our words make worlds

Conference: Languages Memory—Call for Papers

Language Acts and Worldmaking is delighted to announce its first conference, Languages Memory. In this first conference, we want to enliven our awareness of the ways in which languages are experienced, practised, taught and researched. The conference will be held at Bush House, London, 13-14 June 2018.

The deadline for the call for papers is 15 December 2017.

The project. Language Acts and Worldmaking

Language Acts and Worldmaking explores language as a material and historical force that acts as the means by which individuals construct their personal, local, transnational and spiritual identities. This we call ‘worldmaking’. Teaching, learning and studying a language means understanding the historicity of concepts, beliefs and social practices—how they operate in the past and present.

The conference. Languages Memory

In our first conference, Languages Memory, we want to enliven our awareness of the ways in which languages are experienced, practised, taught and researched. We will reflect upon the place of language learning and engage with the material and historical force of languages in the world. We welcome international participation and comparison as an invaluable way to share and learn from different perspectives. We are looking for interventions that relate to these issues, thinking across the six research strands of our project.

Ideas are invited for papers, panels, and workshops

We are looking for all sorts of responses to the themes of the conference. Your idea could be, for example, an individual presentation, an academic panel of papers, an interactive workshop, or open discussion. We welcome proposals from all spheres, including academics, educators, community groups, artists and other cultural practitioners, students, professional organisations, NGOs, business representatives, and others.

Propose ideas for engaging with Languages Memory and we will build our conference around your responses. Here are some key themes:

  •     Worldmaking and languages
  •     History, legacy and future of UK, EU and international languages policies and comparative perspectives
  •     Language ideologies and pedagogies
  •     Languages in moments of crisis
  •     New ecologies of memory
  •     Digital methods and memory practices in relation to Modern Languages
  •     Technologies of language learning across time
  •     Languages and coloniality; the postcolonial and the transnational 
  •     Languages and the archive; mnemonics and memory palaces
  •     Lost languages, linguicide and future languages
  •     Remembering language as play
  •     Diasporic communities and language memory

We are looking for the following types of submissions:

  •     Long (20 minutes) or short (10 minutes) papers
  •     Panels (composed of 3-5 discussants, based on a single theme)
  •     Posters/art works
  •     Workshops
  •     Other formats (please provide details as listed below)

Proposals should be limited to 300 words in total—please do not include supporting materials or bibliographies at this stage. All proposals should include the following:

  •     Your name, role, and institution or affiliation
  •     Title of your proposal
  •     Type of session
  •     Topic/key words
  •     List of contributors (if applicable)
  •     Time needed
  •     Aim of session
  •     Target audience
  •     Any resources or support needed

Please reply in the first instance to languageacts@kcl.ac.uk by 15 December 2017. We will reply by 31 January 2018 and we aim to have a full conference programme by the end of February 2018.


We are delighted the conference will take place in Bush House, former home of the BBC World Service. This will allow us to host a wide variety of activities, so be as inventive as you wish in your proposals.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about the conference or the project, please do contact us at languageacts@kcl.ac.uk  

We look forward to hearing from you. 

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