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OWRI News and Events

Recent news

  • A reminder that you can read a copy of our latest monthly update and sign up for further issues
  • The MEITS project have launched a Pop-up World of Languages the UK’s first pop-up museum of languages. Its in the Grafton Centre, Cambridge, running from 19-27 October. The public are invited to join our colleagues on a journey through three themed zones and uncover the hidden treasures of languages through our family-friendly, hands-on activities and games. This exhibition will come to Belfast on 2-3 November, Edinburgh 8-10 November and Nottingham 2-7 December. See more here.
  • In their most recent work, Soundshapes, Inma Álvarez, Mara Fuertes-Gutiérrez and Carlos Montoro have explored the intersection between multilingual spaces and participatory arts. At Tate Exchange this summer (and online), visitors have been reacting to audio recordings of sayings and proverbs in various languages by placing a colourful shape on an online grid. Find out how participants rate the sounds of languages and how much they like and know them.
  • Over the summer the Creative Multilingualism project sough responses to a survey about Public engagement with languages research: what’s your experience? The deadline closed at the end of July, and all the information will help in creating a Public Engagement with Research Toolkit We will keep you informed on further updates to this initiative.
  •  View a range of short films produced by students and recent graduates of the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology at the University of Manchester.  The films were funded by the Cross-language dynamics: reshaping community Translingual Strand and connect to the research themes.  
  • We have launched a monthly email update, please subscribe for information on our research, as well as reports impacting languages in the media and among policy makers, see: Open World Research Initiative (OWRI) (bottom of page)
  • As part of the exhibition Babel: Adventures in Translation at Bodleian Libraries, the Creative Multilingualism project ran a competition to encourage pupils of all ages to engage with creative translation. See the winning stories here https://www.creativeml.ox.ac.uk/blog/exploring-multilingualism/babel-competition-schools-winning-stories
  • Multilingual Manchester co-hosted ‘A Celebration of Faith and Language Diversity’ in Manchester Cathedral at the end of June. This event celebrated the threads of language, faith and culture that are woven through Manchester life, and included workshops, multilingual prayers and performances.
  • ‘We are Multilingual’ launched at Cambridge. Colleagues from the MEITS project have launched We are Multilingual a suite of language learning resources designed to assist school language teachers.  The resources are based on a research stream looking at the influence of multilinguall identity of foreign language learning.
  • The Digital Modern Languages Seminar series, led by Paul Spence and Naomi Wells have held two seminars so far with further events planned from September. https://digitalmodernlanguages.wordpress.com/ for details.
  • The House of Commons All Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Languages have launched a National Recovery programme for languages 
  • In February 2019 the OWRI project produced a new publication ‘The Power of Languages (PDF, 6.4MB)’ detailing how various projects are transforming modern languages research in the UK, including an overview of the research strands, information on the researchers involved and examples of the benefits and enjoyment of languages

Watch the new film from Creative Multilingualism about the Performing Languages conference that took place in February of this year: Performing Languages: overview film.

Keep up-to-date with the latest OWRI news and events by searching #owriupdates on Twitter.

If you have any news or events that should be on this page please let us know - see contact information below.


October 2019

London Spanish Book Fair

04-05 October 2019
 The Crypt InSpire – Liverpool Grove, London SE17 2HH
About: The London Spanish Book & Zine Fair presents authors and publishers, showcasing artist’s books, zines and related material. Talks, workshops, activities and signings will take place throughout the fair.  Open 2-7pm Friday 4th and 11-5pm Saturday 5th

Visit: https://modernlanguages.sas.ac.uk/events/event/20191

Opening of the Pop-Up Languages Museum (Cambridge)

19 – 27th October 2019
 Cambridge: ‘Escape At The Grafton’, The Grafton Centre, Cambridge, CB1 1PS
About:  The UK has a museum for dog collars and lawn mowers, but not for languages. This autumn MEITS are launching an innovative Pop-Up World of Languages exhibition to fill the gap. Aimed at the general public this event will encourage attendees to uncover the hidden treasures of languages through our family-friendly, hands-on activities and games:
Visit:  http://www.meits.org/news/item/pop-up-world-of-languages-the-first-uk-pop-up-museum-of-languages

Early Language Learning: What it (can) look(s) like…

24-25 October 2019
  University of Cambridge: Lucy Cavendish College
About: The aim of the workshop is to discuss what language learning in primary and lower secondary school looks (or can look) like. Our main speakers are a mix of experienced practitioners, teacher trainers and academics, who will talk about successes and difficulties with language teaching and learning in their contexts and present practical tips for the classroom. We hope that the workshop will provide a platform for participants to exchange original ideas, share best practice and deepen their understanding of language teaching and learning.
Visit:  http://www.meits.org/events/event/early-language-learning-what-it-can-looks-like

