Alison Phipps, "Languages and Permacultural Justice: Decoloniality and Multilingualism"

Westminster Forum

Thursday 7th April at 5pm

The Westminster Forum for Language and Linguistics are delighted to announce that their Annual Lecture will be given by Professor Alison Phipps (University of Glasgow). Alison Phipps has been spearheading debates about decolonising the study of multilingualism and her lecture "Languages and Permacultural Justice: Decoloniality and Multilingualism" will take place in Fyvie Hall at the University of Westminster (309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW). It promises to be a fascinating and thought-provoking event (see below for an abstract). The Annual Lecture will be followed by a reception. 

Please register on Eventbrite

Best wishes,

Louise Sylvester
[she, her]
Professor of English Language
School of Humanities
Director, Westminster Forum for Language & Linguistics

Abstract:"Languages and Permacultural Justice: Decoloniality and Multilingualism"

“Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.”

Much of the struggle against language death, or linguacide or language attrition is researched and studied under rubrics of counting and auditing the extent of the loss of diversity and economic benefits, or through the appeal to language rights. In this respect the considerable endeavours of scholarship, which have also been critiqued for the varieties of metaphors deployed – from kinship to ecology and beyond – remains within at best what Pureza (2005) refers to as the two ages of the common heritage of humankind.

In this talk I will consider the possibility of a third age which might see the intangible and tangible common cultural heritage of humankind as amenable to the framings and exemplars offered by the concept of cultural justice.

Resting on the normative directions offered by Article 27, and the critical engagement of indigenous and migrant-led scholarship with its relatedness to land, earth, lore and language, and the more than human world, I will offer some tentative suggestions as who we might consider safeguarding epistemic and ontological linguistic heritage for moving towards a third age of common heritage of humankind.

Starting from painful experiences taken from the decoloniality of those subject to linguicide and epistemicide this lecture will begin to elaborate regenerative and restorative ways of enabling both thinking about and through multilingualism to enable people to begin to exercise their Article 27 rights, in scholarship, in scientific endeavour, in the arts and in cultural life.

Expect poetry, proverbs, music, interruptions and some prose.


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