Mediating Multilingualism; University of Jyvaskyla, Finland


Mediating Multilingualism: Meanings and Modalities
University of Jyvaskyla, Finland June 2-5, 2008

Invited speakers:
Jan Blommaert (University of London / University of Jyvaskyla)
Diane Mavers (University of London)
Ben Rampton (University of London)
Steven Thorne (Pennsylvania State University)
Crispin Thurlow (University of Washington)

Deadline for abstracts: January 15, 2008 Guidelines for submission:

Description of the conference:

In today’s globalized world of mobilities and flows, multilingualism is increasingly an everyday phenomenon that people encounter and have to cope with in work, education, institutions, leisure time and media uses, for example. In these various contexts, multilingualism can be mediated not only by languages, but also by a range of other semiotic means such as genres discourses, styles, embodied action, and visuality.

At the same time multilingualism is a mediational system in itself, sustaining, but also mobilizing and reorganizing language user identities, relationships and possibilities for action and the relative values of languages. Multilingualism can thus have repercussions in terms of what resources and possibilities individuals and groups have to agency and participation.

The conference on Mediating Multilingualism approaches mediation and multilingualism from this double perspective: in its focus are the different ways and means for mediating multilingualism, as well as multilingualism as a mediational system. The aim is to shed light on the complexities of this relationship and to develop new ways of investigating and understanding the roles, meanings, and modalities of mediation
in multilingual settings. To this end, the conference aims at bringing together researchers, students, teachers and other practitioners who share an interest in exploring the interface between mediation and multilingualism as a particular linguistic, social, cultural and ideological contact zone where the meanings of languages, identities and relationships are reassessed and renegotiated.

The conference is organized at the University of Jyvaskyla as the 26th Summer School of Applied Language Studies. It will consist of invited keynote lectures, workshops, and paper sessions. The topics of the keynote lectures and workshop will be announced later.

Call for papers: Submissions are solicited for 20-min. papers and posters relating to the conference theme. Studies on any languages and disciplinary takes (e.g. sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, discourse studies, pragmatics, ethnography, and language learning and teaching) are welcome. The main working
language of the conference is English. Individual papers and posters can be presented in other languages, but no interpretation services are automatically provided by conference organization. Young scholars are encouraged to contribute; five postgraduate students from non-EU countries will be excused from paying the conference fee (applications to be included in the online registration form, to appear on the conference website).

Abstracts in English (max. 300 words) should be submitted via “submissions” on the conference website The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2008.All submissions will be reviewed; notification of acceptance March 15, 2008.

The Organizing Committee:
Sirpa Leppanen, Paivi Pahta, Hannele Dufva, Sari Pietikainen,
Tarja Nikula, Sirkka Laihiala-Kankainen, Samu Kytola, Marianne
Toriseva, Tiina Virkkula, Satu Julin, Eeva Riipinen

Paivi Pahta
Research Professor
Department of Languages
Finland Distinguished Professor project on Multilingualism
P.O. Box 35
40014 University of Jyvaskyla