Next Centre for Transnational Studies seminar: Historiographies of the Present: What is to be Decolonised about Non-Aligned Futures and Imaginations?

TNSThe next Centre for Transnational Studies seminar will be held on Wednesday 21st November from 3-4pm in room 1173 at Avenue Campus (Building 65). The seminar is entitled ‘Historiographies of the Present: What is to be Decolonised about Non-Aligned Futures and Imaginations?’ All staff and students are welcome!

The seminar is entitled Historiographies of the Present: What is to be Decolonised about Non-Aligned Futures and Imaginations? Here is the abstract for the seminar:
Contemporary Eastern Europe is currently, once more, one of the spaces for the rise of far right, fascist agendas, as much as increasingly dominated by the rule of heteronormatively imagined futures. To an extent, the “region” holds a shared socialist history of gender inequality and in places like Romania, long histories of slavery and domination over Roma populations. In this contemporaneity that hardly feels shared, where does a decolonial project need to start from? What kind of “whiteness” are we talking about when talking about Eastern European, former socialist subjects? Why are intersectional issues of race, gender and sexuality historically enmeshed but also often invisible from critical contemporary evaluations of the aesthetics and politics of the “region”? I propose to turn to a specific historicalcontextual moment of the Non-Aligned Movement as a point of departure in this analysis to ask what type of imagination and what forms of futurity were projected from socialist Eastern Europe onto some of the late colonial, soon to be independent countries in Africa.

The seminar will be led by Dr Mihaela Brebenel, Lecturer in Digital Media Culture at the Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton. Mihaela is interested in screen studies, film theory, media archaeology, aesthetic theory, the politics of the audiovisual, feminist practices with moving images, the cultural production of subjectivity in contemporary technologically-mediated contexts, historiographies and critical uses of archival images in academic and artistic practice. She also reflects in her work on gender, performance and interventions exploring the private and public configurations of media, space, memory, and the possibilities of collective work.

We have arranged for the event to finish on time for colleagues who wish to attend the Advanced Research in Arts and Humanities seminar at 4pm, and the event is held in the same building.

Further details, including an abstract, can be found on the poster for the event.

CGE Research Seminar on Wednesday 7th November: English Medium Instruction in Japan: Macro-level policies and micro-level practices at the nexus of language and content learning

CGEThe next Centre for Global Englishes (CGE) seminar will take place on Wednesday 7th November 2018 from 5:00pm in Lecture Theatre C (room 1175), Building 65, Avenue Campus. The seminar will be presented by Heath Rose from the University of Oxford and is entitled “English Medium Instruction in Japan: Macro-level policies and micro-level practices at the nexus of language and content learning”. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
Internationalisation and English in the twenty-first century are inextricably intertwined, as universities turn to Englishisation in order to internationalise (Kirkpatrick, 2011). A side effect of internationalisation is the rapid emergence of English medium instruction (EMI) in higher education around the world, defined as ‘the use of the English language to teach academic subjects (other than English itself) in countries or jurisdictions where the first language (L1) of the majority of the population is not English’ (Macaro, 2018, p. 19). Wilkinson (2013, p. 3) notes that EMI programmes have become ‘commonplace in many institutes of higher education’, and Japan is noted to be an area of recent significant growth (see Galloway et al., 2017). This talk explores the language-related implications associated with policy and practice in EMI in Japan. It first takes a macro-level policy-perspective to explore the English-language implications of recent trends in Japanese HE (see Rose & McKinley, 2018). This is then followed by a micro-level practice-perspective exploring the relationships between proficiency, language-related challenges, motivation, and content learning outcomes, which are drawn from questionnaire, interviews, proficiency test, and content score datasets of more than 500 students in EMI contexts in Japan. Controlling for motivation, results revealed a strong interaction between proficiency and language-related challenges, as well as proficiency and success measures in EMI (in terms of course grades). An exploration of lexical range in EMI lectures also suggests a vocabulary threshold needed for students to understand some content subjects, and also points to the importance of subject-specific ESP courses. The study, therefore, equips English teachers with targeted areas of focus in order to best support students in EMI contexts, so they can be successful in their studies.

