Partnership with Unitas Youth Zone

Everyone at Middlesex University is so excited to be partnering with Unitas Youth Zone. And no-one is more excited than our BA English students who will be delivering the newly-launched homework club from 5th November 2019.

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Our 3rd year BA English students, Melissa and Shimyla, will be running the seniors homework club on Tuesday afternoons (for 13 -18 year old & up to 25 for those with disabilities) and the juniors (8-12 year olds) on Wednesday afternoons, from November 2019 to May 2020.

Barnet Youth Zone, named by young people as ‘Unitas’, is an independent charity for the borough’s young people aged 8 – 19, and up to 25 for those with disabilities.  The youth centre provides a safe environment where young people can enjoy themselves and develop skills to build confidence and raise attainment to create a happier and healthier generation.

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Middlesex partnership with Unitas aims:

  • To enable BA English Middlesex students develop skills and knowledge in teaching and mentoring and share experiences of university life;
  • To inspire young people from low-income families to aspire to higher level learning;
  • To support them in making informed decisions post-16 and post-18;
  • To provide role models to help raise self-esteem;
  • To improve young people’s wellbeing;
  • To enhance the visibility of English as a university subject area.

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Check back at our londonenglish.live website for updates on how our English students, Melissa and Shimyla, are getting on in the new roles as homework club helpers at Unitas.

The Middlesex Annual Roundtable on Signs, Language and Communication

The Language and Communication research cluster is pleased to announce the Second Roundtable on Signs, Language and Communication that will take place on 7 and 8 January 2020 on the campus of Middlesex University London.

The Middlesex Roundtable on Signs, Language and Communication is an annual workshop launched in January 2019 to encourage discussion between three paradigms of language and communication theory: the integrationism of Roy Harris and his followers, biosemiotics and philosophy of communication. These areas of thought and scholarship share assumptions regarding the fundamental role played by communicative interaction in the emergence of signification, meaning and relationality. They also share views of communication and language that are not limited to the understanding of language as a code-based domain.

The Roundtable is an initiative of Paul Cobley (Professor of Language and Media, Middlesex), Adrian Pablé (Associate Professor, Department of English, Hong Kong University) and Johan Siebers (Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Middlesex). It aims to create fruitful interactions between these approaches in an informal context of invited papers, “flipped” conference style (short talks, long conversations) and, each year, a focus on a different topic.

The first Roundtable in 2019 provided participants with the opportunity to discuss basic features of the three approaches. A special issue of Sign Systems Studies based on the papers presented there is in preparation.

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The theme of the second Roundtable will be intersubjectivity. A program and further details about the 2020 Roundtable will be published on London English and our cluster’s website and in due course.

If you have any questions and/or would like to participate, please contact Johan Siebers.

I Interpret You

THE LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION RESEARCH CLUSTER IS DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE A PRESENTATION BY OUR COLLEAGUE AND ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION DR JOHAN SIEBERS ON the role of language in interpersonal encounters in the language philosophies of Donald Davidson and Martin Buber.

When? Thursday 12th December 2019, 15.00 – 16.00

Where? Room G230 (Grove building), Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

Abstract:

In this talk I will present research done in cooperation with Prof Eli Dresner, Tel Aviv University. We compared the accounts of the role of language in interpersonal encounters in the language philosophies of Donald Davidson and Martin Buber, two thinkers from very different schools thought. The striking parallels as well as the telling differences that emerged allow us to formulate a new perspective on the role played by codes and meaning in communication as well as on basic aspects of the ontology and ethics of communication. Part of this research project was published as “I Intepret You. Davidson and Buber”, in Review of Metaphysics, vol. 73 (1), 2019, 109-126.

 

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Johan Siebers is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Middlesex University. He is also an Associate Fellow at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, where he leads the Ernst Bloch Centre for German Thought. He has published widely on 19th and 20th century German philosophy, metaphysics, philosophy of communication, rhetoric and futurity. He is founding editor of Empedocles: European Journal for Philosophy of Communication. Before coming to Middlesex he designed and led the first MA in Rhetoric in the UK, at the University of Central Lancashire.

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 2019-20 Language & Communication research seminars.

Reading and distributed perspectives workshop: 8-9 May 2019

This workshop, run by the Language and Communication Research Cluster, is designed to foster further development of the interface of current research into reading, textual analysis, distributed language and associated perspectives.

