Museums and Social Issues Call for Papers: Understanding and Engaging Multilingual Audiences
Call for Papers Date:
Museums and Social Issues: A Journal of Reflective Discourse
Topic: Understanding and Engaging Multilingual Audiences
Guest Editors Cecilia Garibay and Steven Yalowitz
Submission deadline: August 25, 2014 Publication date: Winter, 2015
Special Issue Theme
Volume 10:1 of Museums and Social Issues, a journal of reflective discourse, will explore issues related to multilingual audiences in museums, zoos, aquariums, and other visitor institutions. This special issue seeks to advance the field’s dialogue in understanding and meaningfully engaging multilingual audiences. We use the term “multilingual” to include those who speak two or more languages; this could include spoken and written languages, completely oral (not written) languages, indigenous languages, and visual languages like ASL.
It is frequently acknowledged that museums need to do a much better job of successfully engaging diverse audiences, including linguistically diverse groups. There is often controversy around offering experiences in more than one language, with some positing that a general population should speak one “official” language, while others argue that acknowledging and planning for the needs of multilingual groups creates a more democratic and inclusive society.
This special issue seeks to add to the rather sparse literature on understanding and engaging multilingual audiences. We hope this special issue will be a catalyst for the museum field to better consider, prepare for and plan multilingual efforts. It is important to note that while we are interested in evidence for the value of multilingual efforts, we are also interested in articles that explore or focus on the consequences or challenges of multilingual experiences. We are very interested in an international perspective and encourage our international colleagues to submit articles for consideration.
Priority will be given to articles that broadly consider, discuss, and synthesize the issues about this topic. We are looking for papers that are broad in nature, provide theoretical and practical ideas, and are relevant to more than one institution or audience. While case studies will be considered, they will be stronger submissions if they focus more on how the findings can be applied to other institutions, and add to the literature base. We are especially seeking articles on research and evaluation conducted with multilingual audiences, as well as those that discuss theory, thought pieces and practitioner-focused submission.
We welcome submissions from disciplines inside and outside the museum fields. Through this special issue, we hope to synthesize the current state of the field and bring together a range of perspectives from a variety of fields that can advance the conversation about this critical topic.
Potential submission topics
Though we welcome all submissions relevant to the call outlined above, following are some examples of potential topics:
Basic research or evaluation about the impact of providing a multilingual experience in a museum setting (exhibitions, programs and other opportunities). For example, how does the addition of other languages affect the intended audiences? Additionally, what impacts, if any, does this have on audiences who don’t speak that language? We are particularly interested in cross-institutional studies.
Articles about the theory of language use and multilingual experiences, from fields such as psychology, sociology, linguistics, anthropology, science learning, education, and others. How might these theories translate to museum practice, particularly in terms of the design and development of multilingual experiences?
Articles focusing on institutional process and decision-making around incorporating (or not) multilingual approaches, with a focus on how similar approaches can be applied in other institutions.
Thought pieces on the philosophical, political, and social dimensions of engaging linguistically diverse groups. For example, how do changing global trends, especially immigration and technology use, shape the way we think about linguistic support? Where does (or doesn’t) equity fit into this conversation?
If you have any questions about the call for proposals, please contact Elee Wood, editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Materials submitted to the journal should not be under consideration by other publishers, nor should they be previously published in any form. All article submissions will be sent to independent referees. It is a condition of publication that on acceptance of the paper by the journal Editor that copyright must be assigned to W. S. Maney & Son, Ltd. All submissions should be sent to Elee Wood, Director, Museum Studies Program, IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Phone (317) 274-7332, email: email@example.com. Authors wishing to correspond directly with the Editor are also welcome to do so via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. See our website for more information: http://www.maneyonline.com/loi/msi
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