Translating Women: breaking borders and building bridges in the English-language book industry

31 October 2019, 9.15am - 1 November 2019, 8.00pm
  Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
About: Translated literature notoriously accounts for only 3.5% of published literature in the English-language book market, and less than one-third of this is women-authored. This conference will explore the circuits of translation of women-authored literature into English, with the aim of promoting synergies between academic and publishing contexts
Visit:  https://modernlanguages.sas.ac.uk/events/event/20101

September 2019

Exploring the Transnational Neighbourhood: Integration, Community, and Co-Habitation

25-27 September 2019
University College Dublin, Ireland - map of venue
About: The conference seeks to explore transcultural encounters in the urban neighbourhood. We posit that the urban neighbourhood is a social microcosm that allows for a more nuanced discussion of transculturality as lived practice.
Visit: https://modernlanguages.sas.ac.uk/events/event/17598

New Worlds for Old Words Colloquium

23 September 2019
King’s College London, Council Room, King’s Building, Strand, London WC2R 2LS - map of venue
About: A Loaded Meanings research strand conference studying the impact of cultured borrowing on the Romance languages and English.
Visit: https://www.languageacts.org/events/new-worlds-old-words-colloquium/

Wandering Kings and Travelling Tales in Borges

20 September 2019
SOAS University of London, Brunei Gallery, Room B 102
About: OWRI Creative Multilingualism and ERC Multilingual Locals, Significant Geographies present Wandering Kings and Travelling Tales in Borges with Professor Dominique Jullien. Borges, who devoted several essays and a book to the most famous version of that story, the story of Buddha.
Visit: https://www.creativeml.ox.ac.uk/about/events/wandering-kings-and-travelling-tales-borges

Multilingualism and Identity: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

12-13 September 2019
Murray Edwards College, Cambridge - map of venue
About: This conference brings together researchers in applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, modern languages and education studies to explore multilingualism and identity from a variety of perspectives, with the aim of creating new synergies.
Visit: http://www.meits.org/events/event/multilingualism-and-identity-interdisciplinary-perspectives

Intersections of Language and Nature: Conservation, Documentation, and Access

6-7 September 2019
University of Pittsburgh - map of venue
About: The two-day symposium brings together scholars from indigenous communities, conservation practice, the arts, and academia to address the parallel threats facing linguistic and biological diversity and explore opportunities for collaboration.
Visit: https://www.creativeml.ox.ac.uk/about/events/intersections-language-and-nature-conservation-documentation-and-access

Artificial Intelligence in the World of Languages

5 September 2019
University of Pittsburgh - map of venue
About: A workshop, that includes discussions on how can artificial intelligence (AI) support language learning and teaching, motivate language learning and open up career possibilities for language learners.
Visit: https://www.creativeml.ox.ac.uk/about/events/artificial-intelligence-world-languages

July 2019

Worldmaking on Stage and the Work of Theatre Translation Beyond the Stage

30 July 2019
King’s College London
About: Out of the Wings  forum for researchers and practitioners, 'Worldmaking on Stage and the Work of Theatre Translation Beyond the Stage', taking place 30 July 2019 at King's College London. https://bit.ly/2KXdxsf
Visit: https://www.languageacts.org/news/out-wings-forum-cfp/

Digital Modern Languages Tutorial Writing Sprint

4-5 July 2019
Bush House, 30 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BG - map of venue
About: The Digital Modern Languages tutorial writing sprint is a physical and virtual event designed to create a variety of open educational resources demonstrating the critical use of digital tools and methods for teachers, learners and researchers interested in modern languages and cultures. This even is part of the Open World Research Initiative Language Acts and Worldmaking research project.
Visit: languageacts.org/digital-mediations/event/writing-sprint

June 2019

New approaches to transmedia and Language Pedagogy International Conference

27-28 June 2019
Business School, Manchester Metropolitan University - map of venue
About: This conference will bring together international researchers in all areas of Modern Languages, Pedagogy and Transmedia. It is an inter-disciplinary conference and papers have been accepted from a variety of areas.
Visit: www2.mmu.ac.uk/languages/about-us/events/detail/index.php?id=10915

