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Language and Communication Research Seminars 2018-19

We are very excited to confirm the fantastic line-up of presenters for our 2018-19 Language and Communication Research Seminars at our Hendon Campus. Hope to see you all there!

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  • Professor Chris Mabey (Middlesex), Letter from Myanmar. Friday, 11th January 2019, 14.30 – 15.30, Room V105 (Vine building).

 

The Language and Communication Research Seminars are free and open to all staff, students and guests. For any questions or if you would like to lead a session, contact Anna Charalambidou.

“PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE”: THE CASE OF LINGUISTIC HUMOUR

The Language and Communication research cluster is delighted to announce a presentation by Ilham Taghiyev (Khazar University, Azerbaijan), on the case of linguistic humour.

When? Friday 23rd November 2018, 14.30 – 15.30

Where? Room V105, Vine building, Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

Although humour research can be traced back to Plato and Aristotle, and different disciplines in humanities, viz. psychology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics are involved in suggesting several theories of humor, hitherto none of them has been able to encompass all types and kinds of humour under one theory. Moreover, scholars who mentioned the existence of unintentional humour (Attardo, Raskin, Ross) left the question of distinguishing between intentional and unintentional jokes open. This talk is aiming at demonstrating a different – semiotic approach to ambiguity-based humour research in one respect viz. attempting to find out the relationship between linguistic sign that is ambiguous and unintentionality of humour.

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BIO

Ilham_TaghiyevIlham Taghiyev is a Lecturer in Linguistics at Khazar University, Baku, Azerbaijan. He is currently a visiting researcher at Middlesex, in the English subject area of the Media department. He graduated from Azerbaijan University of Languages and as an international student, attended courses at Delhi University, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade and the University of Edinburgh. His research topic is “The Cognitive Properties of English Humour”. He is a participant of scientific conferences and the author of several articles. Currently he is a doctoral research exchange student at Middlesex University. He speaks 4 languages: Azeri (vernacular), English, Russian and Turkish. Besides Linguistics, his sphere of interest (hobby) encompasses ancient civilizations, paranormal cases and abilities, numerology, astrology and ufology.

The Language and Communication Research Seminars are free and open to all staff, students and guests. For any questions or if you would like to lead a session, contact Anna Charalambidou.

Click here to see all 2018-19 Language & Communication research seminars.

Video-recording of Leena Robertson’s presentation

Our first Language & Communication research seminar for this year was a fascinating talk by Leena Robertson, reflecting on her, her team’s and her participants’ journey in finding names for the Romani languages used by the informants of the large ROMtels project.

Excavating naming practices in language research  methodologies: The case of Romani languages in Europe

In addition to providing a glimpse to a group of silenced and unmentioned group of languages, it raised a number of important ethical issues. Here is the link to the entire presentation.

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The Language and Communication Research Seminars are free and open to all staff, students and guests. For any questions or if you would like to lead a session, contact Anna Charalambidou.

Click here to see all 2018-19 Language & Communication research seminars.

Letter from Myanmar

The Language and Communication Research Cluster is delighted to announce a book reading and discussion by our colleague and Professor of Leadership in the Business School at Middlesex University, Prof Chris Mabey, on his forthcoming book Letters from Myanmar.

When? Friday 11th January 2019, 14.30 – 15.30

Where? Room V105, Vine building, Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

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As a western teenager in the 1960s I found myself embraced by a Burmese family. Since then my curiosity has gradually deepened about the mysterious conundrum that is Myanmar.

  • How can an assertive and glittering empire, ruling over much of South East Asia from the bejewelled palace at Ava be reduced to a secretive and isolated pariah state?
  • How is it that a prosperous economic and educational hub on the Asian subcontinent can emerge, in the second millennium as a repressive military regime?
  • How can a people renowned for their gentle hospitality and steeped in the benign pacifism of Buddhism stand by as students are gunned down in the popular uprising of 1988 or the barbaric ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya since 2017?

Chris will read and discuss some extracts from his forthcoming book. It is a first-hand glimpse from those who have lived through the unfolding history of this beguiling land. Through these ethnographic accounts we sample the distinctive flavours and smells, hear the wit and weariness and touch the fragile fabric of modern day Burma.