PROGRAMME

Wednesday, 8 May 2019, in Room CG06

1230 to 1315 Arrival and lunch

1315 to 1330 Introduction – PAUL COBLEY and JOHAN SIEBERS (both Middlesex University)

1330 to 1415 ‘Rereading Whorf: The Aufhebung of linguistic relativity and its implications for textual analysis’ – JOHAN SIEBERS

1415 to 1500 ‘Reading, reality and distributed perspectives’ – PAUL COBLEY

1500 to 1545 ‘Deflating symbols’ – STEPHEN COWLEY (University of Southern Denmark)

1545 to 1615 Tea/Coffee

1615 to 1700 “Reading close in class” – ALAN DURANT (Middlesex University)

1700 to 1745 ‘Shared acts of reading across digital platforms’ – BRONWEN THOMAS (Bournemouth University)
Thursday, 9 May 2019, in Room CG11

1000 to 1045 ‘Wikipedia and the social construction of neutrality’ – STEFAN LUTSCHINGER (Middlesex University)

1045 to 1130 ‘Reading beyond the reader: a multiscale view on reading’ – SARAH BRO TRASMUNDI (University of Southern Denmark)

1130 to 1215 ‘Hearing narratives’ – ADAM LIVELY and TANSY SPINKS (both Middlesex University)

1215 to 1245 Lunch

1245 to 1500 Project discussion

1500 Close

 

For more details, feel free to email Professor Paul Cobley at p.cobley@mdx.ac.uk.

CALL  FOR PAPERS: The Constructionist View of Communication: Promises and Challenges

We welcome paper for the ECREA Philosophy of Communication Section Workshop, entitled ‘The Constructionist View of Communication: Promises and Challenges’, at the Department of Philosophy, Tel Aviv University, 18-20 September, 2019.

ecrea_smallWhat is communication? There is no single answer to this fundamental question. According to the (still prevailing) transmission view, communication consists in the transfer of messages from sender to receiver. According to the constructionist perspective, on the other hand, in the processes of communication meanings are constituted, not merely transferred. This perspective has many variants (the ritual / constitutive model, use-oriented philosophical outlooks on linguistic meaning, social construction of communication approach, or systems theory – to name only a few), and is pursued (either explicitly or implicitly) by a variety of communication scholars, as well as thinkers in related fields. At the same time, communication constructionism still has its staunch opponents.

The objective of this workshop is to bring together scholars of communication studies, philosophy and neighbouring fields to explore the current faces of constructionism in communication research.

Thus we invite papers concerned with the following questions and topics, among others:

  • Theoretical developments of the constructionist position
  • Formal models of constructionism
  • Critical analyses of constructionism (or its specific variants)
  • Discussions of philosophical/theoretical perspectives on communication that embody the constructionist outlook
  • Applications of the constructionist view in particular case-studies

Please send extended abstracts (up to 400 words) to Eli Dresner, Tel Aviv University, dresner@post.tau.ac.il, by April 7, 2019. Notification of acceptance by May 5, 2019.

For more information, please visit http://philosophyofcommunication.eu

Organizing Committee:

  • Kęstas Kirtiklis, chair (Vilnius University)
  • Eli Dresner (Tel Aviv University)
  • Joana Bicacro (Lusofona University)
  • Mats Bergman (University of Helsinki)
  • Johan Siebers (Middlesex University London)
  • Lydia Sanchez (University of Barcelona)
  • Jose Gomez Pinto (Lusofona University)

 

An analysis of the image of women in cosmetic surgery leaflets: visual grammar as a tool to discover stereotypes

We are absolutely delighted to host Professor María Martínez Lirola (University of Alicante) for a seminar on her cutting-edge research on the use of image of women in cosmetic surgery leaflets.

When Tuesday, 19th March 2019, 16.00-18.00

Where? Room PRTCB6B (Portacabin), Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

There are many texts in which images of women are used for different purposes in our society. This research explores the main strategies used to create meaning in multimodal texts used by leaflets advertising cosmetic surgery in Alicante (Spain).  The study aims to point out that women are treated as objects in these leaflets. To demonstrate this argument the main visual and linguistic characteristics will be analysed in multimodal texts in which people are persuaded of the benefits of such surgery. Special attention will be paid to the influence that the different linguistic and visual choices may have on society. This study reveals that the image of women that appears in some leaflets of this type is so aggressive that it could be understood as a new form of gender violence.

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lirolaMaría Martínez Lirola is Professor of the Department of English at the University of Alicante, Spain and Research Fellow at the University of South Africa (UNISA). Her main areas of research are Applied Linguistics, Critical Discourse Analysis and Systemic Functional Linguistics. She has published more than 70 papers and seven books, such as Main Processes of Thematization and Postponement in English (Peter Lang, 2009). She has been a visiting scholar in different universities such as: Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD, 2015), University of Nottingham, Malaysia campus (2015), University of British Columbia and University of Montréal (2014), Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada, 2012), University of South Africa, UNISA (Pretoria, South Africa, 2012), University of Anahuac Mayad (Mérida, Mexico, 2008), University of Kwazulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, 2006), and Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia, 2005). She has presented papers in international congresses all over the world.

