Research centres event on Wednesday 20th March: “Perspectives on the concept of the ‘native speaker'”

Research centresThe next seminar, which combines speakers from four of our research centres, will be held on Wednesday 20th March from 4-5:30pm in Lecture Theatre C at Avenue Campus (Building 65). The seminar is entitled “Perspectives on the concept of the ‘native speaker'” and will be presented by a range of staff from the department. All staff and students are welcome for what will be a lively session!

Here is the abstract for the seminar:
Over recent decades, the notion of the ’native speaker’ has been much discussed and often contested in applied and socio-linguistics. In this cross-centres seminar, speakers from our four research centres, CGE, CLLEAR, MeXsu and TNS will each present their own approach to the notion, and the seminar will then be opened up to the audience for comment and discussion. The speakers are Rob Baird and Sonia Morán Panero representing CGE, Laura Dominguez representing CLLEAR, and Clare Mar-Molinero representing both MeXsu and TNS.

The 2018-19 Italian Film season has now finished

Italian flagDear students and staff,

We regret to inform you that due to heavy academic workload for our students for whom the films have been arranged, it has been decided to cancel the two last screenings of our Italy through its films.

Therefore the screening of La Vita è bella on 11th March and Perfetti sconosciuti on 25th March will not go ahead. Students and staff will be able to borrow both DVDs from Avenue library and watch them in their own time if they wish to.

We apologise for any disappointment but we are sure that you understand that these events are dictated by educational priorities linked to modules and in this particular case we felt it was necessary to readjust films screenings accordingly.

Best wishes,
Alessia and Louis

Next Centre for Transnational Studies seminar on Wednesday 6th March: Who defines what it means to be “disabled” in China today?

TNSThe next Centre for Transnational Studies seminar will be held on Wednesday 6th March from 4-5pm in room 1177 at Avenue Campus (Building 65) in collaboration with the Confucius Institute. The seminar is entitled “Who defines what it means to be ‘disabled’ in China today?” and will be presented by Dr Sarah Dauncey from the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Nottingham. All staff and students are welcome!

Here is the abstract for the seminar:
In this talk, Sarah Dauncey looks at the construction of disabled identities specifically from the perspective of Chinese cultural epistemologies. Drawing on sociological theories of citizenship, her research reveals how traditionally accepted notions of personhood are often fundamentally challenged through encounters and interactions with understandings of disability and impairment. She provides engaging examples of the ways in which representations and narratives of disability negotiate the identity of their subject(s) in relation to dominant discourses, where collective social, political and cultural understandings of what it means to live a ‘productive’ disabled life are both imbued and contested. Her findings offer new evidence as to the importance of intersectional accounts of disabled citizenship in revealing the complex and shifting power relationships between disabled individuals and/or groups and the state in any particular country or specific cultural context.

More information on Dr Dauncey can be found on her profile page.

Italian film showing on Monday 25th February – A Special Day – Una Giornata Particolare

Italian flagWe are pleased to invite you to the next film of our Italy through its films series, featuring A Special day – Una Giornata Particolare (Ettore Scola, 1977).

Join us on Monday 25th February in Lecture Theatre B at Avenue Campus at 6:15pm. “A Special Day” takes place on the day of Hitler’s 1938 state visit to Rome, where he was given a gigantic, hysterically enthusiastic reception by Mussolini, the King, the diplomatic corps. After packing off her six children and her husband (all properly uniformed) to attend the rally, Antonietta sets about to clean her cramped apartment when Rosamunda, the mynah bird, escapes and flies to the other side of the courtyard of the now-empty apartment block. This is the device that brings Antonietta and Gabriele together… A Special Day stars Sofia Loren (Antonietta) and Marcello Mastroianni (Gabriele).

There is also a critique of the film by Louis Bayman.

All welcome, free entry!

SIGLTA meeting on Thursday 28th February: Setting a CEFR cut score on test instruments

SIGLTAYou are cordially invited to attend the Special Interest Group in Language Testing and Assessment (SIGLTA) meeting. SIGLTA is a postgraduate student-led reading/research group within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

The meeting is at 17:00-18:30 on Thursday 28/02/2019 in room 1095, Avenue Campus (building 65).

