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CFP: Language and Super-diversity Conference

Language and Super-diversity Conference
University of Jyväskylä, Finland, June 5-7, 2013

Language policy in contexts of superdiversity: Policing, protecting, and/or planning diversity?

What is the relationship of trends in superdiverse language use and language policy or management? This panel seeks to raise questions and share examples of language policy and planning in relation to superdiverse language communities, as well as the diversity of agents who may influence language politics in any given place. Language planning was initially viewed as an antidote to diversity or heterogeneity, in the form of government-determined norms for "the guidance of writers and speakers in a non-homogeneous speech community" (Haugen 1959, p. 8), being implemented at the level of Nation-States (cf. Dasgupta, Ferguson & Fishman 1968). Subsequent research has increasingly viewed language policy and planning through interactive and discursive lenses, recognizing power and inequality in the development and implementation of policies (cf. Tollefson 1995; Ricento 2000; Shohamy 2006). No longer fixated on the nation-state as a unit of analysis, language policy research occurs across local, national, and transnational contexts, and considers the agency of diverse social actors in political processes (cf. Canagarajah 2005; Spolsky 2004; Hornberger & Hult 2008). While many studies have illustrated diminished linguistic diversity through restrictive language policies, a variety of language planning goals and outcomes have been described (cf. Hornberger 1994, McCarty 2002). Following the wider promotion of civil rights, and in pursuit of linguistic rights (cf. Skutnabb-Kangas & Philipson 1994), language policy has also come to be viewed as a potential mechanism for the protection of diversity, or the promotion of plurilingualism.

Considerations of diversity are prominent in language policy and planning research today, influencing both the contexts that are studied as well as the theoretical frameworks used to understand them. Scholarly frameworks that seek to describe language policy as a social phenomenon recognize the influence of multiple actors with varying agendas at all levels of the political process. As a socially-engaged field, LPP attempts to provide equitable education and other social services, and superdiverse populations are often seen as a challenge in this endeavor. This panel aims to explore language policy and planning in linguistically diverse contexts, drawing on empirical examples of policy in practice in a variety of settings. We also welcome papers that raise theoretical concerns about governance in the current era of pluralist nation-states, transnational alliances, and neoliberal economic influences.
Case studies and/ or theoretical papers may address this issue from a variety of angles, including:
· Attempts to create language policy that is appropriate to superdiverse contexts
· Impacts of language policy in a superdiverse context, across multiple contexts, or among different social actors
· Diverse agents of language policy in an era of increased transnational exchange
· Issues of planning, management, regulation and democracy in pluralist contexts
· Theoretical or methodological approaches to understanding language policy

Terrence Wiley, President at the Center for Applied Linguistics, will serve as discussants for this panel. In addition to the individual papers, there will be time allocated for discussion and debate on current directions in the field.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent to by November 1st. Please include your name, affiliation, and contact information. All submitters will be contacted with decisions by November 10th. Please feel free to contact Haley De Korne ( with any questions.

Please note that LPReN’s capacity is limited to organizing colloquia; we regret that we are not able to provide funding for participants who are invited to participate. We encourage all applicants to seek funding from other sources available to them as early as possible.