The OWRI project consists of four major research programmes, funded by the UK’s Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The IMLR’s researchers are part of a consortium, led by Professor Stephen Hutchings (University of Manchester), which has been awarded £3.9 million to develop a large interdisciplinary programme of research titled ‘Cross-language dynamics: reshaping community’.
The aim of AHRC’s multi-million pound investment in its priority area of modern languages is to explore and foreground the central role that languages play in relation to key contemporary issues, such as social cohesion, migration, health, business and diplomacy. The initiative seeks to have a significant impact on the study of modern languages in the UK.
“The OWRI initiative aims to transform the discipline of modern languages and to find a new voice, a new vision and, above all, a new identity for languages.
The challenge for each of the successful four-year projects is to achieve all this through research which is more radically interdisciplinary than hitherto and more imaginatively collaborative with dynamic partnerships with other universities, with schools and, crucially, with non-academic organisations in the UK and abroad.”
– Professor Michael Worton, CBE, chair of the Open World Research Initiative
The consortium’s programme is structured into three interconnected research strands. SAS and IMLR-led research will focus on translingual communities, questioning language’s importance in community formation. Translingual communities transcend perceived language barriers by negotiating across and between languages and by maximising the community-creating potential of translanguaging, translation, multimodal communication and non-verbal or semi-verbal forms (music, visual culture, internet).
Case studies will investigate:
• translingual and Europe: minority identities, nationhood and cultural memory
• translingual modernity: migration and global consumerism
• translating modernity: Europe and China
• virtual activism and communities of affect across linguacultures
• translingualism in contemporary opera, music theatre and film