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.

National security as a motivation in language-in-education policy

The Language and Communication Research Cluster is delighted to announce a presentation by Professor Anthony J. Liddicoat (University of Warwick) on national security as a motivation in language-in-education policy.

When? Thursday, 26 March 2020, 15.00-16.00

Where? Room CG09 (College building), Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

johan-R2-featForeign language education has often been associated with questions of preserving national security and, when this happens, the inclusion of security as part of the agenda for language education brings particular ideologies into the articulation of policies. One argument found commonly in language policy focused on security is the idea that ensuring security requires that a society as a whole has an understanding and knowledge of those nations or other groups which pose possible security threats and language education is seen as a way to develop such understanding and knowledge. However, what is meant by knowledge and understanding of another can be constructed in different ways.

This presentation will examine both general issues relating to language education policies relating to national security and also specific policy initiatives at particular historical moments during which security has been a key government concern. Both orientations consider language as a barrier for effective national security but construct the solution to such a barrier in different ways. They also construct different expectations around language learners and the ways that language learners are thought to intervene to resolve issues of national security.

 

Research Interests

Picture by www.edwardmoss.co.uk All rights reserved Warwick UniversityProfessor Tony Liddicoat’s research spans a number of areas of applied linguistics including language education, language policy and planning and discourse analysis. Much of his work has focused on the relationship between intercultural understanding and language teaching and learning and the ways that learning a foreign language can promote intercultural capabilities. He is especially interested in understanding how classroom practices that look at the interrelationships between language and culture in the processes of making, communicating and interpreting meanings can enhance language education. He is also interested in how societies and institutions plan language education and what the consequences of this are teachers, students and the society at large.

Biography

Professor Tony Liddicoat’s educational background is in descriptive and applied linguistics and he completed his PhD in Norman French dialects in the Department of French at the University of Melbourne. Since then the focus of his work has mainly been in applied linguistics. Before going to the University of Warwick in 2016, he worked at a number of universities in Australia teaching in both linguistics and applied linguistics. In 1999, he was one of the founding editors of the journal Current Issues in Language Planning, and since 2014 I have been the Executive Editor.

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.

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.

2019-20 Language & Communication Research Seminars

The Language & Communication research cluster is excited to announce the fantastic line-up of presenters for our 2019-20 research seminars, at our HENDON CAMPUS. The seminars feature world-leading authorities and acclaimed practitioners who discuss their work on language, discourse and communication, literature, creative writing, media and cultural studies. Hope to see you all there!

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  • Dr Johan Siebers: I Interpret You. Thursday 12th December 2019, 15.00-16.00, Room G230 (Grove building).
  • Dr Josie Barnard: The Multimodal Writer. Thursday, 12th March 2020, 15.00-16.00, Room CG09 (College building).

 

 

Check back here for additional listings.

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.

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.