cultural history, film and visual cultures, literature, memory, Research, Transculture, Translanguage, trauma

Crossing Boundaries: Language, Culture, and Migration – CFP (Call for Papers)

silhouette of boy standing near barbed wire
Photo by Nishant Vyas on

Multilingual people are often the product of multicultural and migrant backgrounds – individuals who have travelled across borders, who have been exiled from their homelands, who have learned new languages and who can navigate a variety of cultures. The process of crossing boundaries – political, theoretical, linguistic, cultural, personal – makes us keenly aware of how parts of one area are dragged, drawn and blended into another. This symposium aims to explore multilingual and multicultural texts, films, art, the classroom, and daily lives, and to understand these spaces in terms of “transcultural” or “translanguaging” practices. By bringing together scholars of diverse fields of study and diverse language and cultural disciplines, we hope to elucidate the powers and pitfalls of translanguaging.

We are especially interested in how translanguaging and transculturing function with relation to translation and cultural studies with some specific attention (though not limited) to documentary and trauma. In addition, we welcome papers that investigate language and migration, exile and identity. We hope to learn how movement across boundaries in a broad sense impacts on the creation of and language use in the texts and cultures examined.

Confirmed keynote speakers:

  • Professor Hiromi Itō, an internationally acclaimed Japanese poet who has won a number of prestigious literary awards since the late 1970s. She spent two decades in the USA before returning to Japan, where she is Professor of literature at Waseda University. She has appeared in numerous international poetry festivals, conferences, and workshops.
  • Associate Professor Natalie Edwards (The University of Adelaide) who is an expert in translanguaging in Francophone migrant women’s writing. She is author and editor of many books and is currently leading an ARC Discovery Grant entitled “Transnational Selves: French Narratives of Migration to Australia.”
  • Associate Professor Alison Levine (University of Virginia), an expert in documentary who publishes on nation, space and boundaries. Her books include Vivre Ici: Space, Place and Experience in Contemporary French Documentary and Framing the Nation: Documentary Film in Interwar France.

This symposium is co-hosted by the Translation and Interpreting and Cultural Studies researchers in the School of Languages and Cultures at UQ. Presentations will run for 1.5 days with a half-day workshop in sub-clusters to provide feedback and to plan for publications. There will also be an evening reception and poetry reading by Hiromi Itō.

Submissions of abstracts (no more than 250 words) and a short bio should be sent to by 30 July 2019. 

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