Abstract: Standard setting is a decision-making process of setting a cut score – a certain point on a test scale used for classifying test takers into at least two different categories (e.g. pass or fail). The standard setting process usually entails recruiting a group of panellists to complete a variety of tasks in order to recommend a cut score on a certain test instrument. In this presentation, I will discuss what constitutes good practice in setting CEFR standards for language examinations. The most common standard setting methods will be covered as well as their associated challenges.

The speaker: Dr Charalambos (Harry) Kollias received his Ph.D. degree from Lancaster University. He works as an Assessment Research and Analysis Manager at Oxford University Press. He has over 30 years’ experience in the education sector in roles ranging from teacher, teacher trainer to assessor trainer and (co)author of examination materials. With over 18 years’ experience in the assessment field, his areas of specialism include measurement analysis (pre- and post-test analysis), test material development, alignment studies, (virtual) standard setting workshops, and research studies. He has presented at several international conferences and facilitated the 12th Annual EALTA pre-conference workshop with Sauli Takala entitled “Standard setting – how to implement good practice”. His main interests are Rasch measurement theory, (virtual) standard setting, language assessment and validation, and artificial intelligence.

If you require any further information please send an email to na1y17@soton.ac.uk or lmb2g15@soton.ac.uk or see the SIGLTA Facebook page.

Next Centre for Transnational Studies seminar on Wednesday 20th February: Mental Health under Communism

TNSThe next Centre for Transnational Studies seminar will be held on Wednesday 20th Febuary from 4-5pm in room 1177 at Avenue Campus (Building 65) in collaboration with the Centre for Medical and Health Humanities. The seminar is entitled “Mental Health under Communism: Transnational Connections across the Iron Curtain and within the Eastern Bloc.” All staff and students are welcome!

Here is the abstract for the seminar:
Historians have traditionally assumed that the psy-disciplines behind the Iron Curtain, when they were not being abused for political purposes, were dominated by a topdown ‘Pavlovisation’, whereby Moscow bound scientists within the restrictive orthodoxy of theories derived from the celebrated Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov. In this paper I demonstrate that researchers were far from isolated from international developments – whether in the broader Soviet sphere, China, or the ‘West’ – and appropriated a broad range of theoretical models, including some which the Party had officially banned. Antipsychotic drugs were adopted from the West and mass-produced by state-owned firms. Psychoanalysis survived underground, coming into plain sight as theories of the unconscious influenced the world’s longest-running, state-sponsored LSD psychotherapy project in Prague between 1954 and1974. New models of mind from cybernetics, human ecology and infant attachment theory re-shaped research, treatment and even state-level policy. By tracing these transnational connections this paper challenges narratives of overwhelming state control. It traces the strategies that individuals used to further their professional and personal interests, both underground and in plain sight, and the examples of psychiatrists who engaged – whether explicitly or reluctantly – in the project of building socialism as a result.

More information on Dr Marks can be found on her profile page.

Next CLLEAR seminar: Aspirations of youth, English for future life plans in a school in Catalonia

CLLEARThe next Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR) seminar will take place on Wednesday 13th February 2019 at 4pm in Lecture Theatre C, Avenue Campus (Building 65). The talk is entitled “Aspirations of youth, English for future life plans in a school in Catalonia” and will be delivered by Adriana Patino-Santos from Modern Languages and Linguistics at the University of Southampton. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
The implementation of English as the language of instruction to teach content, usually referred to as Content and Language Integrated Language (CLIL) programmes, is changing the lives of teachers and students alike in Spain, as they deal with a set of issues related to new forms of teaching content though their second and, in the case of Catalonia, third language. Complementing my previous research on the portrayal of liberal selves among CLIL teachers in Catalonia (Codó & Patiño-Santos 2018), this presentation explores the narratives of secondary school students who attend these programmes. Through ‘life project stories’ (du Bois-Reymond 1998) and contrasted with ethnographic information, I aim to give an account of the ways in which a group of youngsters navigate social relations and imagine future plans under the new circumstances imposed by language policies that aim to neoliberalise the Catalan education system (Martinez & Albaiges Blasi 2013). ‘Generation’, even though a debatable concept within the sociology of youth (Furlong 2013), will be brought into the discussion to show how the ways in which young people engage with English in their daily lives signal an important ongoing generational shift in Spain, product of a set of recent traumatic collective events.

