Across Languages: Translingualism in Contemporary Women’s Writing

Across Languages: Translingualism in Contemporary Women’s Writing
30 May 2019, 9.00am - 31 May 2019, 6.00pm
Conference / Symposium
Room G7, Ground Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Anna-Louise Milne, University of London Institute in Paris

Rebecca L. Walkowitz, Rutgers University

This conference is organised by the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing (CCWW) in collaboration with the AHRC Open World Research Initiative project ‘Cross-Language Dynamics: Cross-Language Dynamics'. It follows on from an exploratory workshop that was held at the IMLR in March 2018 (‘A New Language - a New Life? Translingual literature by contemporary women writers’). Our aim is to bring together scholars working on translingual women’s writing in a range of language fields, in order to explore the particular richness of texts produced by writers in languages that are not their mother tongues. 

In the current era of mass migration and transnational movement, analysis of translingualism as the mode of expression of this movement is an important area of inquiry. Where static concepts of belonging are questioned and increasingly replaced by hybrid identities and affiliations and by fluid attachments, changing with time, the power of translingual language use and its analysis can become a means to re-imagine the identitarian force of language, it can bring to the fore new subjectivities and new forms of community (Kellman, 2000; Yildiz, 2012). Considered in conjunction with questions of gender and power, translingual writing can also reveal powerful ways of conceptualizing emancipatory feminine writing. Beyond concerns of identity formation, furthermore, translingual language use opens up new ways of thinking and of deconstructing established modes of expression through associative cross-language connections.  In so transcending the binaries of language use it is apt to reveal new forms of literary writing.

Booking to open shortly.

Supported by the Cassal Trust, the John Coffin Memorial Trust and the Keith Spalding Fund.

This event is organised Centre for Contemporary Women's Writing, the Institute of Modern Languages Research and the Open World Research Initiative (OWRI) Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community, Translingual Strand. You can find out more about the OWRI project by visiting our website or following us on Twitter.


Jon Millington
020 7862 8726