach to editing this testimony honours these patterns and avoids the standardisation that is common in documentary theatre. Analyses are situated in relationship to the decolonial storytelling methodologies with which I frame myself in my ongoing role as a participant in dialogue with the women.
“Not on Vacation.” #WeGlobal: African Americans Living Abroad
Dr Deborah Robinson, University of Michigan
POSTPONED - DATE/TIME TBC
African Americans have traveled globally and lived abroad for centuries. There have been ebbs and flows of this voluntary movement, but we are currently witnessing an unprecedented level of travel and expatriation. There are large numbers of Black expats in Ghana, France, the UAE, Tanzania, and South Africa, but some African Americans have chosen to go to some of the most remote places like Kazakhstan or areas where there is not a critical mass of African Americans (like Slovakia, New Zealand, Iceland, etc.). Why did they decide to move abroad? What are they doing there? It is difficult to thoroughly analyze these questions because there are significant limitations to conducting a representative global survey of African Americans living abroad. While there have been studies of overseas Americans in top European destinations and in a few selected countries in other regions, overseas African Americans have been essentially overlooked due to sampling techniques utilized or the countries chosen. Some scholars have written extensively on African Americans in a particular country like Ghana, Russia, or France. While this research has made significant contributions to the field, the experience of African Americans living in one or two countries cannot be generalized to those living in very different parts of the world.
This talk will discuss the methodological challenges to conducting a global study of African Americans living abroad, share some of the innovative solutions we incorporated, and present key initial findings on a pilot of 70 African Americans living abroad for at least one year.
Multilingualism in Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities (II)
Dr Ann Peeters, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
POSTPONED - New date TBC
Hybrid - A0.23 Social Sciences Building, University of Warwick, or join via Teams
The rise of cultural and linguistic diversity has significantly changed societies across the globe. Due to the combination of technological developments, globalisation, and migration processes, it is expected that the number of multilinguals and, more specifically, students with a multilingual background will continue to rise. Due to the increasing recognition of the importance of incorporating students' cultural knowledge and home languages into the learning process, experts are now advocating for the use of multilingual pedagogies in higher education, a practice that must be supported by both students and teachers.
This interactive workshop aims to discover and discuss the various challenges and opportunities faced by universities and colleges while introducing multilingual pedagogies in their programmes. Furthermore, we shall also explore specific principles and techniques that are used successfully in the design and implementation of multilingual pedagogies.
Language Battles in the Linguistic Landscape of a Divided Capital: A Comparative Study of Political Economies of Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot Commercial Establishments
Dr Christiana Themistocleous, University of Reading; Dr Çise Çavuşoğlu, Near East University; Dr Melis Özkara, Near East University
Wednesday 15th March, 17:00-18:00 GMT
In this paper we explore multilingual practices in the linguistic landscape which are geared towards commercial goals. We study simultaneously the commercial areas of two conflict-affected communities in Nicosia (Cyprus) which are divided by a UN-controlled buffer zone. Ledras street (Greek-Cypriot) is in the south and Arasta street (Turkish-Cypriot) in the north of the divide. We investigate how these communities’ political economies and ideologies shape language choice in public space and how the language of ‘the other’, namely Greek or Turkish, are discursively framed as economically valuable or worthless. Photographs of shopfront signs and a thematic analysis of interviews with shopkeepers revealed that language choice in Nicosia’s commercial area is highly strategic. In particular, we demonstrate that this area is a politically charged space where language battles, triggered by power relations, differing language hierarchies, ideologies and political economies, become visible in the linguistic landscape.
‘Translating Illness’ in Research, Policy and the Clinic: A Clarion Call from the Humanities
Dr Marta Arnaldi, University of Oxford & University of Oslo
Wednesday 8th March 2023, 17:00-18:00 GMT
In this talk, I will share the story of the original, risk-taking and, at times, mysterious journey that led me to the creation of 'Translating Illness'Link opens in a new window. I will explain the nature of this medical humanities project, which was born from, and continues to explore, a capacious and multilayered idea of translation, one that originates in the humanities. I will outline how this idea or theory of translation applies to different clinical scenarios, namely psychiatry and epidemiology. Finally, I will suggest how this theoretical framework can help us inform policy making locally and globally, touching upon questions of health, sustainability, disability, diverse ability, and disease.
Gendered Vulnerabilities amongst Environmentally-Induced Migrants
Dr Serena Eréndira Serrano-Oswald, National Autonomous University of Mexico
Wednesday 1st March, 17:00-18:00 GMT
The research team also found a gender bias in environmental migration, where women as head of the household stayed behind and were confronted with dual vulnerabilities: environmental and social. The lack of governmental support impacted negatively on their coping strategies and led individual family members to migrate within Mexico or abroad to the US, where organised criminal activity has rendered border-crossing increasingly hazardous.
Leaving, staying, returning? The role of media narratives and discourses in the relationship between migrations and shrinking areas
Prof Pierluigi Musarò, University of Bologna
Wednesday 22nd February 2023, 13:00-14:00 GMT
Moving from the results of the Horizon 2020 project “Investing in 'Welcoming Spaces' in Europe: revitalizing shrinking areas by hosting non-EU migrants” (https://www.welcomingspaces.eu), this talk aims to explore how migration, ‘shrinking regions’ - regions undergoing a demographic and economic decline in Europe - and their interaction are framed in media debates, to reflect on the impacts of such narratives, and to present possible counternarratives.
A crucial factor in the perception of migrants as a marginalised community and ‘shrinking areas’ as marginalised areas is how these topics, and their encounters, are framed in media narratives and discourses. The talk analyses how these narratives represent migration as a crisis to be solved and migrants as “invaders", thereby orienting collective perceptions of migratory phenomena and consolidating them as security and emergency issues. Such a narrative neglects how migration can sustain economic, social and cultural development for hosting territories and how shrinking regions can be developed in order to combat critical issues (e.g., depopulation, lack of services and infrastructures) and create privileged spaces for more equitable modes of territorial regeneration. This framing has the potential to influence attitudes of openness or closure towards newcomers amongst the public and policymakers.
Finally, the talk explores the processes of deconstruction, re-construction and enactment of alternative and counternarratives concerning the interaction of migration and shrinking regions.
Multilingual Repertoires in Norwegian Job Interviews: Assets or Liabilities?
Dr Verónica Pájaro, University of Agder
Wednesday 15th February 2023, 17:00-18:00 GMT
Multilingual competences have long been conceived valuable resources in increasingly diverse societies in the Global North. Moreover, multilingual repertoires are perceived as valuable assets that can provide individual workers with a competitive edge in an increasingly internationalized and regionally integrated labor market. This advantage, however, does not seem to apply to migrant and minority background workers who often struggle to make their multilingual resources valuable and even visible to potential employers. In this talk, I will argue that this apparent paradox between discourses on multilingual competences in the workplace, as both resources for providing services to a more diverse base of users/clients and a potential sign of lower proficiency in the majority language, is in fact in line with a hierarchical stratification of speakers and their assumed competences in the workplace.
The talk draws on a corpus of 147 video-recorded job interviews in Norway and takes an interactional and critical sociolinguistic approach to the data. The analysis will contextualize the findings of the project in the sociolinguistic context of Norway, its dialectal variation and the Scandinavian dialectal continuum.
Decolonising Place in Early Childhood Studies
Dr Fikile Nxumalo, University of Toronto
Wednesday 8th February 2023, 17:00-18:00 GMT
Thinking with Black and Indigenous feminisms, this talk seeks to illustrate possibilities for disrupting anti-Blackness and settler colonialism in environmental early childhood education. My focus is on the anti-colonial potential of attending to quotidian relational practices in the places and spaces of early childhood education. Drawing from pedagogical outdoor encounters with young children and educators, I gesture toward the 'otherwise worlds' that are made possible by experimenting with wayward methods that attempt to listen for liberatory childhood futurity.
