The overarching aim of this theme is to address the need for a multidisciplinary approach to various global challenges related to increased mobility and multilingualism. The theme comprises four main components: “Encounters”, “Affinities”, “Dislocations”, “Diasporas”. These components treat different types of language use and other semiotic practices emerging in encounters between people from different cultural and language backgrounds. Such practices include linguistic innovation, visual products (linguistic landscapes), multimodality, corporeality (dance, marches and demonstrations), music/song (e.g. hip hop), digital media etc. Students will work with and apply different theoretical frameworks, including poststructuralist and postcolonial approaches, phenomenology, hermeneutics, discourse analysis, Bourdieu’s field theory, linguistic ethnography and linguistic landscapes in multidisciplinary contexts. The theme is designed for doctoral students from disciplines at the Faculty of Humanities, such as linguistics, literature studies, history, ethnology, religion, philosophy, media and film studies, performance studies, and so forth.

Courses Autumn 2016 – Spring 2017

The first year of the theme comprises two components “Encounters” and “Affinities”. Each component corresponds to a separate course (5 hp). The course “Encounters” introduces theoretical and methodological frameworks in order to investigate the complexities regarding identity, language, ethnicity and place in relation to new global zones of contact. Research questions include the emergence of global lingua francas, linguistic landscapes and multilingual education.

The course “Affinities” addresses the emergence of new global – often temporary – linguistic communities and associated communicative practices. It will examine how these communities are formed by and through different languages. Within the course, students will explore different 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.

Courses Autumn 2017 – Spring 2018

The second year of the theme includes the courses “Dislocations” and “Diasporas”. “Dislocations” deals with the displacement and separation resulting from increased mobility and its consequences. “Diasporas” covers both traditional and new (e.g. academic) diasporas, the emergence creoles and World Englishes.

Course structure and requirements

Each of the four theme components corresponds to a 5 credit course. The courses running in the autumn semester, i.e. “Encounters” (HT16) and “Dislocations” (HT17), can be taken as free-standing courses. The courses running in the spring semester, i.e. “Affinities” (VT17) and “Diasporas” (VT18), require the completion of the course in the autumn semester of the same academic year (e.g. students wishing to take “Affinities” must have completed “Encounters”). New students can be admitted to the theme in the second year.

Teaching activities and tasks

Teaching will consist of lectures, seminars with data analysis sessions, tutorials, mini-conferences and a final conference where students present their individual research projects they conducted throughout the theme. In addition to the course instructors, there will be an expert guest speaker each term.

Collaborating teachers and researchers

Christopher Stroud, Caroline Kerfoot, Lena Ekberg (bilingualism), Maria Kuteeva, Beyza Björkman, Stefan Helgesson, Josep Soler-Carbonell (English), and guest lecturers.


Coordinator: Maria Kuteeva, Department of English