UCML are pleased to advertise the following event, organised by members and associates of our organisation:
Language Acts and Worldmaking Debates Series 2023, Debate 3:
Precarious Voices in Language Studies: methodological shifts precipitated by precarity
17th May 2023, 18.00-20.00 (BST), Language Resource Centre (Room K-1.072, first basement) of the King’s Building), Strand Campus,
King’s College London, WC2R 2LS and by Zoom
Hybrid event in person and by Zoom
To register, please follow this link:
A panel of Early Career Researchers debates the challenges that now profoundly mark early career academic trajectories. The Debate takes as a starting point Hannah Scott and James Illingworth’s current research on ECRs in French Studies which explores the methodological shifts precipitated by precarity, not only recording those methods precarity has rendered researchers unable to pursue, but also investigating the new or alternative methods which precarious researchers have, nonetheless, pursued.
Academia today, more than ever before, poses challenges that profoundly mark the early-career trajectories of the youngest third of its workforce. From the expectation some thirty-years ago that one would hone one’s skills through a couple of temporary positions before settling into an established lectureship, now highly-experienced and even field-leading scholars tread precariously from post to post for many years after the successful acquisition of their PhD. Indeed, the precarity of this professional trajectory impacts seriously upon the personal life, mental and physical health, and long-term financial security of those who seek to follow it.
The panel discussion seeks to better comprehend the creativity and ingenuity of precarious researchers in the face of adversity across the range of Modern Languages and allied disciplines as well as its personal and professional impact. Questions include how constraint has perhaps been confronted with insightful work and innovative modes of working; how collaboration has been either foregone or fostered to good effect; and, perhaps, how belief in the importance of research has changed.This Debate, like the research which inspired it, does not seek to turn precarity into a positive, rather, it seeks to better comprehend the creativity and ingenuity of precarious researchers in the face of adversity.
Chaired by Rachel Scott, Lecturer in World and Hispanic Literatures; Director of Comparative Literature/Director of Hispanic Studies, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Royal Holloway, University of London;
With Hannah Scott, NUAcT Fellow in French Cultural History, Newcastle University, James Illingworth, Lecturer in French, School of Modern Languages, Cardiff University, Martina Borghi, Italian Language Tutor, School of Humanities, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Royal Holloway, University of London, Mona Habeb, Institute of Languages, Cultures and Society (ILCS), School of Advanced Study, University of London and other Early Career Researchers.
The Language Acts and Worldmaking Language Debates Series was originally conceived for the Language Transitions research strand of Language Acts and Worldmaking, an Arts and Humanities Research Council Open World Research Initiative project (www.languageacts.org). The first two-year programme of Debates culminated in a collective publication, Language Debates. Theory and Reality in Language Learning, Teaching and Research (Ana de Medeiros and Debra Kelly (eds), John Murray Learning/Hodder & Stoughton, 2021), which includes themes such as gender, activism, multilingualism, digital culture and linguistics.
The aim of the Language Debates Series is to foster a dialogue on the traditions and innovations and the synergies and fissures within Modern Languages, Language Education and allied disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences. The emphasis is on the benefits and challenges of exploring inter-disciplinary, cross-disciplinary and cross-sector educational perspectives to enrich learning, teaching and research in Modern, Community and World Languages at all levels and both inside and outside the academy. The Debates, therefore, seek to re-energise the field by examining current concerns and pedagogies to discuss and develop new directions and possibilities for the future.
Language Debates Programme Spring and Summer 2023
All Debates take place in the Language Resource Seminar Room (K-1.07.3, first basement of the King’s Building, Strand Campus, King’s College London, WC2R 2LS) followed by a drinks reception
Debate 1 | 6-8pm, Tuesday 14th March: Language Acts and Worldmaking. Back to the Debates
A panel of researchers from the Language Acts and Worldmaking team discuss recent and forthcoming publications with respondents and look forward to the future work of the research centre. Panellists discuss topics such as languages activism and advocacy, challenging the university curriculum, digital culture, how language was used globally during the pandemic and the politics of language teaching and learning.
Debate 2 | 6-8pm, 25th April: Inclusive Pedagogy
A discussion with a panel and respondents based on the work and experiences of the Languages Acts and Worldmaking Laboratory, a service module for Modern Language students at King’s College London that acts as a laboratory where students experiment with, identify and develop the skills that they have acquired in their degrees, learning how to put these into practice through projects that take place outside the walls of the university.
Debate 3 | 6-8pm, Wednesday 17 May: Precarious Voices in Language Studies
A panel of Early Career Researchers, led by Hannah Scott (Newcastle) and James Illingworth (Cardiff), debates the challenges that profoundly mark the early-career trajectories of the youngest third of the academic workforce. The Debate takes as a starting point Scott and Illingworth’s current research on ECRs in French Studies which explores the methodological shifts precipitated by precarity, not only recording those methods precarity has rendered researchers unable to pursue, but also investigating the new or alternative methods which precarious researchers have, nonetheless, pursued. The panel discussion seeks to better comprehend the creativity and ingenuity of precarious researchers in the face of adversity across the range of Modern Languages and allied disciplines as well as its personal and professional impact.
Debate 4 | 6-8pm, Thursday 1st June: Inclusive Language Learning
A panel convened by Emmanuelle Labeau (Aston) discusses with respondents varied aspects of inclusive language learning such as research on and the experience of ambassador schemes, widening participation in studying languages in HE and the mismatch between the languages learnt in an educational context and the languages spoken in our communities.