Why the Digital is Blessing and Curse for Endangered Languages

25 June 2019, 6pm to 8pm
Bush House, Lecture Theatre 2 - map of venue
About: Globalisation, urbanisation and climate change are affecting people’s lives all over the world drastically. Languages are falling silent at an alarming rate. At the same time the advent of digital technology has allowed linguists all over the world to record these disappearing languages and to preserve them in digital archives around the world. The internet held the promise of democratising access to knowledge, it is also the demise for linguistic diversity as the knowledge represented is heavily skewed towards the knowledge of the usual subjects and is only accessible in English or Chinese.
Visit: https://bit.ly/2W28g7R

Languages INTER Networks

20-22 June 2019
Lancaster University - map of venue
About: Following up on our first symposium in March 2018, Multilingual Digital Authorship, this conference will focus on projects, works, and any form of creative digital artefacts online or offline, including anything from individual tweets, instapoems, and status updates to interactions and more complex projects.
Visit: www.meits.org/events/event/languages-inter-networks

Slanguages: Poetry in Motion

5 June 2019
Wolfson College, Oxford - map of venue
About: This conference will bring together international researchers in all areas of Modern Languages, Pedagogy and Transmedia. It is an inter-disciplinary conference and papers have been accepted from a variety of areas.
Visit: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/poetry-in-motion-spoken-word-hip-hop-performances-tickets-61485833784

Worldmaking Live Festival

3 June 2019, 10am to 6pm
King’s College London, 8th Floor North, Bush House, WC2B 4BG - map of venue
About: Since 2016 Language Acts and Worldmaking has funded small projects and events across the UK and abroad to heighten our awareness of the ways in which languages are experienced, practised, taught and researched. Worldmaking Live brings many of these projects together for a diverse, exciting showcase of talks, presentations, stalls, performances and films, in what will be a celebration of all that the scheme has achieved so far: a Worldmaking community.
Visit: www.languageacts.org/events/worldmaking-live

See the new film from Creative Multilingualism about the Performing Languages conference that took place in February of this year.

May 2019

Across Languages: Translingualism in Contemporary Women’s Writing

30-31 May 2019, 9am to 6pm
Senate House, University of London. WC1E 7HU - map of venue
About: This conference is organised by the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing (CCWW) in collaboration with the AHRC Open World Research Initiative project ‘Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community’, Translingual Strand. The aim is to bring together scholars working on translingual women’s writing in a range of language fields, in order to explore the particular richness of texts produced by writers in languages that are not their mother tongues. 
Visit: modernlanguages.sas.ac.uk/events/event/17740

Workshops on Computer-Assisted Literary Translation (CALT) at Swansea University

27-28 May 2019
Swansea University, Keir Hardie Building 149, College of Arts and Humanities, Sketty SA2 8PP - map of venue
About: 2-day workshop at Swansea University on Computer-Assisted Literary Translation (CALT) - part of the Open World Research Initiative: “Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community” - Translingual Strand, with additional support from Swansea’s Language Research Centre.
Visit: https://languagestranslationandmediaatswansea.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/calt_may_schedule.pdf (PDF) 

Soundscapes at Tate Exchange: ‘Who are we?’ exhibition

21-25 May 2019, 12 noon to 6pm
Tate Modern, Level 5, Blavatnik Building, Bankside, London, SE1 9TG - map of venue
About: The Open University researchers Inma Alvarez, Carlos Montoro and Mara Fuertes-Gutierrez build upon the AHRC project Language Acts and Worldmaking and ‘A Stitch in Time’ to bring you SoundShapes. This event invites you to walk through and experience the sounds and shapes of languages. Combining digital content, sound, embroidery, film and photography, it will take you on a linguistic and cultural journey exploring the everyday realities of diversity and cultural difference. Challenging you to rate different languages depending on how familiar you are with them and whether you ‘like’ their sound or not.
Visit: www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/tate-exchange/workshop/who-are-we-2019

Points of Intersection: Digital Modern Languages seminar

21 May 2019, 6pm to 8pm
King’s College London, Bush House - map of venue
About: Researchers from across the AHRC Open World Research Initiative are launching a new Digital Modern Languages seminar series to raise the visibility of Modern Languages research and teaching which engages with digital culture, media and technologies. The first event will see a talk by Professor Claire Taylor (University of Liverpool).
Visit: digitalmodernlanguages.wordpress.com/2019/03/16/first-seminar-2

Cartoneras Latin American Cardboard Books

17 May 2019, 3pm to 5pm
The British Library - map of venue
About: This free event offers participants the chance to find out more about this phenomenon, including a chance to see some of the Library’s own collection of cartoneras. A presentation by academic and researcher Dr Lucy Bell (University of Surrey) will be followed by a workshop where you will be able to try your hand at making your own cartonera.
Visit: www.bl.uk/events/cartonera-latin-american-cardboard-books

