Workshop: Researching Multilingually in an Era of Neo-Orientalism

Thursday, April 7, 3:30-5:30pm, Marshall Building 491

Questions for Discussion

  • What is monolingualism and how does it inform research methods, formats, disciplines, and concepts?
  • What effects does monolingualism (as a social phenomenon or research method) have on the subjects we research and seek to understand—whether those be historical, sociological, textual, anthropological, political, or aesthetic?
  • What are the pitfalls, pleasures, and benefits of researching multilingually?
  • Under what conditions is translation itself a complex research activity, rather then a mere instrument for rendering data legible / communicable?
  • How do Orientalism, Neo-Orientalism, and other forms of epistemic reification thrive on monolingualism and/or certain kinds of “reactionary multilingualism” (Moore 2015) or “soft multilingualism” (Noorani 2013)?
  • What kind of structuring role is played by the academic lingua franca of English?


Preparatory Reading:

Gramling, David. 2014. “What is Turkish-German Studies Up Against? Thigmotactics and Occidentalism.” Colloquiua Germanica. 44.4: 382–395.

Gramling, David. 2014. “The Invention of Monolingualism from the Spirit of Systematic Transposability.” Philologie und Mehrsprachigkeit [Philology and Multilingualism], edited by Georg Mein und Till Dembeck. Winter Verlag. 113-134.

Moore, Robert. 2015. “From revolutionary monolingualism to reactionary multilingualism: Top-down discourses of linguistic diversity in Europe, 1794-present.” Language and Communication 44: 19–30.

Noorani, Yaseen. 2013. “‘Hard and Soft Multilingualism.” Critical Multilingualism Studies 1.2: 7–28.

About livelongday

Associate Professor of German Studies, Director of Graduate Studies Co-Editor of Critical Multilingualism Studies | Co-Investigator, Researching Multilingually at the Borders of Language, the Body, Law, and the State (2014–2017)
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