Professor Chris Mabey has held a career-long interest in leadership development, first as a student counsellor for a Christian charity, then as an occupational psychologist with British Telecom and in Leadership Training with Rank Xerox (UK) plc. He has worked in a variety of sectors as a management consultant, with a focus on executive coaching, team-based development and leadership development of top teams.  More recently he has combined this experience with researching, teaching and writing about leadership development, with posts at the Open University, Birkbeck (London University) and Birmingham University. Chris, who is a Chartered Psychologist (British Psychological Society). He recently led an ESRC-funded Seminar Series on Ethical Leadership: Philosophical and Spiritual Approaches (www.ethicalleadership.org.uk)

The Language and Communication Research Seminars are free and open to all staff, students and guests. For any questions or if you would like to lead a session, contact Anna Charalambidou.

Click here to see all 2018-19 Language & Communication research seminars.

New book by Middlesex colleague: In Defence of Political Correctness

Are we really free to say what we want in a liberal democracy? Or has being Politically Correct now been replaced by anti-political correctness? In this book, Middlesex Professor, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, argues that PC made public discourse more civilized. And that when people say what they damn well want, you end up with trolls, Trump and Farage and a nasty, toxic environment.

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Journalist of the Year, Yasmin Alibhai Brown is a broadcaster and author of several books. A columnist for the i and the Mirror, she is a well-known commentator on diversity, immigration and multiculturalism. She is the author of Refusing the Veil and her most recent book is Exotic England. She was awarded Broadsheet Columnist of the Year at the 2017 Press Awards.
Yasmin says: – “Libel laws, editorial judgements, broadcasting restrictions, the political atmosphere all impose limits on free speech. And yet when women, minorities, young, LGBT and disabled people object to demeaning language or, indeed, demand equality, traditionalists shout out ‘It’s PC gone mad’.  There are leading voices in this country- people like Boris Johnson, Julie Burchill. Ken Livingstone- who stoke up ugly passions in the name of freedom. Without self-moderation, our streets, schoolyards, public transport, waiting rooms and restaurants would turn into bear pits. Most citizens understand that. Some, however, seem determined to cause disorder in the name of free speech. Powerful, Machiavellian and wealthy individuals are leading this disruption and breaking the old consensus.
Thus, anti-political correctness has taken over the UK and US, spearheaded by some of the most influential voices in media and politics. Invective, lies, hate speech, bullying, intemperance and prejudice have become the new norms. Intolerance is justified through invocations of liberty. Restraint is oppression. A new order has been established in which racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia are proudly expressed.” In this powerful new book, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown puts forth a spirited defence of political correctness, forcefully arguing that, despite many failures, this movement has led to a more civilised, equal and tolerant world. By tracing the history and definition of the term, Alibhai-Brown looks to clarify the very nature of PC, which is ultimately grounded in human decency, understanding and compassion – all of which are essential for a safer and kinder world.

https://www.bitebackpublishing.com/books/in-defence-of-political-correctness

 

Special Effects and animatronics designer Adam Wright  is visiting Middlesex for a talk and workshop

Adam Wright – SFX and animatronics designer.

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Special Effects and animatronics designer Adam Wright  is visiting Middlesex for a talk and workshop during ’experience week’ on:

Monday 5th November

At 2pm in H116 lecture theatre

Workshop following this will be based in Grove GB13

As well as numerous advertising and theatre works, Adam’s film film credits include ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ and ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as well as making the horrifying bear creature for Alex Garland’s ‘Annihilation.

This is a fantastic opportunity to meet a creative industry professional and find out more about what lies behind these magical cinematic marvels!

All welcome to the talk at 2pm.

Adam will also do a workshop following on from this and MA Film have priority here, but others are very welcome to join in. As numbers are limited, we would like people to sign up by emailing a.robinson@mdx.ac.uk.  If you would like to join the workshop, we will send you some further details – materials provided, but we would like you to keep your eyes peeled over the next week or so for any strange creatures lurking in charity shops, at home, etc which you would like to bring to life..

http://adam-wright.com

Experience weeks

This year we are changing Reading Weeks to Experience Weeks!

Students and guests will have the opportunity to participate in a number of activities (workshops, guest lectures, masterclasses, festivals) that will enhance their learning, personal and professional development. These activities can be specific for BA English, or in collaboration with students and staff in other programme areas in the Media department (e.g. North London Story Festival).

This is our schedule so far (check back for updates and added events).

Week 6: 5th-9th November 2018gothic_cinderella_by_rltsweetie

Tuesday, 6th November 2018, 16.00-17.00, Room PAG02: Gothicising the Fairy Tale: Monstrous Cinderellas in Angela Carter and Ali Shaw. Presentation by Dr Carina Hart (Language & Communication Research Seminar series).

