The School of Modern Languages and Cultures’ 2023 conference: Where Are We Now? The Location of Modern Languages and Culture took place from 19-21st April at the Calman Learning Centre at Durham University.
The conference explored the current debate around student uptake of Modern Languages, and its overall identity as a discipline. It focussed on the vibrancy of Modern Language studies as a complex field that transcends language learning, taking stock of the diversity but equally paid attention to practice-driven developments regarding language pedagogy.
About 180 participants joined the conference in person or online and followed the 31 individual panel sessions and 5 keynote lectures. The conference offered a broad variety of topics, exploring current questions around space, access, mobility, justice, and how the global and the local lie at the heart of new research in Modern Languages.
Plenary speakers included Alison Phipps with artist Tawona Sitholé, Siraj Ahmed, and, as roundtable participants, Charles Burdett, Janice Carruthers, Emma Cayley, Charles Forsdick, and Neil Kenny. The Leslie Brooks Lecture with video artist and cultural theorist Mieke Bal explored her most recent work ‘It’s about time: Reflections of urgency’.
The conference ended with Karolina Watroba, the winner of the Early Career Researcher keynote competition, who gave a lecture on 'Kafka in Korea: A Case Study in the Location of Modern Languages and Cultures'.
We would like to thank all contributors for joining the conference and sharing insights into their current research and all participants for engaging in lively discussions.
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