Reflections of Exile, Migration, and Diaspora in European Languages and Literatures [September 30 – October 1, 2016]
As Europe is currently facing the worst displacement crisis since the Second World War, the dominant public discourse on the issue is characterized by a curious mixture of xenophobia and humanitarianism. What is forgotten in this debate is that, historically speaking, Europe has always been a place of migrations. After all, the rough outlines of today's national composition of the continent is to a very great extent the result of the Great Migration (4–8 century AD). The people who came to Europe at that time met populations, like the Greeks and the Romans, who were themselves the children of earlier migrants. It is impossible to list here all the waves of migrations throughout European history, but some of the very many movements of populations that have created today's picture of Europe are: The expansion of Greeks to South Italy and Asia Minor in Antiquity; the expulsions of Jews from England, France, Spain in the Middle Ages; the immigration of the Huguenots in the seventeenth century; the Russian White émigrés after the Russian Revolution; the exiles from the dictatorships in Southern Europe in the middle twentieth century; while, only fifteen years ago, the Yugoslav Wars and the accompanying ethnic cleansing by all sides involved had not yet been completed.
We would like to invite to the Seventh Symposium on European Languages in East Asia contributions that deal with how the changes brought by (past or current) movements of populations reflect upon, and are reflected by, European languages in all their manifestations: linguistic system and language use, literature and popular discourse, language policy and language education. In particular, papers submitted for presentation could focus on, but need not be limited to, any of the following points:
• What influences do the languages of the immigrant and the local populations exert upon each other? How does the language of the host countries change as a result of the phenomenon of immigration? What changes does the mother tongue of incoming populations undergo in the second generation after re-settlement?
• How is the experience of being a refugee or an immigrant articulated in discourse? What are the fears and hopes that are expressed either during the time of migration or after re-settlement?
• What fears and expectations are expressed in the discourse of the receiving populations? Is there any change in the expressed sentiments after settlement has been completed? Is there any difference in the sentiments expressed by the discourse of populations that retain an active memory of their own earlier displacement?
• What discursive strategies of defending and/or castigating migration have been adopted either by the incoming or by the receiving populations?
• How has the meeting of cultures that accompanies a migration been reflected in the discourse of either the incoming or the receiving populations?
• What changes in language/literacy education policy have been proposed/adopted in response to migration. What have been their effects? What have been the responses of either the receiving or the incoming populations?
• What effects did migrations have in the language policy of the receiving states? What did the changes seek to achieve? What have been the responses of the incoming and/or the host populations?
Due to the international and interdisciplinary nature of the Symposium on European Languages in East Asia, all paper proposals and presentations should be in English (no more than 500 words). Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 6, 2016.