Languages of the future. Dialects, mono-languages, native languages.

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Academic journal of intercultural studies

The next issue of Trickster will deal with language. In the attempt to break the boundaries of disciplines (an absolute necessity for both cross-cultural theory and practice) our latest editorial mission has been to create an open and collective space for the delivery and the reception of speech.

Language, we believe, is a site of self- revelation and the ownership of what we are used to labelling as someone's own language is hard to prove.

For centuries, especially in Italy, the question of language has been discussed in relationship with the definition and the construction (someone would even say "invention") of the personal and national identity of a community of brothers whose brotherhood would surface trough the use of the same mother-tongue.

We wish to get out of these rigid and unsettling barriers by avoiding to put forward the classical question of language. Quite the opposite, we want to allow the interaction of different perspectives and opinions about languages (be them dialects, risky mono-languages, challenging pluralistic idioms), about linguistic innovations (in urban style, web approaches, slangs, creoles, pidgins, graffiti and tattoo art), about the dynamics of power connected to the language of politics and legislation, and about creative products.

Hence, we will muse over the languages of the future. However, these languages must not be mistaken for the linguistic codes of hypothetical future communities (not even in the case of multi-ethnicity and multiculturalism) and your contributions will hopefully help to provide a more vivid and vibrant portrayal.

Perceiving the hazard of such a projection and totally aware of the fact that language is entailed with a number of contradictions, we'd rather go more in depth, trying to explore what, in the use of language, represents the unpredictable, the disturbing, the impermanent; what inevitably urges the self to lay bare in front of the other.

To conclude, our humble but inquisitive ambition is to sort out what it means to employ one or more languages in a cross-cultural, transnational environment; to analyze the identities of dialects and the strategies employed to teach and learn them; to make sense of the transformations taking place in the use of language and in the images that language creates and conveys; to discover the ache, the relief and the spur produced by the encounter with an alien language within the experience of migration.

Here is a list of topics and provocations. Please feel free to expand and adjust them according to your fields of investigation:

· Mono-language as risk

· Mother-tongue as home (or land) to inhabit

· Polyphony and the impossibility to own a language

· Language of hospitality and language of hostility;

· Language and power: the multi-lingual realities of postcolonial contexts

· Across criss-crossing languages: expatriation and linguistic migration

· Linguistic and symbolic dynamics of globalization: global Babel, powerful Anglo-American and the defence of minor languages

· "Future dialects": political alternatives to the essentialist policy about the use of dialects

· The paradoxes of translation: transparency and opacity of language

· Translation as necessity in language and writing

· The power of emerging languages and the metropolitan revolution in linguistics

· Border-languages and language as border

Abstracts due by 10th January 2010

Notifications available from 20th January 2010

Deadline 20th February 2010

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