Diversity and Super-Diversity: Sociocultural Linguistic Perspectives (GURT 2015)

Linguistic and cultural diversity have become the hallmarks of late modern societies. Globalization has increased population flows in unprecedented ways so that urban centers have been transformed into sites of encounter for groups and communities that are highly diverse in terms of origins, cultural practices and languages.

Technological developments and global connectedness have also contributed to spread diversity as they intensify contact and exchange between peoples who often are spatially removed and culturally different from each other. New technologies allow for massive access to globalized phenomena, thus exposing people to a great variety of linguistic and cultural models. The proliferation of new media creates new communicative genres and hybrid semiotic practices. Thus, we live in a world in which (physical or virtual) contact and interaction between different peoples, languages, cultural models, media and practices are the norm.

These changes and developments have deeply affected the ways people use language and communicate in all contexts of life, thus creating the need for a rethinking of the traditional concepts and methodologies used in sociocultural linguistics.

Recent work in the field has started to give substance to this reflection problematizing the conception of languages as well-bound, separate codes, complicating traditional associations between languages and social identities, emphasizing the connectedness of communicative events and practices at different scales and the embedding of languages within new physical landscapes and mediated practices. The objective of GURT 2015 is to foster and advance this reflection on the ways in which linguistic and communicative practices are affected by and contribute to diversity and on the theoretical-methodological challenges that accounting for such phenomena poses to sociocultural linguistics.

Jan Blommaert (Tilburg University)
Suresh Canagarajah (Pennsylvania State University)
Angela Creese & Adrian Blackledge (University of Birmingham)
Norma Mendoza-Denton (University of Arizona)
Elana Shohamy (Tel Aviv University)

Kendall King & Elizabeth Lanza (University of Minnesota & University of Oslo)
Luisa Martin-Rojo (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
Ruth Wodak (Lancaster University)

GURT invites papers that explore the connections between diversity and linguistic/communicative practices from the perspectives described in the conference theme. We are particularly (although not exclusively) interested in the following topics:
- The impact of diversity on sociocultural linguistic theory and research methodologies
- The relationships between diversity and hybridity in linguistic and semiotic practices
- Challenges and responses to linguistic and cultural diversity in different institutional domains such education, the workplace, community organizations and in non institutional domains such as the family
- Diversity and the construction/negotiation of identities
- The use of linguistic and other semiotic resources within new practices involving diverse communities
- Language policies and diversity issues in the public space
- Diversity of genres, practices and participation frameworks in mediated communication
- Diversity and time/space scales

Proposals will be blind reviewed for their originality, quality, and breadth of relevance. In addition, colloquium proposals will be evaluated for the coherence and complementarity of their individual presentations.

Deadline for submitting abstracts: October 15, 2014.
Notification of acceptance: December 15, 2014.

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