Modern Languages graduation today!

Winter Graduation

Many of our new graduates in Modern Languages are attending the Winter Graduation ceremony at the University of Southampton today, and are graduating alongside other students from the Faculty of Humanities.
Many congratulations to all of our new graduates! Don’t forget you can keep in touch with the University via the Southampton Alumni Facebook page or on Twitter @UniSotonAlumni.

EuroCALL 2017: Call for papers


The 25th EuroCALL conference will be held at the University of Southampton, in the United Kingdom, from 23rd-26th August 2017. A call for papers has been issued and the deadline for submissions is 31st January 2017.

The conference theme is ‘CALL in a Climate of Change: Adapting to Turbulent Global Conditions’. This theme encompasses the notion of how CALL can, and is responding to changing global circumstances which impact on education, be they in economic, political or environmental spheres. It cuts across areas including teacher training, competitive educational models, open education, models for blended learning, collaboration, creative and innovative pedagogy, student engagement, students’ needs and sustainability.

The EuroCALL 2017 conference aims to discuss and discover insights into how the theories and practices of CALL are driving, responding to and facilitating change in the world around us.
EuroCALL conferences are hosted under the auspices of the EuroCALL: the European Association for Computer Assisted Language Learning. They bring together educators, researchers, PhD students, administrators, designers of software and language learning systems, policy makers and other professionals involved in Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) around the globe.

The programme will include individual papers, symposia, workshops, presentations on EU-funded projects, and posters. Submit your abstract here. Visit the EuroCALL 2017 website for further information about the conference.

Next MeXsu seminar: ‘Volcano activity and other possible natural hazards in Mexico and its impact on the surrounding rural communities and urban settlements’


The next Centre for Mexico-Southampton Collaboration (MeXsu) seminar will take place at 6pm on Friday 16th December 2016, in Room 1177, Building 65, Avenue Campus. The seminar is entitled “Volcano activity and other possible natural hazards in Mexico and its impact on the surrounding rural communities and urban settlements” and will be presented by Dr Carlos Valdés Gonzales, General Director CENAPRED, National Centre for Disaster Prevention in Mexico.

In the seminar, Dr Valdés will explain how different natural hazards are monitored on daily basis in order to ensure the safety of the populations at risk in México. When disaster strikes, effective and early warnings are paramount. How can Mexico hold an excellent record for ensuring its population safety since the mayor earthquake in 1986? All welcome! Wine and refreshments will be served.

Symposium in honour of Professor Michael Kelly


A symposium will be taking place on 20th January 2017 at Europe House, London, in honour of Professor Michael Kelly, who recently retired after a long and distinguished career as Professor of French at the University of Southampton. The day will include a series of talks from colleagues in the field of French Cultural Studies in the morning and a focus on policy and politics in the afternoon.

The event is free of charge with lunch and refreshments included. To find out more and book your place, visit the symposium Eventbrite page.

Next CGE seminar: Communicating across online and offline spaces: a mobile-supported business model for migrant micro-entrepreneurs


The next Centre for Global Englishes (CGE) seminar will take place on Wednesday 7th December 2016 from 5:00-6:30pm in Lecture Theatre C, Building 65, Avenue Campus. The seminar is entitled, “Communicating across online and offline spaces: a mobile-supported business model for migrant micro-entrepreneurs” and will be led by Dr Caroline Tagg from The Open University. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
In this talk, I draw on data from a large ethnographic project to explore the ways in which migrant small-business owners exploit mobile phone messaging apps to do business, establish and maintain informal support networks, and perform identities as entrepreneurs of a particular heritage background. The project is the AHRC-funded, four-year ‘Translation and Translanguaging: investigating linguistic and cultural transformations in superdiverse wards in four UK cites’ (PI: Angela Creese, University of Birmingham). Key participants are observed, recorded and interviewed at work and home, a well-established ethnographic approach which is innovatively augmented by the parallel collection of social media data.

