New webinar on challenges and opportunities for modern European languages

A video recording of our recent webinar ‘Intersectional, transcultural, decolonial?: Challenges and opportunities for Modern European Languages in the Anglosphere’ is now available to watch online.

The white and Eurocentric heritage and perspective of modern languages is being increasingly unsettled, revealing epistemological and political flaws that must be addressed. This is both a necessary challenge and a great opportunity for European Languages programs around the world. They can either remain attached to nationalistic and nostalgic curricula or instead provide an extraordinary entry point into the complexity of global history, transnational cultures, translanguaging, and political activism in contemporary societies.

Over the last year, the Black Lives Matter movement has produced an acceleration of the debate on decolonizing the University that many in the discipline of Modern Languages have felt compelled to join. However, in the different contexts of the Anglosphere – where ‘Modern’ and ‘European’ articulate different tensions with ‘Languages’ in the very naming of the discipline – the decolonial has taken different meanings.

On April 30, we held a workshop to discuss how modern European Languages in different academic contexts within the Anglosphere have shaped and been shaped by the processes and theories of intersectionality, transculturality and decolonisation.

We asked our speakers to discuss their own experience as teachers, researchers, and leaders, by addressing one or more of the following pressing questions:

  • How is the decolonial approach different from the intersectional and transcultural perspectives that have already challenged the centrality of European nations in the study of European modern languages?
  • What is the decolonial bringing to the study of Languages within the Anglophone sphere?
  • Is it possible for the teaching of (Modern) European Languages to survive the decolonization of academia?
  • How are these perspectives differently articulated in Australia, North America and Europe?
  • Should we decentre Europe in the study of European Languages? And if so, how can we effectively address the resistance to such changes by scholars and institutions?

Watch the panel discussion above or here on Vimeo.