Heath Rose is an Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics in the Department of Education at the University of Oxford. His research interests are in EMI, Global Englishes and TESOL. His books include Global Englishes for Language Teaching (Rose & Galloway, 2019), Doing Research in Applied Linguistics (McKinley & Rose, 2017), The Japanese Writing System (Rose, 2017), and Introducing Global Englishes (Galloway & Rose, 2015).

Next Centre for Transnational Studies seminar: A transnational feminist perspective: Recognising difference, building solidarity

TNSThe Centre for Transnational Studies, in collaboration with the Centre for Imperial and Postcolonial Studies, is hosting its first event of the academic year on Wednesday 31st October from 3-4:30pm in room 1173 at Avenue Campus (Building 65). The seminar is entitled ‘A transnational feminist perspective: Recognising difference, building solidarity’. All staff and students are welcome!

The event is a postgraduate and early career masterclass run by Dr Maria Tomlinson, a postdoctoral research associate on the project ‘FemmepowermentNiger’ based in the Department of Journalism Studies, University of Sheffield. The idea with these masterclasses is for students (PGT and PGR) and interested staff to get an introduction to potential new ways of approaching their work, and for students to have a chance to talk to someone a few years further on in the postgrad and academic career journey. Dr Tomlinson was one of the first cohort of AHRC SWW DTP students, and completed her PhD in French between the Universities of Bristol and Reading earlier this year. She also set up one of the first SWW DTP research clusters on gender and sexuality.

Further details, including an abstract, can be found on the poster for the event.

Next CLLEAR seminar: Grammatical innovations in Multicultural London English

CLLEARThe next Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR) seminar will take place on Wednesday 24th October 2018 at 4:30pm in Lecture Theatre C, Building 65, Avenue Campus. The talk is entitled “Grammatical innovations in Multicultural London English” and will be delivered by David Thomas Hall from Queen Mary, University of London. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
Recent years have seen growing interest in interdisciplinary research at the intersection of sociolinguistics and formal linguistic theory, sometimes called Sociosyntax (see e.g., Cornips and Corrigan 2005; Lingua special issue on formalising syntactic variation (2010), vol 120.5). Recent research into urban multiethnolects in the UK (e.g., Cheshire et al 2011) has revealed unexpected syntactic properties in emerging varieties of English, particularly Multicultural London English (MLE). Research on MLE has so far been carried out in a variationist sociolinguistic framework (Cheshire et al 2011 a.o), but here I report on my research into grammatical innovations in MLE in a broadly generative framework. I focus on the new pronoun man and preposition+definite article drop (P-D-drop). I will present analyses for the two phenomena, and discuss how the study of grammatical variation picked up through sociolinguistic research can inform our understanding of the limits of the language faculty from a minimalist perspective.

Next CLLEAR seminar: Thinking ahead in a second language: On the role of prediction in L2 processing

CLLEARThe next Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR) seminar will take place on Wednesday 9th May 2018 at 4pm in Room 1177, Building 65, Avenue Campus. The talk is entitled “Thinking ahead in a second language: On the role of prediction in L2 processing” and will be delivered by Theres Gruter from Hawaii. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
The role of prediction in native language (L1) processing has been investigated, and debated, extensively over the past couple of decades. Yet it is only in the last few years that prediction/anticipation in second language (L2) processing has become a topic of interest. In this talk, I will discuss how the investigation of prediction in L2 processing may help us move beyond the common but rather unsatisfying description of differences between L1 and L2 speakers as L2 learners having “a processing problem”. In recent and on-going research in our lab, we have used online (visual-world eye-tracking) and offline methods to probe to what extent L2 listeners engage in proactive ‘thinking ahead’ during sentence and discourse processing. Drawing on findings from studies targeting various linguistic cues that can give rise to anticipatory processing – including classifiers in Mandarin Chinese and grammatical aspect in English – I will argue that L2 speakers do not necessarily differ from L1 speakers in whether or not they engage in prediction, but in how and when they engage in prediction, and what information they use to generate expectations about upcoming information. Taken together, these findings suggest that prediction is a universal mechanism of human language processing (and behaviour more generally), and that L1 and L2 speakers make adaptive use of this mechanism depending on its utility given their knowledge and processing goals.