Languages travel and adapt to the new circumstances faced by their speakers. The growth of the Spanish language has always been transnational in nature, insofar as any expansion has been grounded in cultural and economic exchange. Therefore, at this conference, we wish to bring together those with scholarly interests in the situation of the Spanish language in the contemporary world. Almost twenty years into the new millennium, we want to reflect on how Spanish speakers, be they in their countries of origin or in the diaspora, construct and negotiate concepts of community. How is this achieved by recourse to ideas of borders, migration and contact? How do speakers move beyond notions of physical space, and push social, political, cultural and commercial boundaries, in order to break through the limits imposed on them by nations and continents? (Mar-Molinero and Stewart 2006; Foner 2005; Jackson et al. 2004).
We wish to explore the following questions: Are we at present witnessing processes of homogenisation and standardisation of norms and uses, thanks to the global space in which Spanish speakers move and communicate, all made possible by technological advances, and policies of a Pan-Hispanic nature? Or, in fact, do we find ourselves in an unprecedented social situation which allows language to be more pluricentric, local, innovative and ‘superdiverse’ than ever before? (Lebsanft, Mihatsch and Polzin-Haumann 2012; Zimmermann 2014; Blommaert 2015; Arnaut 2016) Now is the time to debate what methods and research protocols are the most effective at capturing the complexity that arises from such situations. What does it mean to view things transnationally? How can such a perspective benefit the study of the relationships between Spanish speakers in a global world?
These will be the triggers for discussion at our conference which, three years on, will bring everyone together in Edinburgh, in order to celebrate a hundred years of Hispanic Studies at The University of Edinburgh.
Book via: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/transnational-perspectives-on-the-study-of-spanish-in-society-tickets-60746784267
This event is organised by University of Edinburgh with support from the Institute of Modern Languages Research and the Open World Research Initiative (OWRI) Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community, Translingual Strand.