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Researching Multilingually at the Borders of Language, the Body, Law and the State

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Researching Multilingually at the Borders of Language, the Body, Law and the State

  1. 1. Researching Multilingually at the borders of the body, language, law and the state AHRC “Translating Cultures” Programme Alison Phipps (University of Glasgow) (PI)
  2. 2. Translating Cultures Multilingual, 2.0? Context ‘It is becoming clear that the very nature of multilingualism is now increasingly unmoored – even from the frameworks that were applied in the 1990s’
  3. 3. Unpredictability The languages used to language – to attempt to work through the loss and possibilities, the pain and the hope – are now radically unpredictable. The unmoorings (loss of one or both anchors) of multilingualism are myriad and occurring at the levels of : • Self • Kin • Community • Work • Environment • Market • Politics (local / global)
  4. 4. Researching Multilingually Each of these aspects have attracted some scholarly attention in the Translating Cultures theme. Each is suffused by myriad forms of migration and mobility which come into conflict with the body, language, law and the state.
  5. 5. Subjectivity “so little is said about how each of us comes to the pen and the computer and the authority to speak and author texts.” Ruth Behar Translated Woman
  6. 6. Researching Multilingually Two overarching aims: 1) to research interpreting, translation and multilingual practices in challenging contexts, and, 1) while doing so, to document, describe and evaluate appropriate research methods (traditional and arts based) and develop theoretical approaches for this type of academic exploration.
  7. 7. The Body in Pain Intense pain is also language-destroying: as the content of one’s world disintegrates, so that which would express and project the self is robbed of its source and its subject. Word, self and voice are lost, or nearly lost...[…]. (Scarry: 35 )
  8. 8. Research Context • Concepts of borders and embodiment, superdiversity, security/insecurity, raise important practical and ethical questions as to how research might be conducted. • These concepts trouble the nature of traditional modern languages and concepts of translation and culture. • The contribution to the Translating Cultures is therefore both theoretical/conceptual and also methodological.
  9. 9. Methods Focus on Methods: Part of the innovative nature of the project lies not in using new methods per se, but rather (i) in comparing across discipline-specific methods, (ii) interrogating arts and humanities methods where the body and body politic are under threat, and (iii) in developing theoretical and methodological insights as a result. (iv) Arts based representations
  10. 10. A framework for researching multilingually An overarching theme – Develop researcher intentionality of possibilities and complexities of researching multilingually at all stages of a research process across wide range of fields. Relationships - researchers, participants, mediators, interpreters, translations, team members Spaces – research (phenomena); researched (context); researcher (language resources); re/presentation (reporting/dissemination)
  11. 11. 5 Case Studies 1) Global Mental Health: Translating Sexual and Gender Based Trauma (Scotland/Sierra Leone) 2) Law: Translating vulnerability and silence in the legal process (UK/Netherlands) 3) State: Working and Researching Multilingually at State and EU borders (Bulgaria/Romania) 4) Borders: Multilingual Ecologies in American Southwest borderlands 5) Language Education: Arabic as a Foreign Language for International Learners (Gaza)
  12. 12. Global Mental Health
  13. 13. Law
  14. 14. EU Borders
  15. 15. US Borderlands
  16. 16. Gaza
  17. 17. Hubs and Impacts - Academic Hub -Creative Arts Hub Multimodal Outputs which create impact and communicate beyond the theme for a new generation of researchers and stakeholders who have tools, theories and methods for researching multilingually across wide range of disciplines.
  18. 18. Public and Third Sector Organisations ….together with international partners. • A Moment's Peace • BEMIS • Bridges Programmes • Camcorder Guerillas • CARA • Centre for Rural Childhood • Citizens for Sanctuary • COSLA SMP • Glasgow Centre for International Development • Glasgow City Council • Glasgow Housing Association • Haven • Lifelong Learning in Palestine • Human Rights Cluster, Uni South Australia • Migrant/Ethnic Churches Together in Scotland • Migrants' Rights Scotland • Migrant Voice • Oxfam Scotland • Pan African Arts Scotland • Positive Action in Housing • Scottish Red Cross • Scottish Detainee Visitors • Scottish Migrants Network • Scottish Refugee Council • Street Level Photoworks • Student Action for Refugees • Unity Centre Glasgow
  19. 19. Challenges
  20. 20. Creative Arts Some Surprises Ha Orchestra; Poetry Collection Musical Drama Marsden – Aotearoa New Zealand Refugee Language Education in Lebanon Scotland’s Future Poverty Truth Commission Multimodal Emergent Outputs which create impact and communicate beyond the theme for a new generation of researchers and stakeholders who have tools, theories and methods for researching multilingually across wide range of disciplines.
  21. 21. New theoretical, conceptual and empirical understandings • Unique contribution in opening up existing disciplinary pockets to critical, comparative attention. • Using arts based methods to open up settled meanings whilst documenting and analysing commonalities and differences in concepts, methods, processes and practices across a range of fields, countries, disciplines and policy areas. • Creating a context where multilingual realities are not feared or masked, but engaged across societies, in direct response to the needs of multiple partners.

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