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Multilingualism and Intercultural Studies

Multilingual communication and cultural exchange bring about the transformation of existing forms of knowledge and practice and are reflected in continuous processes of change. In Luxembourg, intercultural dynamics and socio-cultural transformations are more evident than elsewhere, due to the country's linguistic and cultural particularities.

The Key Area established in 2014 is concerned with the social and socio-cultural practice as an intersection of languages and cultures in past and present. This focus questions conceptual foreshortenings of key concepts and constructions of community (such as nation and culture, identity and alterity, centre and periphery) and adopts a process-oriented performative perspective on multilingualism and interculturality. The Key Area builds on current developments in modern cultural and social studies and examines the productive-creative (re-)combination as well as the social, structural and institutional barriers of linguistic and cultural repertoires and constellations in different subject areas and dimensions:

  • creation & aesthetics;
  • migration & mobility;
  • politics & power;
  • space & materiality;
  • subject & everyday practices;
  • time & development.

The examination of multilingualism and interculturality, with particular attention to social and cultural practices, serves to help identify logics of development of modern and also pre-modern societies and provide orientational knowledge in multilingual and intercultural contexts. The work of the Key Area aims to see itself reflected in Luxembourg society and will be conducted together with social actors. It will in addition take part in the overall discussion about this range of topics and offer its expertise in an international context.

The Key Area is housed in the humanities faculty (FLSHASE) of the University of Luxembourg. It operates in a multidisciplinary group and in the medium term will seek to establish a cooperation with colleagues from other faculties. The expanded collaboration aims to enable the development of an integrative approach of multilingualism and interculturality research which accomodates the participating disciplines and the dynamics of sociocultural change in equal measure.

The researchers involved will apply the principle of receptive multilingualism in their work.

Contact: mis@uni.lu
Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Nathalie Roelens
Deputy spokesperson: Prof. Dr Jeanne Glesener
Scientific coordinator: Dr Christian Wille

Multilingualism and Intercultural Studies (MIS)