SOAS Symposium on the Politics of Language Policy at the Local Level

Date: 22 September 2017 – From 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM – Venue: Paul Webley Wing (Senate House)

Language Policy is highly political and often controversial, with official top-down policy criticized by scholars for serving dominant political interests and reproducing unequal power relations.

This one-day symposium aims to move the discussion forwards by treating Language Policy as a dynamic socio-cultural process. Accordingly, we invite papers that explore the politics of Language Policy at the local level. In particular, we welcome papers that:

  • Reflect on the ways in which communities interpret, negotiate and resist official Language Policy
  • Examine interactions between various policy stakeholders
  • Explore how local language practices and unofficial community-level policies can further the political aims and agendas of minority communities
  • Consider the role of language ideologies in determining Language Policy outcomes

The symposium encourages interdisciplinary discussion and we welcome submissions from fields such as: Linguistic Anthropology, Sociolinguistics, Education Studies, Political Science, Endangered Language Studies and Migration Studies.


The event is free to attend and will include tea and coffee, a light lunch and an evening drinks reception. Please visit our Eventbrite page to register for your place online. Deadline for registration / last date to confirm participation: 8th September 2017

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Patrick Heinrich (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italy).

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