The Marketisation of Refugee Camps: International Organisations and the Reframing of Refugees as Market Actors
Dr Kelly Devenney, University of York
Wednesday 1st February 2023, 17:00-18:00 GMT
International organisations such as the UNHCR have enthusiastically embraced the ‘marketisation’ of refugee camps in the Global South as the ultimate solution to protracted refugee encampments. Our research, interviewing key players in the drive towards marketisation from the UNHCR, IFC and their main private sector partners, seeks to uncover the dominant institutional discourses which are employed to rationalise and justify increased involvement for profit seeking and private actors. We explore the ways in which these organisations position themselves within the marketisation narrative; the methods of ‘depoliticisation’ used to distance this work from political debate and the underlying neoliberal discourses that not only reframe refugees as consumers but imagine them as becoming ‘human again’ through the power of the market.
Understanding International Student Mobility from an interdisciplinary perspective
Dr Joana Almeida, University of Warwick
Wednesday 25th January 2023, 17:00-18:00 GMT
This talk addresses the theoretical foundations and practical applications to understanding international student mobility from an interdisciplinary perspective, i.e., against the multiple variables of interest rather than pre-set mono-disciplinary frameworks.
Building on the speaker's 2020 book “Understanding Student Mobility in Europe: An interdisciplinary approach” by Routledge, and the lived experiences of 50 sojourners in Portugal and the UK, this talk aims to raise awareness of how our own conceptual and methodological positioning can influence knowledge generation. It is sought, in this way, to demonstrate the strengths of an interdisciplinarity perspective, and its underlying ‘both/and’ rather than ‘either/or’ approach, to developing a comprehensive account of international student mobility, at both conceptual and methodological levels.
Career Mentoring for Highly Educated Migrants: A Multiliteracies Perspective
Dr Païvi Iikkanen, University of Jyväskylä
Wednesday 11th January 2023, 17:00-18:00 GMT
My aim is to explore how professional migrants are able to transform their qualifications, language proficiency and cultural knowledge into resources and assets in the job market, and what is the role of multiliteracies in this process. Career mentoring programs have been chosen as the object of study, because it has been shown that mentoring can help professional migrants find employment by extending their networks and helping them learn how to navigate scattered services. In addition to multiliteracies, concepts such as agency, identity, capital, investment and community cultural wealth will be discussed. The study that I will be reporting on is ongoing. I have been collecting data (observations, recordings of group discussions) during group sessions in four 8-month-long career mentoring programs aimed at highly educated migrants in Finland. I also have interview data from mentors, actors and organizers of mentoring programs.
The European Union's approach to multilingualism in its own communication policy
Dr Michele Gazzola, University of Ulster
Wednesday 7th December 2022, 17:00-18:00 GMT
This study assesses the EU’s approach to multilingualism in its communications policy. An innovative mixed methods approach is used to investigate compliance with multilingualism obligations and the language regimes and practices of EU institutions, bodies and agencies, especially on EU websites. The fit with the linguistic skills of EU27 residents is also investigated. Policy recommendations are provided to enhance the transparency and accessibility of EU communication policy taking account of feasibility constraints.
Multilingual Brussels in the 21st Century: Babelesque Chaos or Blueprint for Modern Metropoleis?
Professor Wim Vandenbussche, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Wednesday 30th November 2022, 17:00-18:00 GMT
Multilingual Belgium is steeped in history of language contact and language conflict. Its capital city of Brussels played a key part in this eventful history and its governing structures bear the imprint of intricate language political planning up until the present day, much like the rest of the country. As the cosmopolitan and multicultural make-up of Brussels gains momentum at the turn of the 21st century, however, traditional Dutch-French dichotomies no longer reflect the town’s increasing linguistic diversity. Traditional patterns of bilingualism gave way a new multilingual reality, challenging well-weathered practices in the domains of commerce and education, to name but two. After a brief historical introduction on the sociolinguistic evolution of the city, we will look at recent data on language use and language practice in Brussels, and illustrate how businesses, schools, universities and - eventually also - politicians try to adapt to this new reality.
“There are new faces here.” Negotiations of membership in diasporic associations
Ayten Alibaba, University of Warwick
Wednesday 23rd November 2022, 17:00-18:00 GMT
Geopolitical changes, financial pressures and climate changes feeds into continuous intensification of population movement. In this context, understanding belonging has significant societal relevance. Moving beyond perceiving diasporas as homogenous and static communities, recent socio-/applied linguistic research has focused on the dynamics of membership negotiation. The complex ways in which individuals position self and other as ‘insiders’ or/and ‘outsiders’ has been associated with claiming belonging and fitting in, in the ‘host’/’majority’ society vis a vis an imagined diaspora context.
This talk focuses on the Turkish Cypriot community in London, as a case and conduit for unpacking belonging at individual and group level. I pay special attention to diasporic associations, which are understudied, particularly in sociolinguistic scholarship. Diasporic associations provide a locus for communities and individuals to socialise, negotiate resources and strategies for doing ‘us’ and ‘them’ and converge or diverge from norms and behaviours that are associated with membership to the community. These positions however are not linear, mutually exclusive binaries; to the contrary, they constitute resources for the individual and the group as they construct an imagined collectivity. I use the concept of place-belonging to show how members negotiate fluidity and stability in their community; by reference to (primarily but not exclusively) linguistic practices and behaviours that they mobilise in discourse, members of the community ‘do’ place-belonging in daily practices and routines.
Crisis Translation, Lived Experiences, and Research: A Question of Ethics?
Dr Patrick Cadwell, Dublin City University
Wednesday 16th November 2022, 15:00-16:00 GMT
Recent events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, have demonstrated the vital role that crisis communication plays in our lived experiences when normal life is disrupted. They have also underlined that, when we fail to consider different languages and cultures in our crisis communication, people may misunderstand risks, make poor decisions, be hindered from taking action, and be cut off from helping themselves and others. For many years, the idea that translation or interpreting might be relevant to crises went either under-recognised or completely ignored. This began to change about twenty years ago and has culminated today in the establishment of crisis translation as a new research area in Translation and Interpreting Studies.
This talk will discuss the development of crisis translation as a research area and argue that studies conducted so far have benefited greatly from knowledge gained through the first-hand involvement of research participants in real-life crisis contexts. It will further propose that studying such lived experiences—often using ethnographic methodologies—requires a keen focus on ethics, especially in relation to issues of representation, transparency, and reciprocity.
Expertise in the Shadows: Celebrity Tutors and their Wordsmithery
Vincent Tse, Monash University/University of Warwick
Wednesday 9th November 2022, 17:00-18:00 GMT
Hybrid - A0.23, Social Sciences Building, University of Warwick, Coventry or click to join via Teams
Informed by critical sociolinguistic and discourse analytic research, this talk presents work-in-progress on the performance of and claims to expertise by ‘celebrity tutors’. In Hong Kong, ‘celebrity tutors’ is usually used to refer to famous individuals teaching in shadow education, the fee-paying, supplementary tutoring of academic subjects outside school hours. Celebrity tutors become well-known in Hong Kong’s meritocratic education system for their (self-)proclaimed ability to help students secure enough marks for university entrance. They engage in celebrity-like behaviour such as advertising themselves on double-decker buses, billboards and social media. While some studies (e.g., Koh, 2016; Yung & Yuan, 2020) have analysed their promotional discourse, the main and arguably most central component of their work - their 'doing' of expertise - has not been analysed. Drawing on a YouTube tutoring talent show as well as my own experience of working with celebrity tutors, I examine the expertise of celebrity tutors in the interactive discourse of teaching demonstrations and in metapragmatic activities in the YouTube show. I highlight some potential patterns in constructing valuable teaching and establishing an expert status. I also discuss the interdiscursivity underlying the ‘wordsmithery’ (Thurlow, 2017; 2019) of celebrity tutors.
“Making Our Country Great Again”: On the Libidinal Economy of Nationalism-Populism
Dr Moran Mandelbaum, Keele University
Wednesday 2nd November 2022, 15:00-16:00 GMT
How could we understand the emotive power of nationalist/populist discourses, indeed the calls to make ‘our country great again’? This paper directly tackles the recent Brexit discourse, the election of Trump in the USA and the rise in nationalist/populist sentiments in Europe. I offer a novel way of reading nationalism and the politics of subjectivity as I put forth a Lacanian-Zizekian psychoanalytical framework, especially the concepts of ‘jouissance’ and ‘fantasy’. This means theorising the politics of subjectivity at the formal-ontological level thus identifying the structural elements within the discourse of nationalism that can produce and hail the national subject. Specifically, I suggest that recent nationalist/populist discourses appeal emotively and thus interpellate, at least partially, their national subjects by offering unity and a ‘fullness to come’, the promise of filling the void, the promise of full jouissance. Since such national closure and unity are unattainable nationalist/populist discourses must appeal to lost golden eras of greatness and by rendering the Other the cause of their failure.
