CfP: Transnationalising the Word: A Decolonising Approach to the Teaching and Learning of Modern Languages

CfP: Transnationalising the Word: A Decolonising Approach to the Teaching and Learning of Modern Languages
9 April 2021, 11.55pm - 11.59pm
Call for Papers

Call for Papers

Abstract deadline: 9 April 2021
Symposium: 2 July 2021

Organisers: Marcela Cazzoli (Durham) and Liz Wren-Owens (Cardiff)

The Transnationalizing Modern Languages (TML) project initiated a debate aimed at creating a vision for Modern Languages centred on the interactions between languages and cultures, away from the traditional methodologies of colonial nationalism. This has been accompanied by efforts in UK universities to decolonise the curriculum and address structural racism in our academic practices. The discipline of Modern Languages is going through one of its most challenging times; not only is it undergoing deep transformation but is also recruiting from an ever-shrinking pool of students opting for languages at GCSE and A Level. 
In its report, the TML project identifies a set of issues that research and teaching in Modern Languages need to address to remain sustainable and relevant: the perception that language is only a tool, the understanding of languages as anchored to particular nations, and last but not least, the value of English as a major colonial lingua franca of the world that eliminates the need and enthusiasm for other languages. 

As a theoretical and practical approach to research in Modern Languages, Transnationalism has already established interconnections between areas of the world through different lenses, challenging misconceptions, and opening multilingual, multicultural and interdisciplinary directions. How this translates into educational practice, however, is a conversation that still needs to be had.  

Language education should inevitably be high on the agenda, as other debates around the global and the local cannot properly be conducted without thinking about languages. A natural next step in the debate started by the TML project and the current decolonisation initiatives should therefore be a discussion on how to teach transnationally, ie, how to move from a form-focused, culturally-narrow Eurocentric practice to one where the curriculum and teaching materials are embedded in a wider socio-cultural perspective. 

This symposium aims to create a space to share best practice and collectively explore how we can adapt our teaching to a transnational and decolonising approach, focussing on the teaching of language, cultural studies, and the intersections between them. We particularly welcome papers which 

Showcase examples of best practice in language teaching and/or cultural studies from a transnational and/or decolonising perspective
Highlight ways in which language teaching and cultural studies teaching can work together to further these aims
Offer models for how scholarly communities have come together to overcome obstacles in implementing these kinds of changes to teaching
Offer a starting point for discussion in related areas

The symposium will be held online via zoom on Friday 2 July 2021.

Abstracts of up to 200 words should be sent by 9 April to 

Papers will be 20 minutes long. 

If you have any queries, please contact the organisers:
Dr Marcela Cazzoli 
Dr Liz Wren-Owens 


Marcela Cazzoli
020 7862 8738