The section 'Postcolonial innovations and transformations: Putting language in the forefront' of the international conference 'Innovations and Reproductions in Cultures and Societies (IRICS)' (December 9-11, 2005, Vienna, AUstria) invites interdisciplinary papers that investigate the innovations and transformations in postcolonial societies. The focus is broad and is intended to tackle such issues as language and identity, the nation state and language choices, cultural imprints on languages, language choices and roles, statuses of (ex)colonial languages, among other things -- in postcolonial contexts.
One of the outcomes of colonialism is the spread and the subsequent renovation or transformation of European languages (see Kachru 1985, etc.) that bore the "linguistic cultural baggage" (Samarin 1984:436) brought along by the colonialists. Language was a major tool in this expedition, which consisted not only in the acquisition of raw materials, the expansion of markets, the spread of empires and kingdoms but also in the quest for new citizens overseas. The quest for new citizens meant the spread of new or as it was believed ‘authentic' cultures to the colonised regions. These colonial impetuses have had several results on postcolonial societies and on their choices and application of languages - both foreign and indigenous. For example, the English has evolved severally into what are generally called today the New Englishes, Non-native Englishes, Indigenised Varieties of English, etc. On the other hand, there has been the re-definition or transformation of the roles of the other languages within these societies - a process that has shaped not only linguistic trajectories but also social and cultural interpretations of life and communication.
This section does not concentrate on what has changed in (ex)colonial languages but uses these changes to situate at what point they induce changes in the general society. It pays attention the relationship between indigenous languages (mostly oral) and the foreign languages (mostly written) introduced during colonialism. Focus is on, but not limited to, the following issues:
- the expanding role of English
- the diminishing or increasing role of native languages
- nation state and the promotion of neutral languages
- linguistic identity opportunism and fluctuation (Anchimbe, forthcoming)
- language choices and functions in national life
- cultural and societal imprints on (ex)colonial languages
- bilingualism/multilingualism in the oral-written language relationship
Papers that handle one or more of the above issues or others linked to them are welcome. Interdisciplinary perspectives are especially appreciated since the topic itself stretches across several disciplines: history, linguistics, ethnology, anthropology, sociology …..
Submission of abstracts: Send half-page abstracts to Eric Anchimbe at firstname.lastname@example.org by the 29th of September 2005.
Conference dates: 9 - 11, December 2005 at Congress Centrum, Vienna, Austria
The contributions to the conference "Innovations and Reproductions in Cultures and Societies" will be published in TRANS 16, beginning in December 2005. Contributions to be considered for the CD will only be accepted up to 31 May 2006. Contributions for TRANS, however, may be submitted at any time.
The guidelines for publication you will find on the TRANS-Homepage: http://www.inst.at/trans/transstyle_e.htm
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