Historical sociolinguistics for social activism: Introducing the EUTOPIA History, Identity, and Linguistic Diversity Connected Research Community Incubator
Dr Christopher Strelluf, University of Warwick
Dr Oliver Currie, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Wednesday 19th October 2022, 17:00-18:00 GMT
This presentation introduces the EUTOPIA History, Identity, and Linguistic Diversity Connected Research Community Incubator—a new five-university initiative to explore and advance the role of historical sociolinguistics and related fields in addressing challenges, injustices, and problems. It will share ongoing work contributed by network members to respond to the challenge: “How can we reduce present day European conflict through knowledge of historical multilingualism, language conflict, and language policy?” Oliver Currie (Ljubljana) will explore language shift and maintenance of linguistic diversity. The presentation will focus on the key twin questions: When a community speaking one language becomes subordinated to a larger, politically, socially, and economically dominant community speaking another language, does language shift necessarily follow? And is it possible to have a stable bilingualism without shift to the dominant language and ultimate death of the subordinated (or minoritized) language? Christopher Strelluf (Warwick) will present a case study of converting historical sociophonetic research into participant-led anti-language-prejudice research in East London.
Participants as whole people in field research: Combining a focus on ideologies with the 'deep hanging out' method of data collection
Dr Shelley Dawson, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Wednesday 29th June 2022, 17:15-18:15 BST
Hybrid - A0.23 Social Sciences Building, University of Warwick, Coventry or join via Teams
Join us for our first hybrid seminar in over two years!
Negotiating identity is a precarious business, especially for those who reside – willingly or otherwise – outside the parameters of normativity. A discursive, interactional approach sheds light on the dynamic social practices of belonging and exclusion, and on the role of hegemonic ideologies as gatekeepers. How can one ‘impose reception’ from a position of marginality?
In this presentation, I explore the value of ethnographic approaches in enriching our understandings of such questions. A ‘whole person’ lens offers a conceptually expansive starting point, moving beyond the fixed role of participant and acknowledging the broad and vast life worlds participants carry with them, as well as their intersecting identities and dreams for the future. I suggest that this lens can be operationalised through 1) ‘deep hanging out’ with participants and 2) a focus on ideologies that enable or constrain identity work and belonging. I explain what this looks like in practice by referring to data from two projects, the first of which explores identity navigation in study abroad contexts, and the second which investigates Functional Neurological Disorder and the ideologies that perpetuate stigma around what – or who – is deemed medically ‘worthy’.
"Do Not Use Orc-Speak": Social media discourses on Russian in Ukraine in the wake of war
Dr Ivan Kozachenko, Jagiellonian University, Poland
Webinar - Wednesday 1st June 2022, 17:00-18:00 BST
The brutality shown by the Russian military during the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 soon saw Russian soldiers likened to the ‘Orcs’ from J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy world. The current war has radicalised public opinion in Ukraine and intensified debates on identity and language. Since protecting Russian-speakers was declared one of the pretexts for the invasion, the use and status of the Russian language in Ukraine has become an increasingly pressing issue. This paper explores social media discourses on linguistic identities and practices prior and during the ongoing full-scale aggression. It is argued that, while the Euromaidan revolution of 2014 provided more inclusive frames for the accommodation of Russian, the current invasion has reinforced the language’s portrayal as alien and inappropriate.
Translators’ Panel: Exploring expectations surrounding medical translation and interpreting
Professor Claudia V. Angelelli, Heriot-Watt University; Dr Susana Valdez, Leiden University, The Netherlands; & Dr Marta Kirilova, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Webinar - Wednesday 25th May 2022, 16:30-18:00 BST
Following on from Dr Valdez's well-received MITN webinar on 'Health professionals’ translation preferences and expectations about the translation of medical devices' in February 2022 (see down the page for details), she returns to join Professor Angelelli and Dr Kirilova in a panel event to discuss practitioner and user expectations in medical translation and interpreting. Speakers will deliver individual presentations providing insights from their field of expertise, before participating in a whole-group discussion to explore potential impact strategies in this area of practice.
Professor Claudia V. Angelelli
Professor Claudia V. Angelelli is Chair in Multilingualism and Communication at Heriot-Watt University, UK; Professor Emerita of Spanish Linguistics at San Diego State University, US; and Visiting Professor at Beijing University of Foreign Studies, China. Her research sits at the intersection of sociolinguistics, applied linguistics, and translation and interpreting studies. She has led research projects on intercultural communication and healthcare in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, the European Union, Malaysia and the United States.
Professor Angelelli will be discussing key themes in the expectations of users and practitioners of medical translation and interpreting.
Dr Susana Valdez
Dr Susana Valdez is an Assistant Professor of Translation Studies at Leiden University, the Netherlands, where she lectures on translation theory and methods, medical translation, technology and subtitling. Before taking up her current position, she spent 15 years working in the translation industry as a medical translator. Her research focuses on medical translation, including the translation process and reception of translated texts by health professionals and healthcare users.
Dr Valdez will be presenting data on translators’ decision-making processes and how these are influenced by the expectations of revisers and health professionals. She will discuss how some of the data point to a mismatch between translators’, revisers’ and health professionals' expectations regarding medical translated texts.
Dr Marta Kirilova
Dr Marta Kirilova is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Her background is in sociolinguistics and multilingual interaction. Her research interests include workplace language, language learning, language ideologies, and linguistic and cultural inclusion and exclusion in the workplace.
Dr Kirilova will be presenting data from interpreter-mediated therapy settings, particularly the psychotherapists’ expectations in relation to interpreting therapeutic discourse.
Vulnerability or resilience? Exploring intersecting identities in forced migrant experiences of gender-based violence from an intersectional and socioecological perspective
Dr Sandra Pertek, University of Birmingham
Webinar - Wednesday 11th May 2022, 17:00-18:00 BST
Forced migrants experience multiple and intersecting forms of gender-based violence (GBV) over time and space – pre-displacement, in conflict, flight, transit and refuge. The literature indicates that such experiences are affected by multiple social inequalities associated with intersecting identities, such as gendered, racial, ethnic, migrant and religious discrimination. While studies disproportionally focus on forced migrants’ victimhood and vulnerability to violence, there is less attention on their resilience. Moving beyond vulnerability, this webinar will shed light on how intersecting identities may shape the interactions between GBV experiences, vulnerability and resilience. The empirical case study will draw on the intersectional and socioecological analysis of gender, religion and race in experiences of GBV and forced migration among displaced women in Turkey and Tunisia. Implications for future research and practice will be considered.
A critical perspective of labour migration, remittances and development: The case of Vietnam
Dr Seb Rumsby, University of Warwick
Webinar - Wednesday 16th March 2022, 17:00-18:00 GMT
There are an estimated 23.6 million migrants originally from South East Asia, who have travelled across the world either as refugees from historic conflicts or to seek work. While many migrants are vulnerable to exploitation and human trafficking, labour migration is in fact an important poverty reduction/development strategy for Southeast Asian states, who are dependent on remittances to greater or lesser extents. In this webinar, I will introduce the case study of Vietnamese labour migration from ‘boat people’ in the 1980s to recent waves of undocumented migration. This case study highlights the role of both sending and receiving states in encouraging and benefitting from the toil of migrant workers, as well as the gender and class inequalities which make some migrants particularly vulnerable to abuses. From here, I will look at the impact of remittances on sending communities and critically assess the opportunities and limitations of ‘remittance-led development’.