My talk focuses on the social media use of two entrepreneurial couples: Chinese butchers in Birmingham and Polish shop-owners in London. Analysis of their SMS, WeChat and Viber messages, informed by the interview and interactional data collected at work and home, shows that mobile messaging apps are facilitating the emergence of a new business model characterised by dynamic configurations of time and space. I detail how the mobile phone serves as a gateway to physical contexts such as the shop whilst also facilitating asynchronous communication which we describe as a ‘virtual noticeboard’. I also explore how the mobile makes possible the creation of a support network which stretches from the surrounding UK city to the migrants’ home countries, and how the migrants draw on different timescales – immediate concerns and shared cultural histories – in managing these relationships. In documenting this new model, I explore the ways in which the entrepreneurs construct, negotiate and exploit multiple layers of flexible and selective ‘timespaces’, transgressing traditional boundaries of time and space and creating new intersections between virtual and physical space as they fulfil everyday functions.

Public lecture: Migrants and Refugees in Europe

Public Lecture

Dr Scott Soo from Modern Languages at the University of Southampton will be speaking at a public lecture on the theme of ‘Migrants and Refugees in Europe’, taking place on Thursday 8th December 2016 at 5:45pm, Building 54/4011, Highfield Campus. His talk is entitled ‘Refugee Camps and their Legacy: France and the Spanish Civil War Exiles’. Also speaking at this event are Professor David Owen (Department of Politics and International Relations), on ‘What Makes a Refugee Crisis?’ and Dr Hedvig Schmidt (Southampton Law School), whose talk is entitled ‘The Free Movement Rights for Migrants and Refugees under EU Law’.

Refreshments will be provided after the event and there will be the opportunity to speak to the Southampton and Winchester Visitors Group who befriend and support asylum seekers and refugees in the Southampton area. The tickets are free but everyone who would like to come needs to register on Eventbrite.

Here are some further details about this event:

The unfolding refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe has laid bare how European states and publics relate to people in desperate circumstances when they are from a country that is not their own. European states have tried to find ways to cope with the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people, either by agreeing on a number they will take on, by closing border and building fences, or by criminalising those fleeing, or just focusing on people smugglers, rather than supporting those whose rights are violated on a massive scale. The public, meanwhile, is either misinformed by biased tabloid press or by organisations suggesting that handouts are the solution. Key questions emerge about how to address the influx of refugees, asylum-seekers and economic migrants in Europe. What are the responsibilities of European governments and societies in relation to the refugee crisis? How can the refugee/migrant crisis be better tackled? What alternative solutions exist? What are most effective legal and policy interventions that can protect the rights of refugees and asylum-seekers in Europe? What can history teach us about past refugee/migrant crisis and how European societies dealt with them? These are some of the crucial questions that this public lecture will attempt to tackle.

Italian film showing today: Il ricco, il povero e il maggiordomo / Riches, Poverty and a Faithful Butler

Italian flag

The Italian film, Il ricco, il povero e il maggiordomo / Riches, Poverty and a Faithful Butler (Aldo Baglio, Giovanni Storti, Giacomo Poretti e Morgan Bertacca, 2014) (98 minutes, subtitles in Italian) will be showing in Lecture Theatre B, Avenue Campus, at 6.30pm on Monday 28th November 2016. Review, introduction and discussion by Paola Visconti. This is the last film of the season, so discussion will take place over nibbles and drinks. You can bring some finger food/drinks but it is not a must. All welcome! The trailer for this film can be viewed on YouTube. Read more…

Next TNS seminar of the ‘Moving Stories’ series


The next seminar of the 2016-17 ‘Moving Stories’ Centre for Transational Studies (TNS) seminar series will take place on Wednesday 14th December 2016 from 5:00-6:30pm, and will be presented jointly by Dr Eleanor Jones and Dr Scott Soo from Modern Languages at the University of Southampton. Eleanor’s presentation is entitled “Death stories: encountering the corpse in narratives of Lusophone Africa”, and Scott will be presenting on “(Re)moving stories: closure and commemoration at the Gurs internment camp”.

The TNS ‘moving stories’ series involves stories that move literally across borders and contexts, as well as stories which move us emotionally. As students of societies, histories and cultures we often engage stories in order to understand and analyse our subject. Stories come in different forms: biographies and life narratives; oral histories; personal and collective memories; material-object stories; poems; novels; legends; myths; visual narratives; music; art; news and media stories; non-fictional sources.

All welcome! Watch this space for details of future TNS seminars.