Conferences, Workshops & Exhibitions

Published: 14 December 2020

The spring and autumn semesters of 2020 saw a rich and varied programme of research workshops and talks by distinguished visiting speakers as well as several conferences.

‌‌SMLC Research Speaker and Workshop Programme
Six research clusters in SMLC in conjunction with the Stirling Maxwell Centre (Visual Culture), Writing in Transit, Critical Editions and Translations, Histories and Subjectivities, Language Teaching Scholarship and Language & Society) continued their fruitful programme of research workshops and invited visiting speaker talks.

Language & Society cluster:

Tourism, economy and language in the Highlands and Islands in the age of coronavirus. Dr Alasdair C. Whyte's lecture was delivered on 26th June and was hosted by the Discourses of Sustainability Arts Lab Theme in collaboration Language & Society cluster. Dr Whyte from Celtic and Gaelic in the School of Humanity, Univeristy of Glasgow, holds the Lord Kelvin/Adam Smith Research Fellowship in Celtic Onomastics. 

Exploring heteroglossic communication in a community policing setting: navigating between the institution, the community, and the individual by Dr Piotr Wegorowski, University of Glasgow, on Wednesday 25 November, 4:30pm. In this talk he suggested how interactions in a semi-institutional setting can be analysed through the lens of heteroglossia, where speakers mobilise various linguistic resources and draw on multiple voices, to make evident tensions present within the community policing context, reflecting the conflicting interest.

The invisibility of the natives: real estate and language use in the streets of Palma by Dr Laia Darder, Sheffield Hallam University, W
ednesday 2 December, 4:30pm.

New Speakers of Irish in the Global Context: New Revival? (Routledge, 2020)Book launch by Professor Colin Williams, Cardiff University, 
Thursday 3rd December, 6pm. The book launch was followed by a round-table discussion with authors Bernadette O’Rourke (University of Glasgow) and John Walsh (National University of Ireland, Galway) and other guest speakers from Scotland, including Professor Wilson McLeod, and University of Hawaii Professor Christina Higgins. See also Recent Publications.

Writing in Transit cluster:
Work-in-progress session on Wednesday, 18 November, 1pm, centring on Greg Kerr's forthcoming publication, Exile, Non-Belonging and Statelessness in Grangaud, Jabès, Lubin and Luca: No Man’s Language.

Lunchtime Research Chatter and Debate Sessions:
Wednesday, 14th October
Under the overall theme Decolonising & Transnationalising Modern Languages, two key debates within the field at the moment, the initial focus was on the following strands (new angles to the topics, and the introduction of other topics over the semester were welcomed in this flexible format):  

  • Beyond the nation state and debunking the myth of the native speaker 
  • Languages in an era of globalisation 
  • Modern languages and the multilingual turn 
  • The marketisation of language learning and the neoliberal economy 

Wednesday 4th November
The focus of this session was on impact, knowledge exchange, developing partnerships and diversifying funding sources beyond AHRC, ESRC, Leverhulme, etc. Professor Billy Gove shared his experience in KE activity and sourcing of funding, and Monica Callaghan, currently Head of Operations and Strategy at the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities was invited to join. She was previously Head of Education at The Hunterian where she had a long-term commitment to learning and development across the cultural heritage sector. As such she had experience leading cross-functional and multi-disciplinary teams as well as securing major funding and developing significant partnership projects, leading to new world-class collections research facilities. 

BALEAP Technology-Enhanced Learning SIG Conference, 3-4 October
 - 'Technology-enhanced learning and EAP in the post-COVID-19 era'
This was the first Online Conference organised by the BALEAP TEL Special Interest Group committee, comprising Jolanta Hudson (SMLC, University of Glasgow), Panagiota (Penny) Tzanni (University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China), Craig Coulson (University of Nottingham), and Celia Antoniou (University College London/University of the West of Scotland).

The conference analysed and explored the short- and long-term consequences of the unprecedented pandemic situation of 2020 and what role technology has played in this. Keynote speakers included David Read from the University of Sheffield and Nik Peachey, the Director of Pedagogy at PeacheyPublications. You can find more info about the conference and our speakers here: 

Thomas Bernhard: Language, History, Subjectivity Conference, September 2020.
This online conference (17-18 September 2020) explored the works of landmark Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard via the three interconnected strands of language, history and subjectivity. There was an international range of speakers from Germany, Austria, the USA, Russia and Australia. The conference panels explored topics such as Bernhard’s poetics, his dramatic works, and his persona. The keynote speakers were Professor Rüdiger Görner (Queen Mary, University of London) and Dr Manfred Mittermayer (University of Salzburg). An online exhibition of photo-illustrations by Heiko Berner for Bernhard’s 'A Child' accompanied the conference, and is still available online.
The conference organisers were Dr Ernest Schonfield (SMLC, University of Glasgow) and Dr Katya Krylova (University of Aberdeen). The event was supported by the Goethe-Institut Glasgow, the Austrian Cultural Forum London, the Ingeborg Bachmann Centre (Institute of  Modern Languages Research, University of London), the Histories and Subjectivities Research Cluster (University of Glasgow, School of Modern Languages and Cultures), and the University of Aberdeen.

"Beauty in Hell: Culture in the Gulag" Virtual Exhibition 
In 2017 the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery at the University of Glasgow launched "Beauty in Hell: Culture in the Gulag" (, a virtual exhibition about the Solovki prison camp based on research by Dr Andrea Gullotta. Three years down the line, the world is resorting more and more to online resources, and the memory of the Gulag has become one of the most debated topics in Russian culture. For this reason, the exhibition was relaunched at 4pm on the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Political Repression in the former USSR. The exhibition organizer Dr Andrea Gullotta, Lecturer in Russian, had the honour of being joined by Irina Flige, Director of the Research and Information Centre Memorial in St Petersburg. The event was chaired by Steph Scholten, Director of The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery. 

Inostranka comes to Glasgow
Inostranka conference devoted to Russian literary translation was co-hosted by the Russian programme at SMLC, the Library for Foreign Literature, Moscow, and the Russian Institute of Translation. In early December 2019, translators, poets and scholars from all over Russia and the UK came together in Glasgow to share ideas and experiences at the conference ‘Translation as an Act of Cultural Dialogue’, the second event organised in partnership by the University of Glasgow and the State Library for Foreign Literature in Moscow, known to friends as ‘Inostranka’. While, as ever, the most memorable aspect of the event was the warm enthusiasm for cultural dialogue shown by all participants, a particular highlight was the educational and surprisingly entertaining  translation workshop in which poets and translators Grigory Kruzhkov and Marina Boroditskaya shared their passion for Pushkin and helped students from SMLC and Creative Writing produce their own collaborative versions.
















First published: 14 December 2020

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