Shifting dynamics of power in language education with plurilingual pedagogy
Dr Angelica Galante, McGill University, Canada
Webinar - Wednesday 23rd February 2022, 17:00-18:00 GMT
Plurilingual pedagogy has transformed the way we teach and learn languages: learners are seen as active social agents who are in charge of their own language learning; plurilingual and pluricultural competence is a key competence to be developed; linguistic and cultural diversity is highly valued; translanguaging and switching languages are encouraged; and marginalised language users are empowered. With plurilingual pedagogy, many language teachers need to unlearn prescriptive language practices and may find themselves unsure about what to do in the classroom to embrace plurilingualism. In this talk, I will share results of two research projects to show how plurilingual pedagogy can be enacted in different contexts: one in Canada and one in Brazil. In both studies, my research team collaborated with teachers to implement this pedagogy in their language courses and we collected data from both teachers and students. A mixed methods approach was used with analysis of learner and teacher diaries, the Plurilingual and Pluricultural Competence (PPC) scale and classroom observations. The main results include students’ empowerment to lift their voices in the target language, decolonial and anti-discriminatory learning, mobilisation of semiotic resources (e.g., body, auditory), and challenging monolingual and monocultural biases, among others. Samples of language tasks will be explored to provide some guidance for language teachers.
“Don’t take my migration background away!” Challenging mainstream discourses of social integration: Investigating individual experiences of ethnic minority group members in Germany
Yesim Kakalic, University of Warwick
Webinar - Wednesday 16th February 2022, 17:00-18:00 GMT
The German media landscape is characterised by discourses of ethnic tension, migration, integration and assimilation in relation to Turkish German individuals (Mueller, 2006; Orendt, 2010; Ramm, 2010) and has led to a stereotypical and negative public image of this very group (Kontos, 2020). Such discourses typically construct and portray German Turks as ‘the other’, ultimately intensifying discrimination (Bonfadelli, 2007) and feelings of alienation. This paper aims to give a voice to those who are targeted by these discourses and understand how German Turks deal with and respond to mainstream discourses of social integration that contribute to this othering and how they influence the identity construction and sense-making processes of social integration of German-born Turks.
While there is a vast amount of research on the (social) integration of German Turks, they mainly employ quantitative methods to identify patterns rather than explore individual experiences, as this study aims to do. Drawing on over 13 hours of audio- and video-recorded focus group discussions, this study utilises CDA to analyse, promote and prioritise the voices of marginalised individuals and groups and draws attention to “the pressures from above and possibilities of resistance to unequal power relationships that appear as societal conventions” (Wodak, 2001, p. 3).
Findings illustrate that although participants challenge and resist such mainstream discourses, they at the same time orient towards power asymmetries reinforced by stereotypical discourses of Turkish-heritage Germans. Having said this, they can only establish themselves in opposition to these discourses by reproducing the knowledge that is created by them and hence are ‘trapped in the discourse’. Findings moreover show, that mainstream discourses of the social integration of Turkish Germans strongly influence the subjectification, self-perception and identity construction of ethnic minorities (Kontos, 2020). The study aims to enrich the theoretical understandings of social integration as a discursive construct and shed light on its strong link to identity construction.
Health professionals’ translation preferences and expectations about the translation of medical devices
Dr Susana Valdez, Leiden University, The Netherlands
Webinar - Wednesday 2nd February 2022, 17:00-18:00 GMT
Little is known about health professionals’ expectations of translated content and their assessment of particular translation options when communicating instructions of medical devices. Since translators’ decisions are (at least partially) based on what they believe readers expect from the translated product, investigating the translation preferences and expectations of health professionals is particularly useful. Adopting a cross-disciplinary approach to the study of norms, this paper reports and discusses the findings of an empirical study which investigates expectations and translation preferences in biomedical translation. The findings are based on a questionnaire involving 34 Portuguese health professionals who were asked to evaluate translated instructions of a medical device. This evaluation was followed by questions on the health professionals’ expectations. The results suggest that readers’ expectations do not coincide with their preferred translation options. In other words, the findings point to a contradiction between what health professionals say translators should do and what health professionals actually prefer in terms of translation solutions. These findings, we believe, not only can contribute to the awareness of the dominating norms in biomedical translation, but also have implications for translation quality.
“Why do I have to uncover my upper body? Where will I sleep? Why am I getting this injection? What will happen with my luggage?”: Action research into multilingual communicative needs and practices in the Arrival Centre of the federal agency responsible for the reception of asylum seekers
Dr Koen Kerremans, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
Dr Antoon Cox, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and KU Leuven, Belgium
Webinar - Wednesday 1st December 2021, 17:00-18:00 GMT
When applicants for international protection arrive in Belgium, they first go to the Arrival Centre in Brussels to start their application procedure. At the Arrival Centre, the federal agency responsible for the reception of asylum seekers (Fedasil) carries out a medical and social screening of applicants and checks whether they are entitled to reception during the examination of their application for protection. In this highly stressful context for people seeking international protection, it is evident that good information provision can make a world of difference. Still, this is highly challenging in a context where multilingualism and intercultural diversity are the rule rather than the exception.
In this presentation, we will discuss findings and experiences of an ongoing study on multilingual needs and practices during the medical and social screening of applicants at the Arrival Centre. The research aims, on the one hand, to gain a better understanding of the communication needs of applicants with a vulnerable linguistic profile and, on the other hand, to use these insights to develop more targeted multilingual information provision, taking into account the different linguistic and cultural backgrounds and different literacy levels of this target group.
Adult ESOL during the Covid-19 pandemic: Teachers’ perceptions of learners’ motivation
Kathryn Sidaway, University of Warwick
Webinar - Wednesday 17th November 2021, 17:00-18:00 GMT
Adult ESOL in England is accessible for anyone for whom English is not their first language. These learners come from all over the world and have migrated for a range of reasons such as claiming asylum, seeking employment or re-joining family members. Once they reach the B1/B1+ level, they are no longer learning for survival and their reasons for learning can be wide ranging.
Inspired by the work of Glas (2016), in November 2020, during the second lockdown in England, I interviewed 17 ESOL teachers to investigate their perceptions of the learners’ reasons for studying, the impact of the pandemic and the reasons some students succeed whilst others fail at this level. At the time of interviewing, seven were still teaching in classrooms, eight were teaching online and two were offering a blended approach. All had taught online during the first lockdown from March to July 2020.
In this talk, I will give an overview of the themes emerging from the interviews and discuss the factors that motivate and demotivate adult learners in this context. Ushioda’s (2009) 'Person-in-context' approach was utilised to guide the analysis as a reminder that the learners in focus are not just students but are people with complex histories and lives outside the classroom. Resilience emerged as a major theme with the students supporting each other and discovering new ways of practising English online, while the teachers were adapting their teaching styles for both the online environment and socially distanced classrooms.
PhD Academic Development Workshop in Participatory Methods
Dr Leonie Ansems de Vries, Kings College London, & Professor Jo Angouri, University of Warwick
Webinar - Wednesday 10th November 2021, 17:00-18:00 GMT
PhD students at the University of Warwick and Kings College London are invited to attend an academic development workshop on participatory methods in the social sciences. Students are asked to bring a reading on participatory methods for group discussion and a data excerpt for use in a practical analysis session, details of which to be emailed to the MITN Project Team in advance of the workshop.
To take advantage of this opportunity, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest by Wednesday 3rd November 2021.
Metaphor, metonymy, and migration: Implications for language teachers
Dr Theresa Catalano, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA
Webinar - Wednesday 3rd November 2021, 17:00-18:00 GMT
Increased global migration due to a variety of factors points to the need for language teachers to understand the experiences of their students in order to serve them better. Dr Catalano begins by defining and explaining the cognitive processes of metaphor and metonymy and what they contribute to understanding migrant experiences. She then shares excerpts from interviews with migrants around the world, examining them through the lens of metaphor and metonymy and inviting discussion of what they mean for language teaching (or for any teachers that encounter students with similar experiences). The webinar will conclude with suggestions for reflecting on our own language used to talk about our students and the ideologies that color them as well as how we can be conscious of the way others use language to talk about migrants and migration issues and the consequences of this language.
