Study day report: “The power of language in post-colonial Africa”

On Wednesday 11 March 2015, the Francophone Africa, Languages Across Borders, and International Development Studies and Security Issues research clusters in the Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR) at the University of Portsmouth jointly organised a study day focusing on “the power of language in post-colonial Africa”. The aim of this interdisciplinary event was to bring together African and European writers and scholars to explore the uses, misuses and challenges facing the former colonisers’ languages at a local, regional and national level in Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone sub-saharan Africa. The event began with a brief introduction, where the conference organisers, Olivia Rutazibwa (International Relations/ EU Studies), Mario Saraceni (Languages/ Linguistics) and Joanna Warson (History/ Area Studies), explained their research background and interest in the conference theme. The first panel concentrated on Anglophone and Lusophone Africa, with papers from Tope Omoniyi (Roehampton) and Margaret Clarke (Portsmouth). In his paper, Prof Omoniyi, a sociolinguist, considered the relationship between public health and language, focusing especially on the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa. In particular, Prof Omoniyi emphasised the persistent gap between policies that assert the importance of making multilingual resources on public health available and the reality on the ground. The […]

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Fully Funded Arts and Humanities Research Council Collaborative PhD Studentship English in Algeria: Interdisciplinary Perspective

University of Portsmouth School of Languages and Area Studies with the British Council, Algiers Application deadline: Friday 1 May 2015 Interviews expected w/b 18 May 2015 Start date: 1 October 2015 Project description This studentship presents a unique opportunity to complete a PhD in an emerging research area and develop highly transferable skills by working both within a university environment and as part of a non-academic international organisation. The studentship project examines the place of English within the contemporary Algerian linguistic and cultural landscape. It explores the historical, political, economic and social contexts which shape learners’ motivation to study English, identifying new directions in research into shifts in global connections and perceptions of what has traditionally been termed ‘Francophone Africa’. It also seeks to provide the basis for more research-informed policy-making, enabling the British Council to better focus its work encouraging UK-Algerian co-operation and partnership, including study in the UK, and better direct its English provision for both students and teachers. Applications for this studentship are welcome from anyone with a strong academic track record EITHER in the field of language and linguistics (especially educational psychology, applied linguistics or language teaching) OR in the field of Algerian or North African area studies (history, politics, cultures or […]

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