SOAS University of London

Department of Linguistics, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Language and Conflict: Politics of Language and Identity across Contexts


Date: 20 May 2016Time: 9:00 AM

Finishes: 20 May 2016Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B102

Type of Event: Workshop

Keynote speakers:  

Prof. Hilary Footitt (University of Reading); Dr Zoë Marriage (Violence, Peace and Development Research Cluster, SOAS, University of London)


This one day workshop brings together scholars and graduate students working on the role of language in on-going and post-conflict contexts.  Examples could include (but are not limited to) the Middle East, Africa, the Balkans, and Western Europe, including diaspora and migration contexts.


Brunei Gallery, B102
08:30 - 09:00

Arrival, badges

09:00 - 09:15


Birgul Yilmaz / Julia Sallabank, SOAS

09:15 - 10:00


The Listening Zones of Western intervention: language policies and practices of NGOs

Hilary Footitt, University of Reading

PANEL 1: B102 PANEL 2: B101
10:00 - 10:30

(In)security and 'unease' around the languages of Muslims in the West

Kamran Khan, University of Leicester

10:00 - 10:30

Is there any conflict of the Basque language?  An early attempt to unmask the conflicting language ideologies in the Basque Country

Beñat Garaio, EHU/UPV (University of the Basque Country) & Board Member of GEU Elkartea (Gasteiz)

10:30 - 11:00

The Discourse Analysis of the Language Used in Tanzanian Kiswahili Newspapers

Faraja Kristomus, University of Dar es Salaam

10:30 - 11:00

Language and conflict: the Mapuche context

Robbie Penman, SOAS, University of London

11:00 - 11:30 TEA/COFFEE BREAK
11:30 - 12:00

From Minority to Official Language: The New Status of Kurdish Language after 2003

Mohamad Yahya Abdullah (Al Buraimi University College, Buraimi, Oman) and Ahmed Hani Naif (Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia Nilai, Malaysia)

11:30 - 12:00

"They have lived in our street for six years now and still don't speak a work [!] of English": Scenarios of alleged linguistic underperformance as part of anti-immigrant discourses

Andreas Musolff, University of East Anglia

12:00 - 12:30

Romeika its social implications: Turkish Nationalism and Socio-cultural differences in public

Erol Sa─člam, Birkbeck University of London

12:00 - 12:30

Urban Discourses of Moroccan Youth Counterpublics

Hamdi Echkaou, University of Mohammed V< Rabat, Morocco

12:30 - 13:30 LUNCH BREAK (SOAS Main Building)
13:30 - 14:15


Reiterating struggle in an age of liberal peace

Zoë Marriage, SOAS, University of London

PANEL 3, B102 PANEL 4, B101
14:15 - 14:45

Globalisation, transnational identities, and conflict talk: The complexity of the Latino identity

Pilar G. Blitvich, University of North Carolina, USA

14:15 - 14:45

Language Politics and National Orientation in Eritrea

Chefena Hailemariam, TS4SE Manchester

14:45 - 15:15

"I hope it Brings Wisdom": When ROTC Cadets Reflect on the Effects of Learning Critical Languages on the Development of their Intercultural Communication Competence

Emmanuelle Chiocca, Oklahoma University

14:45 - 15:15

Hegemony and Counter-hegemony in the language campaigns in China

Lingxia Zhou, SOAS, University of London

15:15 - 15:30 TEA/COFFEE BREAK
15:30 - 16:00

Wekama (Shawi) and Tédújukó (Bora): Language Politics in Peru after the Period of Political Violence

Andrés Napurí, Catholic University of Peru

15:30 - 16:00

The Frog and the Phoenix: Genocide and cultural violence and their effects on cultural identity

Harry Willoughby, SOAS, University of London

16:00 - 16:30

Assyrians in Iraq - Language Endangerment Policies and Politicising of a Language

Nineb Lamassu, Cambridge University

DINNER (optional)

Call for Papers

Organizing Committee: Birgul Yilmaz and Dr Julia Sallabank

This one day workshop brings together scholars and graduate students working on the role of language in on-going and post-conflict contexts. Examples could include (but are not limited to) the Middle East, Africa, the Balkans, and Western Europe, including diaspora and migration contexts.

The workshop aims at exploring the intersection of language and conflict on several levels, stressing the role of language and identity:

  • Firstly, a micro level with a particular focus on the interactional construction or discourse of conflict (and resolution)
  • Secondly, we focus on the macro structures of conflict, drawing on processes of language policies and revitalization in such contexts
  • Thirdly, we focus on the potential role of languages in inter-community, intra-community or social cohesion.

We welcome papers from fields such as:

  • Sociolinguistics
  • Linguistic Anthropology
  • Critical/ Discourse Analysis
  • Political Science
  • Conflict, Peace, Violence and Development Studies

Interdisciplinary studies are especially welcome.

This event is a one-day workshop with two keynote presentations and presentations by selected speakers (max. 20), in parallel sessions. We invite 20-minute-long papers contributing to the debate on the relationship between language and conflict contested on interactional and policy-based dimensions. Each of the presenters would have 20 minutes for the talk, plus 10 minutes for questions. 

Submissions of 300-word abstracts should be sent to:

The deadline for submissions is: 30th March 2016.

Accepted speakers will be notified on: 20th April 2016.

*Attendance at this workshop is free. We have a small travelling bursary for accepted speakers who are students/ unwaged towards travel costs within the UK.

*Abstracts will be blind reviewed; please make sure that your abstract is blinded as a Word/RTF document or pdf.

*Find us on the Sociolinguistic Events Calendar

How to get here

Click for SOAS Map page

Nearest Underground stations

  • Russell Square (follow campus map link above) - direct link from Heathrow Airport
  • Goodge Street
  • Tottenham Court Road
  • Euston
  • Euston Square



Organiser: Birgul Yilmaz and Dr Julia Sallabank