Translating the literatures of stateless cultures in Spain: Cultural diplomacy, translation grants and the publishing industry
Dr Olga Castro, University of Warwick
Webinar - Wednesday 13th October 2021, 17:00-18:00 BST
Literary translation plays a crucial role in the internationalisation of cultural and publishing markets. It constitutes a marker of status in the economic global system, therefore contributing to cultural diplomacy. As such, source-culture institutions often offer support policies to help disseminate ‘their’ literatures abroad. Focusing on contemporary multilingual Spain, this paper will investigate the translation policies of the Basque Country, Catalonia, Galicia and Valencia, where literature in Spanish coexists with the literatures written in the co-official languages in these regions, paying special attention to the translation grants funding schemes. Through the holistic study of the different stages of this funding scheme —from the design and publication of the translation grants to the allocation of funding, also including the participation of the four funding institutions at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2018— I combine quantitative and qualitative methods with ethnographic research to offer unique insights into the extent to which translation grants from each of the source cultures can successfully contribute to the internationalisation of literatures in these stateless cultures and less translated languages. This project also offers revealing information about the particularities of the collaboration between institutional funding bodies and the private publishing industry in these regions.
The Arabian Nights in contemporary world cultures: Global commodification, translation, and the culture industry
Prof Muhsin Jassim al-Musawi, Columbia University, USA
Webinar - Monday 11th October 2021, 20:00-21:00 BST/Tuesday 12th October, 6:00-7:00 AEST
Text to be discussed: 'The Arabian Nights in contemporary world cultures: Global commodification, translation, and the culture industry'
Migrants’ digital practices in/of the European border regime
Dr Martin Bak Jørgensen, DEMOS, Aalborg University, Denmark
Webinar - Wednesday 29th September 2021, 9:00-10:00 BST/18:00-19:00 AEST
In this talk I will outline and discuss the DIGINAUTS Project. The aim of DIGINAUTS is to examine how migrants’ widespread, varied and innovative digital practices remake migration and potentially create networks of solidarity as migrants navigate through the European border regime. During the talk I will seek to answer how the project has helped us answer: How do migrants integrate ICT into migration practices, and how are existing digital platforms reconfigured for navigation and for creating solidarity networks? What are the challenges and potentials for aid workers as they relate (or fail to relate) to migrants’ digital practices? How can insight into migrants’ digital usages (en route and on site) lead to a better understanding of migrants’ routings, everyday practices and life conditions?
Perceptions of workplace soft skills in a vocational ESL program
Dr Julie Kerekes, University of Toronto, Canada
Webinar - Wednesday 23rd June 2021, 17:00-18:00 BST
In 2014, Kerekes began a collaboration, The Mesa Project, with an immigrant settlement organization in Ontario, Canada: University of Toronto (UT) students teamed up with Mesa Centre instructors and administrators who provided sector-specific English language courses for newcomers to Canada. Together they investigated Mesa’s approach to teaching soft skills, a buzzword among Toronto’s employers. As a result of this project, a number of University of Toronto students gained research experience applicable to their post-graduate professions, Mesa implemented curricular changes in their course offerings, and Mesa and UT’s collaboration – an instance of twinning beyond the university setting – continues.
The collaboration resulted in a rich set of classroom observation and interview data. Kerekes and her research assistant, Jeanne Sinclair, subsequently analyzed the data in order to better understand the role of soft skills instruction in the ideologies of immigrant success conveyed by Mesa Centre to its clientele. The original data collected by the student teams were reviewed, and their transcriptions were completed and refined. These included data from classroom observations, focus group discussions, and interviews conducted by the student researchers with the ESL students and instructors they had observed. Through this analysis, ideologies relating soft skills to “cultural fit” are revealed and discussed in the context of their significance for newcomers seeking employment in Canada.
Multilingualism in Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities (I)
Dr Ann Peeters, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
Webinar - Wednesday 9th June 2021, 17:00-18:00 BST
Over the past few decades, linguistic and cultural diversity have reshaped our societies and will most probably develop further, as a result of the combined forces of globalisation, technological advances, increased mobility and economic or political migration. Partly as a consequence of and partly as a response to this, the advance of multilingual education in primary, secondary and higher education has further contributed to the spread of multilingualism throughout the globe. The purpose of this talk is to reflect on both the challenges and opportunities posed by the organisation of multilingual programmes in higher education. (How) should we adapt our teaching practices to the students’ multilingual backgrounds? Does the creation of multilingual programmes threaten programmes taught in the national language? And how to cope with socio-political diversity in the student body?
Understanding Generation Z/M - beliefs, motivations, and student diversity: The relationship between friendship groups and modern university Muslim student identities
Fatema Khatun, Birmingham City University
Webinar - Wednesday 19th May 2021, 17:00-18:00 BST
From generation Jihad to generation M, the Muslim population of generation Z has had their entire educational journey framed in post 9/11 discourse. It has been evident that expressions of faith and belief have been bought into question across the U.K. with Counter Terrorism Acts, the 2012 Trojan Horse Scandal and the controversial Prevent agenda. Across Europe: ‘Germany, France, Switzerland and Denmark’ have legislation put into place prohibiting certain Islamic dress such as the burqa (Josh, 2019). In the UK, whilst such legislation has not been introduced the religious performances of young Muslim women are affected in public spaces by such as in the modern university. The hostility and uncertainty in politics mean that situations facing Muslim Women in the West are more complex than previously imagined (Lewis and Hamid, 2018). Despite this, according to Janmohamed (2016), they are proud of their faith, enthusiastic consumers, dynamic, engaged, creative and demanding. From experience in a modern Higher Education Institution (HEI), it has become apparent Muslim students often create friendships groups that become distinctly identifiable. The proposed route for this piece of research is an exploration of female friendship groups and the roles friendship networks in the creation of particular student-based identities. The objective of this study is to deconstruct previous negative construction of identity, utilising a feminist lens to explore the multiplicity of narratives as Generation Z British Asian Muslims in the 21st Century and propose alternative pedagogical practices which utilise the interactional qualities of said friendship networks to enhance student engagement.
Empirically documenting and assessing transcreation in the language industry
Prof Erik Angelone, Kent State University, USA
Webinar - Wednesday 5th May 2021, 17:00-18:00 BST
The advancement of artificial intelligence, and neural machine translation in particular, is bringing about a sea change in the language industry, resulting in a proliferation of career paths. Some are deeply impacted by the affordances and constraints of automation, while others largely circumvent it out of necessity. Recognizing this unprecedented degree and scope of change, Katan (2015) suggests that the field of Translation Studies has now entered a transcreational turn, marked by a shift in focus on language industry activity that calls for knowledge and skills rooted in creativity and intercultural competence, with transcreation being one of these core activities. This webinar will offer a deeper dive into the realities of transcreation, a form of mediation and adaptation in which new linguistic and cultural constructs are utilized when existing ones do not suffice (Gaballo, 2012; Pederson, 2016). It will explore how transcreation is undertaken and how it can be empirically documented and assessed from both product- and process-oriented perspectives.
Zero to Digital: Rescuing Endangered Language and Culture in the Digital Age
Prof Sue Ellen Wright, Kent State University, USA
Dr Craig Cornelius, Google
Webinar - Wednesday 17th March 2021, 17:00-18:00 GMT
Smaller communities worldwide face many challenges in maintaining use and vitality of their languages. This two-part webinar will explore the Translation CommonsLink opens in a new window Zero to Digital project to digitise indigenous languages and cultural resources. We will outline potential roadblocks and opportunities for progress for these languages and their future in a digital world.
Zero to Digital: A guide to bringing your language online
In the first part, we will discuss technology and techniques for supporting indigenous language communities, as outlined in Zero to Digital: A guide to bringing your language onlineLink opens in a new window. We describe resources and tools for standardization of scripts, fonts for displaying characters, and input methods. All of these are essential for everyday usage of language such as texting, email, websites, social media, etc. on all digital devices including mobile.
Zero to Digital 2: Capturing language content for use in digital environments
Further, we will present tools and procedures to collect linguistic and cultural information and to convert it to language resources. These can become digital content for creating glossaries, dictionaries, text collections (corpora), and even advanced analysis and translation tools for both academic research and community efforts to enable all languages to survive and thrive in the digital age.
Politics of Exhaustion: Entanglements of violence, control and resistance in Europe’s borderlands
Dr Leonie Ansems de Vries, King's College London
Webinar - Wednesday 3rd March 2021, 17:00-18:00 GMT
Dr Leonie Ansems de Vries joins us to present her work on migration in Europe, including a screening of her video short Migrant Agency and the Moving ImageLink opens in a new window.
