SOAS University of London

Department of Linguistics, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Symposium on the Politics of Language Policy at the Local Level


Date: 22 September 2017Time: 9:00 AM

Finishes: 22 September 2017Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Paul Webley Wing (Senate House) Room: S209 and S211

Type of Event: Conference

Language Policy is highly political and often controversial, with official top-down policy criticized by scholars for serving dominant political interests and reproducing unequal power relations.

This one-day symposium aims to move the discussion forwards by treating Language Policy as a dynamic socio-cultural process. Accordingly, we invite papers that explore the politics of Language Policy at the local level. In particular, we welcome papers that: 

  • Reflect on the ways in which communities interpret, negotiate and resist official Language Policy
  • Examine interactions between various policy stakeholders
  • Explore how local language practices and unofficial community-level policies can further the political aims and agendas of minority communities
  • Consider the role of language ideologies in determining Language Policy outcomes

The symposium encourages interdisciplinary discussion and we welcome submissions from fields such as: Linguistic Anthropology, Sociolinguistics, Education Studies, Political Science, Endangered Language Studies and Migration Studies.

Submission of abstracts

The deadline for submissions is Friday 14th July 2017, 12:00 midnight. 

Presentations will last 30 minutes in total, with 20 minutes for the talk and 10 minutes for discussion. Abstracts should be no longer than 300 words, not including any references. Each author is limited to a single abstract, including co-authored submissions. Please email your submission, including your name and affiliation, to


We look forward to welcoming you to the symposium! Please visit our Eventbrite page to register for your place online. 

The event is free to attend and will include tea and coffee, a light lunch and an evening drinks reception. 

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Patrick Heinrich (Università Ca' Foscari Venezia, Italy).  

Programme and abstract booklet

LPP symposium programme (pdf; 471kb)  

LPP symposium abstract booklet (pdf; 816kb)  

Important dates

Deadline for abstract submission: 14th July 2017

Notification of acceptance: 28th July 2017

Symposium: 22nd September 2017


Ellen Foote, Sophie Mu, Sheena Shah