Tuesday, 6th November 2018, 19.00 OUT-SPOKEN performance, London’s premier night for poetry and live music. It celebrates diversity of voice and gives a platform to artists whose work is innovative, authentic and plural. At London 100 Club (100 Oxford Street, London W1D 1LL). We have secured some tickets for English students, free of charge, on a first-come-first served basis. We will give priority to third year students.

Wednesday, 7th November, 12.30-13.30, Room W147. A Journalism Conversation panel on Media and Moral Panic in an Age of Algorithms. From rising hate crimes which have been associated with Islamophobia, to the role played by big social media companies and elections in the form of Cambridge Analytics, Facebook and the US elections, to the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World which led to its closure and a review of press ethics! We’re joined by some key journalists and religious leaders to debate these issues:

  • Jonathan Heawood, CEO of press regulator, IMPRESS. Journalist, campaigner for freedom of expression, and featured in the Guardian’s top 100 most influential people in publishing.
  • Rabbi Rebecca Birk. Rabbi at Finchley Progressive Synagogue promoting inclusivity, social justice and liberal values.
  • Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. Journalist, author and academic and winner of numerous awards, including columnist of the year 2017.
  • James Patrick. Prolific journalist, Film-maker, and author of numerous books including Alternative War and Chemical Sausage.

 

Optional Events (registration might be required):

Monday, 5th November, 14.00, H116 (Hatchcroft) lecture theatre. Talk and workshop by Special Effects and animatronics designer Adam Wright .

Wednesday, 7th November 15.00-17.00, Room TBC Writing workshop/Alice in Canning Town by James Kenworth.

Friday, 9th November, 14.30, Television Studio, ground floor, Grove. Television Production students will be producing a Magazine Show for the Movember Foundation, broadcasting live on Friday 9th November across Facebook and Youtube.  There will be live music acts and insight into what the foundation does and how we can all help.  You are invited to be in the live audience and witness how a Studio TV show is created.

Continue reading “Experience weeks”

Excavating naming practices in language research  methodologies: The case of Romani languages in Europe

The Language and Communication research cluster is delighted to announce a presentation by our colleague and Associate Professor in Education, Dr Leena Robertson, on excavating naming practices in language research  methodologies: The case of Romani languages in Europe.

When? Friday 19th October 2018, 14.30 – 15.30

Where? Room V105, Vine building, Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

This presentation draws on a European Union (EU) funded research study (more details can be found here https://research.ncl.ac.uk/romtels/) in which the Roma research participants identified their language as ‘our gypsy language’. The process of finding names for their Romani varieties more specifically – and more ‘accurately’ and ‘formally’ – opened up new and unexpected situations. The research team’s firm and clearly acknowledged starting point had included a recognition that language names are never politically innocent or neutral, and the names of languages and linguistic varieties have always been dependent on who is doing the naming, and for what purpose, and whose purpose, and whether the naming is done by an insider or an outsider, from an emic (insider) or an etic (outsider)  perspective (Headland et al, 1991).

It is language names and naming practices that are excavated here in an on-going quest for developing more socially just methodologies. In the case of Roma people and with reference to their various Romani language names, they are a source of information of the Roma past and the various Roma groups’ routes of migration (Matras, 2005), and of social exclusion and marginalisation (Danaher, 2013; Fleck and Rughinis, 2008). Importantly, they also reveal Roma people’s agency and attempts to resist marginalisation (Danaher, 2013). One of the key findings concerned the participants’ investigation of both emic and etic naming practices of their own language – switching from emic to etic – which promoted emancipation.

Bio

LeenaRobertson

Leena Robertson is Associate Professor in the department of Education at Middlesex University, London. Leena’s work, research and publications are in the field of multilingualism, literacies, culture and learning. She has extensive experience of teaching multilingual children in schools, and working with families and community teachers. For many years she led teacher education programmes and mentored teachers and student teachers in London schools. Leena has led a network of early years teachers in Finland and Estonia in developing child-initiated pedagogies. Her latest work concerns translanguaging, Roma children and their families, and she remains committed in developing pedagogies and practices that foster social justice. Originally from Finland, Leena enjoys swimming in open seas, and in all seasons, and spending time with her family and friends.

The Language and Communication Research Seminars are free and open to all staff, students and guests. For any questions or if you would like to lead a session, contact Anna Charalambidou.

Click here to see all 2018-19 Language & Communication research seminars.