This presentation and video screening focuses on the politics of exhaustion in migratory spaces of transit in Europe. Politics of exhaustion refers to the ways in which exhaustion is employed as a tool of governance to control people forced to (not-)move and how it is endured and resisted as a lived experience. It highlights the violent impacts of the management of movement; its accumulated effects over time and across spaces. The short video screening shows these practices at play in the informal migrant spaces in Northern France. Drawing on intersectional scholarship, the presentation will also discuss how strategies of exhaustion are disrupted and resisted by migrants and those supporting them, even though these struggles often remain closely entangled with violent bordering practices.
The individual odyssey in Theo Angelopoulos’ Trilogy of Borders: Languages, translation, silence
Dr Adriana Şerban, Paul-Valéry University Montpellier 3, France
Webinar - Wednesday 17th February 2021, 17:00-18:00 GMT
In this talk I will offer a few reflections on the question of journeys and border-crossings in Greek filmmaker Theodoros Angelopoulos’ Trilogy of Borders: The Suspended Step of the Stork (1991), Ulysses’ Gaze (1995) and Eternity and a Day (1998), and their subtitled translations into French and English. I shall focus on individual odysseys without attempting any generalisations in terms of what they may reveal about collective identities, which I find problematic for reasons I shall attempt to outline. Angelopoulos is a poet of the screen whose works of art are vehicles of discovery; he created an aesthetics of the journey which always involves languages, or silence, or both at the same time. Translating this kind of cinema is a poetic experience and a journey in its own right. But where does the road go?
Interdisciplinary Approaches to Studying Migration
Dr Eleanor Paynter, Cornell University, USA
Webinar - Wednesday 10th February 2021, 17:00-18:00 GMT
This two-part talk is intended to offer openings for a discussion of how interdisciplinary approaches shape the production of knowledge in the field of migration studies. In the first part, I present my work on testimony as an interdisciplinary approach to migration studies. Here I focus on my current book project, Emergency in Transit, which explores the coloniality of migration "crises" through narrative, literary, and ethnographic study. In the second part of the talk, I share reflections from the classroom, thinking more broadly about teaching migration across disciplines. I draw especially from a recent course launched through Cornell's Migrations initiative, which approaches migrations as global, multidisciplinary, multi-species phenomena. More generally, this webinar aims to spark fruitful discussion with participants about the borders and discipline(s) of migration studies.
Teaching practices: Approaching international HE through lecturers’ experiences
Dr Hanne Tange, Aalborg University, Denmark
Webinar - Wednesday 27th January 2021, 17:00-18:00 GMT
As a concept, ‘Teaching practices’ describe both the actual pedagogies adopted by academics engaged in the act of lecturing and the process of academic socialisation through which actors new to a particular academic programme, discipline or institution acquire the practical knowledge that distinguishes ‘good’ teachers and learners from those who ‘deviate’. In the talk I will explain how ‘teaching practices’ can be used as a starting point for theoretical and empirical work in the field of international HE. Arguably, this places academic staff at the centre of institutional internationalisation processes, acknowledging how their practice is simultaneously constituted by and constituting macro-level developments such as globalisation, academic migration and ‘Englishisation’ of research and education.
Querying internationalisation: The working lives of migrant academics in the UK
Dr Toma Pustelnikovaite, Abertay University
Webinar - Wednesday 20th January 2021, 17:00-18:00 GMT
The UK is regarded as one of the ‘centres’ of international academic mobility. The number of migrant academics in the UK has indeed been increasing over the last four decades, and currently academics from abroad comprise a third of UK’s academia (Lenihan and Witherspoon 2018). This presentation will explore the reasons why the number of migrant academics in the UK is growing, and the implications of this growth for the academic profession. Drawing on data from 62 interviews with migrant academics in the UK, this presentation will suggest that the number of migrant academics may be increasing because migrant academics get ‘stuck’ in the UK rather than because of good career opportunities. The increasing number of scholars from abroad threatens academia’s status quo, and the profession adapts by limiting the degree of migrant academics’ inclusion. This presentation will thus demonstrate nuances underlying the influx of migrant academics into the UK, and qualify claims about the complete internationalisation of academia.
An exploration of the psycho-social challenges of Muslim men in the UK in the age of Islamophobia
Durali Karacan, Brunel University London
Webinar - Wednesday 13th January 2021, 17:00-18:00 GMT
Islamophobia is a widely encountered contemporary phenomenon with many different patterns around the Western world. It influences Muslims in economic, social or public life and impacts negatively on their psychological health, family relations and daily lives, consequently damaging the social cohesion of the whole of society. The present study seeks to elicit information about the experiences of Muslim men in England (London and Birmingham) and to explore the complex and multidimensional challenges that they face. Specifically, it explores how their identity principles (continuity, self-esteem, self-efficacy and distinctiveness) are affected by their lived experiences and challenges (e.g. threats to their identity).
The phenomenon of Islamophobia is widely studied in the social sciences and lies at the crossroads of several disciplines such as psychology, social psychology, sociology, history, geography, politics, criminology, migration studies, minority studies, religious studies, gender studies, men studies, etc. The researcher here adopts an interdisciplinary approach drawing on social psychology and men studies (masculinities).
The researcher applies the Identity Process Theory (IPT), Connell’s Theory of Masculinity and Crenshaw’s Theory of Intersectionality to explore how the various identities such as race, ethnicity, gender, religion, immigrant status and class may present challenges to Muslim men in the UK in the age of Islamophobia. IPT seeks to elucidate and predict how individuals and groups respond to psychological threats, particularly threats to identity (Cinnirella, 2014: 255). A threat to identity emerges when the processes of assimilation/accommodation are irreconcilable with the principles of continuity, distinctiveness, self-efficacy, and self-esteem (Timotijevic & Breakwell, 2000: 357). The researcher applies IPT to identify how Islamophobia and other social factors may threaten the distinctiveness, continuity, self-esteem, self-efficacy, belonging, meaning and coherence principles of Muslim men’s identities and engender shifts in their identity.
The study employs Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to shed light on the nature of Muslim men’s challenges in the UK. It uses semi-structured qualitative interviews to elicit information on the lived experiences of Muslim men in London and Birmingham who differ in their backgrounds, lifestyles, experiences, religiosity levels, understandings of Islam and social status.
The study uses interviews with 24 Muslim men drawn from three national groups; Pakistani, Somali and Algerian, which are selected for the following reasons. Firstly, the religiosity levels of these groups vary in terms of religious practising, loyalty to religious orders, dress codes and worldviews (secularism, political ideologies, etc.), which may affect their stance on Islamophobia. Secondly, their cultural background, lifestyles and level of participation in society differ, which may influence their experience of Islamophobia. Lastly, the researcher uses intersectionality theory (Crenshaw, 1990) to examine each group’s overlapping identity experiences and the challenges that they create.
The study explores what kinds of identity-related challenges the participants have experienced in the UK and how these challenges and other lived experiences affect their identity principles (continuity, self-esteem, self-efficacy and distinctiveness) and otherwise shape their thoughts, understandings and behaviours. It further explores how they socially and locally construct their masculine identities by examining how they apply locally hegemonic masculinities in their discourses and in-group, out-group and inter-group relations. Finally, it explores whether and how the interaction of their social locations and overlapping identities creates overlapping disadvantages and challenges for them and whether and how they develop coping strategies in response to challenges, such as re-evaluation tactics like strengthening their religious identity or foregrounding a particular aspect of their identity.
Dr Tommaso Milani, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Webinar - Wednesday 9th December 2020, 17:00-18:00
Dr Tommaso Milani joins us for a discussion of his joint book chapter Queering multilingualism and politics: Regimes of mobility, citizenship and (in)visibility (Milani & Levon, 2017). We encourage attendees to read this text prior to the webinar. To obtain a copy, please contact us at email@example.com
Multilingualism research has grown exponentially over the last three decades and has offered important insights into the complex psycho- and neurolinguistic, educational and sociolinguistic dimensions of the interplay between different languages in individuals and societies. Interestingly, however, the role played by sexuality in relation to multilingualism has remained somewhat unexplored in multilingualism research (see however Cashman 2017 for a notable exception). Against this background, the purpose of our chapter is to partially fill this gap by queering multilingualism. With the help of examples from a variety of contexts, this webinar will outline what a queering of multilingualism entails theoretically, methodologically and analytically.