 

This is the full list of all the diverse seminars Professor Lirola will lead during her stay at Middlesex – all part of the Language & Communication Research Seminars series. Everyone is welcome!

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.

Teaching visit of Professor María Martínez Lirola

We are absolutely delighted to host Professor María Martínez Lirola (University of Alicante) for a teaching visit to BA English at Middlesex, between 18th and 22nd of March 2019.

This is a list of the three diverse seminars she will lead at Middlesex University, London- all part of the Language & Communication Research Seminars series. Everyone is welcome!

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AN ANALYSIS OF THE IMAGE OF WOMEN IN COSMETIC SURGERY LEAFLETS: VISUAL GRAMMAR AS A TOOL TO DISCOVER STEREOTYPES. 

Tuesday, 19th March 2019, 16.00-18.00 at room PRTCB6B (Portacabin)

There are many texts in which images of women are used for different purposes in our society. This research explores the main strategies used to create meaning in multimodal texts used by leaflets advertising cosmetic surgery in Alicante (Spain).  The study aims to point out that women are treated as objects in these leaflets. To demonstrate this argument the main visual and linguistic characteristics will be analysed in multimodal texts in which people are persuaded of the benefits of such surgery. Special attention will be paid to the influence that the different linguistic and visual choices may have on society. This study reveals that the image of women that appears in some leaflets of this type is so aggressive that it could be understood as a new form of gender violence.


 

APPROACHING THE REPRESENTATION OF SUB-SAHARAN IMMIGRANTS IN A SAMPLE FROM THE SPANISH PRESS: DECONSTRUCTING STEREOTYPES 

Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 14.30 -16.30, at room V105 (Vine building) 

Spain has become a country receiving immigrants in the last years. The majority of the items of news related to immigration that appear in the press exhibit negative characteristics. The main purpose of this article is to observe the linguistic and visual representation of Sub-Saharan immigrants in a sample of the Spanish press in order to answer the following research questions: how are Sub-Saharan immigrants portrayed linguistically and visually in the given press? What are the implications of the choices in language and images?

The researcher collected all the pieces of news related to Sub-Saharan immigrants in the three most popular Spanish newspapers, i.e., El País, ABC and El Mundo from 1 June 2011 to 31 December 2014. Visual grammar and critical discourse analysis (CDA) will be used in order to deconstruct the visual and linguistic representation of such immigrants. In addition, van Leeuwen’s (2008) classification of social actors will be used in the analysis.

The analysis demonstrates that the representation of Sub-Saharan immigrants displays the following characteristics: they are represented as vulnerable, lacking autonomy, as victims, etc. This representation does not contribute to the fact that the autochthonous population favours the integration of immigrants into the socio-economic structure, exercising the same rights as the Spanish population, and therefore that the dichotomy we-they is emphasized.


HOW CAN WE INTRODUCE CULTURE AND CRITICAL THINKING IN THE CLASSROOM? EXPLORING THE USE OF MULTIMODAL TEXTS IN THE CLASSROOM 

Thursday, 21st March 2019, 17.00-19.00, at room C110 (College building)

The multimodal nature of present societies makes clear that teaching with authentic multimodal texts can contribute to bring different cultural realities into the classroom. In this sense, it was decided to use texts published by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in order to teach visual grammar (Kress and van Leeuwen, 2006) in a master course.

These texts were also selected because they are appropriate to teach cultural aspects, and the reality of poor countries; they also allow the acquisition of interpersonal competences. This paper will point out that teaching students to be critical with the discourse produced by NGOs is essential in order to unveil relationships of domination and power because discourse is always a powerful tool used to reproduce social reality.


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María Martínez Lirola is Professor of the Department of English at the University of Alicante, Spain and Research Fellow at the University of South Africa (UNISA). Her main areas of research are Applied Linguistics, Critical Discourse Analysis and Systemic Functional Linguistics. She has published more than 70 papers and seven books, such as Main Processes of Thematization and Postponement in English (Peter Lang, 2009). She has been a visiting scholar in different universities such as: Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD, 2015), University of Nottingham, Malaysia campus (2015), University of British Columbia and University of Montréal (2014), Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada, 2012), University of South Africa, UNISA (Pretoria, South Africa, 2012), University of Anahuac Mayad (Mérida, Mexico, 2008), University of Kwazulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, 2006), and Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia, 2005). She has presented papers in international congresses all over the world.

 

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.