Living with/on the Border: writers, language and identity in north-east Italy from the end of World War II to the present

10 May 2019, 9am to 6:30pm
Senate House, University of London. WC1E 7HU - map of venue
About: This conference examines writing and identity in north-east Italy. It will explore the experiences, reflected in writers from the 1940s to the present, of the migrations of peoples between ex-Yugoslavia and Italy as a result of the end of WWII and its on-going
Visit: modernlanguages.sas.ac.uk/events/event/17755

April 2019

Poet in the Archives: Michael Hamburger

18 April 2019, 6:15pm to 8:15pm
The British Library - map of venue
About: An evening of readings and discussion at The British Library in celebration of the life, work and legacy of poet-translator Michael Hamburger. Preceded by a drinks reception. Tickets £7.
Visit: modernlanguages.sas.ac.uk/events/event/17758

Language rules? Languages, standards and linguistic inequality: multilingualism and variation in education, law and citizenship

15-17 April 2019
University of Nottingham - map of venue
About: As part of the AHRC-funded project Multilingualism - Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies (MEITS), Language Rules will bring together practitioners - teachers, speech therapists, examiners, dictionary-makers, lobbyists, policy-makers, and others - with academics to examine how assumptions about correct, acceptable or standard languages impact on everyday life in a multilingual world, and how to tackle potential inequalities.The conference includes a public Leverhulme Lecture by the Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professor at the University of Nottingham, Professor Doug Kibbee. The launch of We are Multilingual will also take place as part of the event.
To attend: please contact nicola.mclelland@nottingham.ac.uk

Franco-Australian Connections in an Industrial World

11 April 2019
Various locations in Bristol 
About: A day of free events exploring connections between Europe and Australia. The starting point will be parallels in environmental concerns since the Industrial Revolution, when there was a significant increase in travel and cultural exchanges. The interactive activities will provide opportunities to appreciate how Australia, the Francophone world, and the UK have long had much in common.
Visit: www.languageacts.org/events/franco-australian-connections-industrial-world

March 2019

Nationalism, Ethnicity and Cultural Diversity in the Digital Age

14-16 March 2019
Where: Durham Union Society Debating Chamber in the Pemberton Building, Palace Green, Durham, DH1 3EP - map of venue
About: Organised by the OWRI Cross Languages Dynamic Transnational research strand. This symposium aims to bring scholars from different disciplines and research areas to discuss possible approaches to understanding the role of digital media in ongoing transformations of nationhood, ethnicity and cultural diversity within and in-between states.
Visit: digitalnationalism.wordpress.com

February 2019

Manchester in Translation

21 February 2019, 10.00-17.00
Where: Z Arts, 335 Stretford Road, Hulme, Manchester - map of venue
About: Join Comma Press for a morning of talks and panels offering advice and insight into the world of translation. Organised in partnership with OWRI researchers in the Multilingual Manchester project. This morning session is an an opportunity for budding translators - or those with a passion for working between languages - to learn more about the life of the literary translator and discover ways of getting yourself published!

Performing Languages Annual Conference

1-2 February 2019
BCurzon Building,Birmingham City University - map of venue
About: This event provides an opportunity for researchers, artists and cultural practitioners to work together, sharing their experience and research about what it means to perform languages (in the broadest sense), to develop new insights, be inspired by new performance/research ideas, and expand their networks. As well as invited speakers there will be a number of performances.
There is a charge of £10 per day to attend, excluding accepted contributors.
Visit and book online: www.creativeml.ox.ac.uk/about/events/performing-languages

January 2019

Computer Assisted Literary Translation

25-26 January 2018, 09.30-15.30
Swansea University, Sketty SA2 8PP - see map of venue
About: Swansea Translating and Interpreting Group is holding this workshop, part of OWRI's “Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community” - Translingual Strand. Literary translators tend to resist using the systems which dominate the lives of most other professional translators, such as CAT tools, translation memories, termbases, machine translation engines. But can these and corpus analysis tools be hacked for the benefit of literary translators? We will discuss the promise and risks involved. With training sessions on a variety of digital tools and presentations of research and practice. A second workshop on the 27-28th May 2018 is to follow.
Visit: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/computerassistedliterarytranslation-swansea-2019-january-tickets-52262999037

Languages in Conflict and Resolution

25 January 2018, 13.00-17.00
Lanyon Building, Queen’s University Belfast - see map of venue
About: This half day conference organised by the MEITS project, will bring academics and practitioners together to discuss the role of languages in conflict and conflict resolution. This conference is open to the public. 
Visit: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/languages-in-conflict-and-reconciliation-tickets-53292902506