The Gay Anthology: Translation, Identity and Homonationalism
Prof Brian Baer, Kent State University, USA
Webinar - Wednesday 2nd December 2020, 17:00-18:00
This talk situates the emergence of the gay anthology within the history of the anthology as a genre. Situated between monolingual anthologies, often associated with national literary traditions, and translation anthologies, often associated with world literature, the gay anthology paradoxically promotes an identitarian or minoritarian model of identity while also arguing for the universality of homosexuality, hence the very visible presence of translations in these anthologies. This talk explores the tension between these two paradigms as an unsettling queerness at the very origin of the gay liberation movement.
Youth Values and National Identity in the Balkans
Dr Tamara Pavasović Trošt, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and Dr Danilo Mandić, Harvard University, USA
Webinar - Wednesday 25th November 2020, 17:00-18:00 GMT
In their volume Changing Youth Values in Southeast Europe: Beyond Ethnicity (Routledge, 2018), Tamara Trošt and Danilo Mandić examined the extent to which ethnic and national values and identities were still the overriding focus in the lives of the region’s youth. Using intra-national and international ethnographic comparisons of youth populations of the Western Balkans, the authors tackled the questions of; which identities matter to youth in SEE? Is ethnicity still a dominant lens through which they view the world? What shapes the cultural, political and ideological values of young people living in Southeastern Europe? In this MITN webinar, Dr Mandić and Dr Trošt revisit these important questions, particularly reflecting on the role played by history and memory in crafting youths' ideas of ethnic belonging, and commenting on the dynamics of ethnic identity politics in relation to recent developments in the region, such as the migrant "crisis" and Covid-19.
Brasiguaios: Transnational Lives and Identities
Dr Marcos Estrada, University of Warwick
Webinar - Wednesday 18th November 2020, 17:00-18:00 GMT
Dr Marcos Estrada joins us for a screening and discussion of his award-winning documentary film 'Brasiguaios: Transnational Lives and Identities'.
Trailer accessible here: https://youtu.be/elI_oqgo3Lk
This documentary presents the stories of group of Brazilian returnees from Paraguay, whose migration experiences and identities spans across both countries, hence Brasiguaios (Brazilian + Paraguay). Individuals in the “‘Brasiguaios landless camp”, located approximately 100 kilometres away from Paraguay, present how their migration process is deeply influenced by the pursuit of land for agricultural production in Brazil and failure to succeed economically in Paraguay.
Teaching Multilingualism: Bridging theory and practice
Dr Shawn Gonzalez, Princeton University, USA
Webinar - Wednesday 14th October 2020, 17:00-18:00
Researchers in fields like sociolinguistics, education, and ethnic studies have convincingly exposed problems of language discrimination in higher education. However, even instructors with research interests in multilingualism face significant challenges to implementing change in the classroom. This seminar considers the contradictions of teaching multilingualism in literature and composition contexts and how they relate to challenges in other academic disciplines. Through this conversation, we will explore opportunities for early career researchers to leverage their research for equity in their own classrooms.
Turn-taking, Trust and Rapport in Virtual Team Meetings
Dr Sophie Reissner-Roubicek and Brianna Falconer-Nash, University of Warwick
Webinar - Wednesday 8th July 2020
Preparing students for a world in which virtual is the “new normal” aligns with the academic goals that many of us and the universities we teach and research in have been pursuing for some time. Namely, to foster in our graduates the “ability to work collaboratively in teams of people from different backgrounds and countries”, the highest-ranked competency in Diamond et al.’s (2011) survey of global employers. This has increasingly come to mean working in different countries at the same time. As such, to foster the intercultural skills needed to function effectively in a globalising world, integrating some structured experience of virtual team communication is now essential. This presentation reports on the approaches, affordances and outcomes of three initiatives conducted in different disciplinary contexts. The aim is to show how participative pedagogies underpinned by insights from applied linguistics and importantly, informed by an understanding of the discursive turn in research on teamwork and leadership, have great potential to deepen student engagement and learning from such experiences. Trust, for example, is a hot topic in the literature on global virtual teams, but has mainly been researched from a psychological perspective. Equally valuable as exploring discursive strategies to promote rapport, and build trust, is the opportunity to experiment with different turn-taking patterns (Byrne & Fitzgerald, 1996) and reflect on how and in what ways these are disrupted by the virtual context. Trust, and turn-taking, while seemingly disparate, are both implicated in participative (in)equality and, it is argued, differently influenced by cultural orientation, so making students aware of how and why this can lead to the marginalisation of team members is particularly important. Part of this awareness is coming to understand the impact of one’s own communication.
The first initiative involved three student teams in three different countries, in a one-off funded project. The second and third involved a curriculum activity that has been running for the last four years with undergraduates on a 10-week module and postgraduates on an intensive 1-week module respectively, in each case entailing three diverse teams connecting from different rooms on campus. Evidence of the outcomes of these initiatives are presented variously in the form of written comments, comments captured in debriefing the activity, and insights from reflective essays in which participants discussed the implications of these experiences for virtual teamwork and leadership.
We will also report back on the IACCM Global Virtual Conference: LOST IN CONNECTION? Global Virtual Teams in Research, Higher Education and Business (June 26th)
MITN photo competition – Can you capture Multilingualism?
Showcase and Announcement of Winners
Followed by a Webinar
Games Without Frontiers:
Multilingualism and Interdisciplinarity in Problem-Based Learning
Dr. Bryan Brazeau, SFHEA, FWIHEA, Senior Teaching Fellow, Liberal Arts, University of Warwick
Webinar - Tuesday 2nd June 2020
This talk explores how multilingual pedagogy may be successfully employed in an interdisciplinary, problem-based learning environment. Discussions of multilingual pedagogy often focus on second-language acquisition or on classrooms with students of mixed linguistic backgrounds. Building on such knowledge, this talk explores how we might activate elements of multilingual pedagogy in an interdisciplinary environment. Both approaches emphasize encouraging students to activate prior knowledge, to sound out the limits of their own understanding, and to engage with concepts (both linguistic and disciplinary) outside of their comfort zone. When applied within a problem-based learning environment, the combination of interdisciplinary and multilingual approaches fosters the development of intersubjective spaces that break down barriers, demonstrating what the French philosopher, Paul Ricoeur, refers to as “linguistic hospitality.” This talk will explore the above approach from both theoretical and applied perspectives, using in-class examples drawn from modules taught within Warwick’s Liberal Arts degree course.
What language skills do you need for working in Sweden? Migrating, manual workers’ professional language practices at construction sites
Linda Kahlin & Hedda Söderlundh
Digital language learning with Arabic speaking migrants
Linda Bradley, Faculty of Education, University of Gothenburg
Catering for the sizable number of migrants who have come to Europe from the Middle East is a huge challenge. Two areas that are mentioned as specifically important in terms of integration are learning the language and finding ways into professional life. Here, mobile technology can serve as a bridge to accessing language and work. This seminar addresses Arabic speaking migrants’ development of language and vocational skills and what role mobile technology can play as a mediator. Based on investigations of digital literacy among migrants in Sweden, the seminar will address affordances in mobile applications and online resources as tools for learning a new language and vocational skills.
Iraqi Women Uprising: Through Visual Arts on Murals and Creative Language on Signs
Zeena Faulk, University of Warwick, PhD Researcher
Thursday 27th February 2020 17.00-18.00, Social Sciences S0.09
On October 1, 2019, peaceful protests broke out in most Iraqi cities. The reasons for the protest include the dissatisfaction with the government’s performance, lack of jobs, extensive foreign meddling in Iraq, and oppression as well as lack of civil liberties. University students, professors and workers led the first wave of protests, signalling for the first time no allegiance to any political and/or religious groups. However, the Iraqi government’s unexpected crackdown on the protesters led to the Tishreen (October) uprising, which swiftly gained traction throughout Iraq, which forced the Iraqi Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi to resign. Since then, Iraqi women have been taking to the streets to participate in the uprising, organize groups, treat the injured, provide food, write graffiti and chant alongside defiant men. This involvement of women in Iraq’s current political quagmire is unprecedented, particularly in Baghdad where women express themselves through graffiti and creative language on the signs. In this seminar, we will be looking at how texts and images are used to represent women in the currently troubled Iraq, and what that means with respect to women’s involvement in Iraq’s future politics.