Italian film showing this evening (Monday 11th February) – The Conformist – Il Conformista

Italian flagWe are pleased to invite you to the next film of our Italy through its films series, featuring The Conformist – Il Conformista (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970).

Join us on Monday 11th February, in Lecture Theatre B at Avenue Campus at 6:15pm. Bernardo Bertolucci’s expressionist masterpiece is a movie that plugs post-war Italian cinema firmly and directly into the emerging 1970s renaissance in Hollywood film-making. The film is an account of the neuroses and self-loathing of a sexually confused would-be fascist (Jean-Louis Trintignant) aching to fit in in 1938 Rome, who is despatched to Paris to murder his former, anti-fascist college professor. Bertolucci combines a flawless aesthetic with a deep emphasis on composition, design, and camerawork to slowly build a devastating portrait of the kind of personality that allows fascism to flourish. The Conformist is less about drama and more about exploring the brutal truth of its antihero — and how he represents the drives that fuel fascism.

There is also a critique of the film by Corin Depper.

All welcome, free entry!

*RESCHEDULED* Italian film showing on Monday 18th February – The Seduction of Mimì (Mimì metallurgico ferito nell’onore)

Italian flagAs semester 2 starts, we are resuming our Italy through its films screenings on Monday 28th January 2019 with The Seduction of Mimì (Mimì metallurgico ferito nell’onore) by Italian film director Lina Wertmüller, 1972.

Join us on Monday 28th January, in Lecture Theatre B at Avenue Campus at 6:15pm. The film is a deliberately offensive one, with explicit sex scenes in it. A riotous feminist farce about the Mafia, political radicalism and gender relations in 1970s Italy and definitely not a film for the faint-hearted! A sex comedy which seeks deliberately to offend morality and good taste, this is political filmmaking at its most unruly.

Here is Sergio Rigoletto’s film critique.

As always, the film will be introduced in English by Dr Louis Bayman, and a post-film discussion/reflection with the audience in English will be facilitated by Alessia Plutino.

We are looking forward to welcome those of you interested in the event, which is free and open to all.

Next Centre for Transnational Studies seminar: ‘Just Like It Is at Home!’: Being Deaf across the Socialist Bloc

TNSThe next Centre for Transnational Studies seminar will be held on Wednesday 30th January from 4-5pm in room 1177 at Avenue Campus (Building 65) in collaboration with the Centre for Medical and Health Humanities. The seminar is entitled ‘”Just Like It Is at Home!”: Being Deaf across the Socialist Bloc.’ All staff and students are welcome!

Here is the abstract for the seminar:
The years following the Second World War and the sovietisation of Eastern Europe saw increased links between the Soviet deaf community and their Eastern European ‘brothers’. On one level, these links were institutional, with the All-Russian Society of the Deaf reaching out to equivalent deaf societies across the Eastern Bloc, culminating in the creation of an international Socialist Union of Deaf Mutes in the tumultuous year of 1968. At the same time, they were informal, familial, and grassroots, as groups of deaf people travelled across the socialist bloc and encountered people and institutions – both deaf and socialist – just like their own. This paper will explore these contacts as part of a concerted attempt to define the ‘socialist deaf person’. In the context of heightened international tensions and the consumerist competition of the Cold War, the socialist deaf community was seen as a success story worth celebrating: a group of people who had overcome the physical obstacle of deafness to become full-blooded, independent workers through the transformative power of socialism. Yet these contacts also revealed tensions, differences and misunderstandings and posited uncomfortable hierarchies between the ‘big brother’ USSR and the ‘little brother’ countries of Eastern Europe. As such, the transnational links of the late Soviet era reveal both commonalities and differences of deaf experience, and suggest that perhaps ‘socialist deafness’ was perhaps not as monolithic as its proponents might like to think.

More information on Dr Shaw can be found on her profile page.