November 2018

The Role of Emotions in Foreign Language Learning and Teaching

24 November 2018, 10.00-17.00
 Council Room, Kings Buildings, Kings College London - see map of venue
About: This international workshop seeks to examine the role of emotions both in and outside the language classroom. It aims to contribute to a better understanding of their importance in anyone learning or teaching a language. The role of teachers’ wellbeing as a crucial prerequisite for fruitful language teaching and learning will be discussed, aiming to shine a light on how educators can balance their emotions. The workshop is free but there is limited availability.
Visit and register by November 14 2018: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-role-of-emotions-in-foreign-language-learning-and-teaching-tickets-51413333665

Literacy outcomes in northern Ghana / The effect of multilingual exposure on autism

When: 22 November 2018, 13.00-14.30
Room GR05, Faculty of English, University of Cambridge, 9 West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DP - see map of venue
About: This presentation will explore the effects of mother tongue-based education (MTBE), and an alternative approach, ‘language matching’ in northern Ghana, with a view to shedding light on how such programmes might affect literacy learning outcomes. The presentation will provide insights into the educational and linguistic challenges facing learners in multilingual regions of the Global South, and how such programmes might be tailored to have the most productive impact.
To attend: No registration required. See also: #OWRIupdates

invEStigadores: Culture, History, Law, and more! Exploring Humanities research in Spanish at Instituto Cervantes

13 November 2018, 18.30-20.00
Instituto Cervantes Manchester, 326/330 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 4FN - map of venue
About: Co-hosted by Instituto Cervantes Manchester and the University of Manchester this second session at the Instituto Cervantes Manchester is where academics will deliver a series of short talks in Spanish, followed by a reception where guests will have the opportunity to informally discuss the themes raised, thereby bringing together university researchers and members of the public to explore research in Spanish.
Visit: cultura.cervantes.es/manchester/en/Explorando-la-investigaci%C3%B3n-en-humanidades/123367

Jóvenes Latino Americanas Sin Fronteras

3 November 2018, 15.00
ATD Fourth World, 48 Addington Square, London - see map of venue
About: The first in a series of civic participation and creative leadership workshops for Young Latin American Women and Girls aged 14-21 age group, encouraging awareness and celebration of cultural, linguistic and racial identity and heritage.
Visit: https://crosslanguagedynamics.blogs.sas.ac.uk/events


8 November 2018, 17.00
The Parkside Gallery, Birmingham - see map of venue
About: Join Professor Rajinder Dudrah who leads research in the Creative Economy Strand and colleagues for energetic performances from various artists. Slanguages explores creative way artists take inspiration from and the use of different languages. The project is wide-ranging and includes many collaborations with partners such as Punch Records, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Beatfreaks, and Sputnik Theatre Company in London.
Visit: www.eventbrite.com/e/slanguages-launch-event-tickets-51657040599

Language and Identity: Explorations Through Film

10 November 2018, 14.00
 The Former Cornerhouse, Manchester - see map of venue
About: Language and Identity is explored in the form of a mini film festival in Manchester. Including talks and discussion, the event is aimed at all members of the general public interested in language, identity and/or the short film documentary genre. Languages ranging from Arabic, indigenous languages of Mexico and South Africa, and ‘Spanglish’ are featured. All welcome.
Visit: http://projects.alc.manchester.ac.uk/cross-language-dynamics/language-and-identity-explorations-through-film

October 2018

Diagnosing and addressing publication bias/The effect of input variability on vowel training

25 October 2018
Room GR05, Faculty of English, University of Cambridge, 9 West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DP - see map of venue
About: Diagnosing and addressing publication bias: Does bilingualism cause general changes to cognition
Visit: www.meits.org/events/event/diagnosing-and-addressing-publication-bias-does-bilingualism-cause-general

Half-term multilingual theatre workshop

29 October 2018 - 3 November 2018
Birmingham Repertory Theatre - see map of venue.
About: Are you in Year 10 or 11? Are you interested in performing arts and theatre-making? Even if you don’t speak another language, are you interested in other cultures and countries? Or know a few words that aren’t English? Do you want to create an exciting new theatre piece to be performed at Birmingham REP in half-term?
Visit: www.creativeml.ox.ac.uk/about/events/half-term-multilingual-theatre-workshop

See also:

Pre-October 2018 events

2017 events


Ciaran Higgins, Communications Officer,
Open World Research Initiative, Queen's University Belfast
Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 5011
Email: ciaran.higgins@qub.ac.uk
Twitter: @OWRILanguages