Zeena's postgraduate-level work with Dr Chantal Wright challenges the notion of cultural nontransferability of satire by focusing on the political satire of post-2003 Iraq. Iraq experienced an explosion of political satire following the 2003 invasion and occupation by western powers, a flowering that presents particular challenges for translation due to its heavy reliance on cultural background and fleeting political context. Using reader response theory, Zeena's work intends to show that it is possible to go around such limitations in creative ways, rendering this satirical and critical response to war understandable to those with limited knowledge of Arabic and Middle Eastern culture and history.
Emma Mort - Care4Calais – a practical, humanitarian response to the refugee crisis on our doorstep. Social Studies S0.09 17:00 - 18:00
Emma Mort is a teacher, member of the National Education Union National Executive and campaigner and activist who has taken part in 8 volunteering trips with Care4Calais in the last 2 years.
Since the ‘Calais jungle’ was cleared in October 2016, many people believe that the refugee crisis in Northern France is over, yet this couldn’t be further from the truth. Across Northern France and Belgium hundreds of refugees are still living in the most desperate circumstances, having already undertaken difficult and dangerous journeys, suffering cruel and degrading treatment by the French authorities.
In this seminar, Emma will be speaking about the vital work that Care4cCalais do in delivering aid and support to refugees living in these conditions across Northern France and Belgium. In addition, she will be sharing her experiences of the practicalities of organising and delivering this aid as well as giving an insight into what life is like inside a refugee camp only 30 miles from the UK border. There will also be a chance to consider the importance of the humanitarian aspect to delivering aid and the Care4Calais ethos of treating everyone with dignity, recognising our common humanity and building relationships in order to provide essential social interaction and the much-needed help that other organisations aren’t able to.
This will be followed by a chance to ask questions about any issues that have been raised during the course of the seminar.
Lost in Translation - Workshop with Piers Ibbottson
Performing Shakespeare in other languages.
Wednesday 5th February 2020 9.30-11.30, WBS Create
In this workshop we will look at the challenge of performing Shakespeare in translation.
One approach to the performing of Shakespeare pioneered by the Royal Shakespeare Company under the guidance of the renowned scholar and director John Barton and voice coach Cicely Berry, focused on the plays as spoken poetry. They focused on the language and developed an approach to performance that honoured the auditory nature of Elizabethan theatre (as opposed to visual) and emphasised the powerful and extraordinary poetry of Shakespeare. This was a shift away from modernism and the psychological approach taken by contemporary playwrights of the 50’s and 60’s when their work was being developed. Their emphasis on the text and the structure of the poetry, led to the development of an approach to acting and to training actors that encouraged a visceral, embodied connection with the language.
The workshop will use some of their methods and approaches in a practical, participatory session in which we will explore the connection between voice, verse and emotion.
We will then look at different translations of the same piece of text to investigate the impact on both the speaker and the audience of the same dramatic moment articulated in different languages: We will
Experience the embodiment of vowels and consonants in different languages
Investigate the ways different languages express emotion through sound
Examine speech acts and the ways they are embodied differently in different language
Explore the impact of the specific language on the manner and the content of an emotional moment
Examine different translations and their impact on our understanding in performance
Feedback from the workshop
'I really enjoyed the workshop in the sense that it led us to explore the musicality of different languages. It helped me realized the non-translatable part between languages and made me think about what was missing in traditional ways of language teaching and learning. It is also quite interesting to know that this project is aimed to help across-culture communication in the business field since the problem might originate from our mindset for language teaching, which put too much attention to "meaning decoding" instead of cracking and embracing the uniqueness of different languages. I am interested in participating in workshops like this in the future.'
' I really enjoyed the workshop, I thought that the facilitator was incredibly knowledgeable and engaging. At multiple times while I was watching, I found myself wishing I were there in person to participate!
Many of the translations that were read were in Italian, so maybe there was that extra element of enjoyment for me as I was able to appreciate the difference between the English original and the Italian translation. But I also enjoyed when one of the participants read her translation of Shakespeare in Arabic. I have a very basic knowledge of Arabic but I was still able to appreciate the difference in the sound of the translation. I think it was a workshop that everyone could enjoy regardless of their language combination.'
On Tuesday 28th January, we are pleased to welcome Prof Janice CarruthersLink opens in a new window, Professor of French Linguistics at Queen's University Belfast and Leader of the Sociolinguistics Strand of the major interdisciplinary project Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming SocietiesLink opens in a new window (MEITS). It is her involvement with this project that forms the basis of our seminar. This is an excellent opportunity to engage with current research into how multilingual individuals and societies draw on multiple languages, cultures and modes of thought.
This Tuesday - Seminar - Dr. Joanne Lee
Language, memory and migration in the novels of Laura Pariani
Tuesday 14th Jan 2020 -16.00-17.00, Social Sciences A1.11
Photos from the event
Seminar - Award Winning Author and Activist Dr. Preti Taneja
The Syrian Conflict: How to Form Research Responses via Fieldwork with Refugees
Thursday 9th January 2020, Social Sciences, Cowling Room S2.77, 17.00-18.00
From 2017-19 she held a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellowship at Warwick University, and was the UNESCO Fellowship in Prose Fiction at the University of East Anglia. In 2020 she will be writer in residence for TIDE (Travel, Transculturality and Identity 1500-1700) at the University of Oxford. She also teaches creative writing in HMP Whitemoor for Learning Together, University of Cambridge.
Seminar - International Artist and Activist Salma Zulfiqar
20th November 2019, 17.00-18.00 in Social Sciences A1.11
You can book a place by emailing MITN@Warwick.ac.uk or by booking on via SkillsForge. The event is free but we need numbers for catering and logistics so please let us know if you can join us.
Salma Zulfiqar is an International Artist and Activist working on migration. She will be speaking about her Migration Project and her work with Migrants and Refugees in the UK with relation to social inclusion and more recently about her lobbying at the EU Parliament. She will also be introducing her new film ' We are searching for life - Refugees ' a short spoken word film which calls for safe Migration and explores the issue of social cohesion of Syrian refugees in Birmingham. Please see the film here. Salma will also be sharing her experiences of working with migrants and refugees with the United Nations all over the world. This will be followed by a Q&A.
Salma's current creative projects, such as ARTconnects & The Migration Blanket, focus on empowering refugee and migrant women by promoting integration, working towards preventing hate crimes and extremism. Her artwork has been exhibited in London, Birmingham, Paris, Greece & Dubai and she has been celebrated as one of Birmingham's most inspirational women in the book Once Upon A Time in Birmingham - Women Who Dared to Dream. Salma has also worked all over the world with the United Nations raising awareness of humanitarian issues in conflict and developing countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, Egypt, Somalia, Chad and Kenya.
MITN Welcome and Find out More Event
15th November 2019 11.00 - 13.00 in Social Sciences A0.14
We would love to see you there, whether you are an old MITN hand or a new face. You can book a place by emailing MITN@Warwick.ac.uk or by booking on via SkillsForge. The event is free but we need numbers for catering and logistics so please let us know if you can join us by 11th November 2019.
11.00 - 11.20 Introduction from Prof. Jo Angouri
11.20-11.30 Helena Wall, PG Student Representative and leader of the research cluster: Space, Place and the city
11.30-12.15 Liberty Melly (The Migration Museum https://www.migrationmuseum.org/)
Why Britain needs a Migration Museum
Britain has thousands of museums, but none focused on migration, a vital topic that goes to the heart of who we are, where we’ve come from and where we’re going – as individuals, as communities and as a nation. Liberty Melly, Education and Events Manager at the Migration Museum Project, will explain what brought a dedicated team of people from a wide range of professional backgrounds together to work towards the creation of a new national museum that can provide a setting to explore how the movement of people to and from Britain across the ages has shaped who we are, away from the polarised and often angry debates about migration in politics and the media.
12.15 -12.25 Christina Efthymiadou - Leader of the research cluster: Identity and Workplace Communication
12.25-12.35 Zeena Faulk - Leader of the research cluster: Translation and Mobility
12.35 -13.00 Coffee and networking opportunity
Photos from the event