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 address the complexities of language use and other semiotic practices emerging in encounters between people from different geographic, 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, such as 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 various disciplines at the Faculty of Humanities, such as Linguistics, Literary studies, History, Ethnology, Religion, Philosophy, Media and Film Studies, Performance Studies, Language Education, and so forth. It is also of interest to students in Child and Youth Studies, Education, Social Anthropology and Human Geography.

Autumn 2019: Encounters, 5 ECTS

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.

Spring 2020: Affinities, 5 ECTS

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.

Autumn 2020: Dislocations, 5 ECTS

The course “Dislocations” introduces the second year of the theme and addresses issues relating to the displacement and separation resulting from increased mobility and its consequences both in terms of social and linguistic categories, such as “semi-lingualism”, and different linguistically creative approaches to resistance and diversity. Within the course, students will explore different issues through empirical analysis of data related to various language phenomena.

Spring 2021: Diasporas, 5 ECTS

The course “Diasporas” is the second course of the second year within the theme and deals with subjects developing from the topics discussed in the course “Dislocations”. “Diasporas” covers both traditional and new (e.g. academic) diasporas, the emergence of creoles and World Englishes. Within the course, students will explore different issues through empirical analysis of data related to various language phenomena and relate them to their own research topics.

Course structure and requirements

Each of the four theme components corresponds to a 5 ECTS credit course. The courses running in the autumn semester, i.e. “Encounters” (HT19) and “Dislocations” (HT20), can be taken as free-standing courses. The courses running in the spring semester, i.e. “Affinities” (VT20) and “Diasporas” (VT21), 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 seminars with data analysis sessions, guest lectures and workshops by leading scholars in the field, tutorials, mini-conferences and a final conference where students present the individual research projects they have conducted throughout the theme. In addition to the course instructors from Stockholm University, there will be an expert guest speaker each term.

Comments from student evaluations 2016–2018

“This was the best course I have taken so far at SU!”

“Great lecturers. Varied approaches.”

“The variety that the course offers is extremely valuable not only now but for years to come.”

“The most positive about this course are the conditions: to have a course where you meet other PhD students who work on the same thing - to get to know their work and to discuss similar issues/problems. It was so great to get good peer feedback and input/feedback from researchers that are not your own supervisors!”

“I liked our mini-conference - this helped also that we had more time together and that we under this term became a good group! I appreciate that.”

“The discussions among peers and the facilitation of the weekly discussions on Mondo in-between lectures have taught us to create peer groups and use other colleagues as resources.”

“The drafting process of the research paper and its presentation as well as the peer-review discussions at the final conference were very positive for me.”

“The content was well balanced and interesting as well as useful for many. I have been introduced to concepts and field previously unknown to me and have immensely enjoyed having a community of doctoral students and excellent tutors.”


Professor Maria Kuteeva, Department of English, and Professor Caroline Kerfoot, Centre for Research on Bilingualism