our words make worlds

Small Grants

We are pleased to announce that the latest call for proposals in the Language Acts and Worldmaking small grant scheme is now open, deadline  7 June 2019. To learn more about the cfp, read on below, otherwise check out previous projects funded by the scheme on the left. 

Call for Proposals: Integration and Inclusion

Key facts and figures

  • Submission deadline: 7 June 2019
  • Notification of outcomes: by 8 July 2019
  • We can fund activities taking place up to March 2020
  • Funding of up to £1500 is usually available, however actual amounts vary. Based on the high numbers of applications to previous rounds and to make the most effective use of limited funds, we are unable to fund requests for room booking costs and non-standard catering costs
  • Submissions: complete the Language Acts Small Grants application form  and return to us at languageacts@kcl.ac.uk 

Integration and Inclusion is the theme for our latest call for small grants proposals. Through our small grants scheme we want to enliven our awareness of the ways in which languages are experienced, practised, taught and researched. We are looking for proposals that relate to these issues, thinking across the six research strands of our project. Possible themes for you to explore are:

               Language and Violence 

               Language and Gender

               Language and disability

               Language and Truth

               Access to (Modern Foreign) Languages learning now and in the future

               Languages and social inclusion

               Digital methods in relation to (Modern Foreign) Languages

               Language policies

               Languages in times of crisis

We are looking for imaginative and innovative proposals and encourage you to respond to the theme of Integration and Inclusion in an open and creative manner. We are especially looking for proposals that work with other Higher Education institutions, cultural organisations, and/or private enterprise. 

About Language Acts and Worldmaking

Language Acts and Worldmaking explores the ways languages affect how we think and feel about ourselves, about other people, and about the world around us.

Through six different research strands, we study how we learn languages, teach languages, and engage with our own culture and the cultures of others through languages.

Our research

The six research strands provide different, but overlapping, perspectives on how language acts in worldmaking. When woven together, these strands illustrate the materiality and historicity of the languages we use and take us on a journey from the early Middle Ages to the contemporary world, from medieval Islamix al-Andalus to the former colonies of the Hispanic and Lusophone global empires.

1. Travelling Concepts (Vakil, Weiss)

The Iberian Peninsula is both the originator and product of a polycentric process of global colonization; its history constitutes a workshop for questioning how language constructs the world. In a journey that takes us from Brazil to China, and through multiple languages, we investigate the ideological work performed by the vocabularies that historically cluster around Iberia, whether embedded in individual words, phrases or extended literary forms (narrative, lyric, history). Concepts such as 'global', 'culture', civilisation', 'tolerance', 'Europe' and the binary East/West are central to the way Iberian history has been imagined both inside and outside the Peninsula, from the Middle Ages to the present day.

2. Translation Acts (Boyle)

In Translation Acts, the focus is on the creation of dramatic narratives through theatre in translation and performance. We take up travelling concepts like 'global' and 'tolerance' and explore our lived experience of them. Using the creative capacity of theatre to be world-inventing, creating known and imagined worlds on stage, we questions how ideas and beliefs cross cultures, time and space and how we act through the languages we use and create. In our practice we will use participants' innate and learned language knowledge to translate and recreate theatre texts in ways that will radically intervene in our understanding of cultural co-existence in the present.

3. Digital Mediations (Spence)

Digital Mediations explores interactions and tensions between digital culture and Modern Languages research. We examine how digitally mediated culturewhether emerging as born digital artefacts or digitsed remediations of pre-digital objectsis constructed, and ask what kinds of 'translation' are enacted as information enters and leaves the digital sphere. We research the interactions from multiple perspectives, reviewing methodologies for studying digital content from a multilingual perspective, while appraising the extent to which digital data, as a complex cultural product in its own right, represents a meaningful record accessible to Modern Languages research and learning.

4. Loaded Meanings (Pountain)

Loaded Meanings invites reflection on the nature of language and its historical development by investigating the linguistic consequences of the single most important cultural contact observable in the history of the languages of western Europe, namely, the dissemination of 'learned' borrowings (words borrowed directly from or coined on the basis of Latin or Greek) in Ibero-Romance. Originally introducted in the written language of the culturally élite, a large number of these words have become part of frequent everyday usage and so lie at the heart of ordinary speakers' 'worldmaking'.

5. Diasporic Identities (Alvarez, Fuertes Gutiérrez)

This strand takes an applied approach by working with language teachers, active worldmakers who move seamlessly between different linguistic and cultural worlds. Their inner selves, their personal and professional identities, are moulded and enriched by their experiences of diaspora. Highly skilled at worldmaking, teachers draw on their own rich linguistic and cultural resources for translating and re-making cultural concepts. Through this research, we seek to understand how teachers see themselves in their role as mediators between languages and cultures and how they perform this role in their teaching practice. This research also entails a critical appraisal of the institutional and political issues around the provision of modern language teaching in the UK from the perspective of the teachers.

6. Language Transitions (Kelly, de Medeiros)

This work takes a research-informed approach to the practical aspects of learning and teaching modern foreign languages and cultures. It targets transitions—those border zones of learning between stages that have become more of a hindrance than a stepping stone for so many language learners—by working on the curriculum at university level, by working with the curriculum at school level, and by trialling transition and foundation courses that allow entry at each further level languages study. It also seeks to empower young students to use their innate language-learning skills, including the mobilisation of their bi- and multi-lingual home experiences.