Course content

The overarching aim of the course is to address the need for a multidisciplinary approach in relation to the global challenges of increased mobility and multilingualism. More specifically, the course addresses the emergence of new global – often temporary – linguistic communities, associated communicative practices and the affordances that enable their existence. The course examines how these communities are formed by and through different languages. In contrast, it also considers the more traditional and new (e.g. academic) diasporas.

Within the course, students explore different research issues through empirical analysis of data related to various language phenomena such as writing across languages, language and luxury tourism, research communities, and protest movements. They work with and apply different theoretical frameworks, including poststructuralist, postcolonial, and posthumanist approaches, discourse analysis, Bourdieu’s field theory, nexus analysis, linguistic ethnography or linguistic landscapes in multidisciplinary contexts. Within the course, students explore research questions related to the course content and to their own interests through empirical analysis of data related to various language phenomena in order to develop a research proposal or a piece of empirical data analysis, which is presented at the final mini-conference.

The course can be taken by on its own, or as a continuation of the course Encounters and Entanglements, offered in the Autumn semester of 2022. By participating in both courses, the students will develop an empirical study with the aim of submitting a manuscript to a peer-reviewed publication outlet.

Learning outcomes

For a grade pass on the course, students should be able to:

  • engage in an interdisciplinary dialogue and peer review around the analysis of authentic language material
  • creatively apply the theoretical frameworks discussed in the course in order to formulate specific research questions relating to language and globalisation in their respective disciplines
  • carry out a small-scale independent research project within a subject area related to the theme of the dynamics of multilingualism and course content in a theoretically and methodologically insightful manner

Previous experience

The course generally attracts students from the language departments but also from Ethnology, Education, Sociology, Social Anthropology, and so on. In previous editions, it has attracted participants from other Scandinavian universities and our CIVIS network of 9 European universities. The international component of our previous courses has been highly appreciated and is essential for the type of research issues explored within the scope of the course.

Here are some students’ comments from previous editions of ‘Dynamics of Multilingualism’ (2016-2021):

  • “Great teaching, great guest speakers and fascinating content and reading. A well-conceived course.”
  • “This was the best course I have taken so far at SU!”
  • “It is a good interdisciplinary course that provides a lot of different topics, approaches and concepts that can be useful, not only for the dissertation project, but also in general.”
  • “Allows for experimenting with notions beyond one's PhD project.”
  • “A nice and supportive learning environment and a good opportunity for me to engage with new and more established scholars in the field.”
  • “Extremely satisfied! Everything i.e. organization-wise and content-wise was very well-thought and I am glad I participated.”
  • “The examination through presentations and essay work is motivating.”
  • “I have really enjoyed the fact that my peers have been from so many different countries.”
  • “For someone who wants to develop theoretical thinking of multilingualism, who wants on-going feedback, and possibility to work on own research in an informed way.”
  • “The experience, knowledge and connections of the two course organisers and teachers made this into the most enjoyable and rewarding (set of) course(s) I have done as part of my PhD programme ... It's been great!”

Practical information

The following compulsory components will be included: completion of all oral and written tasks ahead of each seminar; a research presentation at a doctoral student conference at the end of term; seminar participation.

The course is examined through shorter written assignments for each seminar and presentation of empirical data analysis at the doctoral student conference at the end of term.

Teaching activities include lectures, seminars, tutorials and a student conference.

NB. The course is offered online.

Period: 2023-02-15 - 2023-05-17

Course dates: See schedule below.

Language of instruction: English

Course director: Maria Kuteeva

Course title in Swedish: Flerspråkighetens dynamik: Affinities and Affordances

The course is offered by the Department of English in collaboration with the Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism, Centre for Research on Bilingualism.