Working group seminar: Multilingualism in African contexts: language practices and language management
The Wednesday Seminar on the 3rd of April became an afternoon workshop event, due to the presence of Nathaniel Gernez (Laboratoire d'Ethnologie et de Sociologie Comparative, CNRS), who received a grant from the Norwegian University Center in Paris for a research stay in Oslo, and Rachel Watson (SOAS), who came to Oslo to collaborate in a writing project with MultiLing postdoctoral fellow Kristin Vold Lexander. These scholars presented their research on multilingualism in Kenya and Senegal, respectively. They were joined by Vivian Shoo (Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences) presenting her on-going research on CMC in Tanzania, Kristin Vold Lexander (MultiLing) presenting her on-going work on CMC among Senegalese families in Norway, Janne Bondi Johannessen (MultiLing) presenting a Norad-funded project on linguistic research in collaboration with two universities in Ethiopia, and Elizabeth Lanza (MultiLing) presenting long-term collaborative research with Addis Ababa University on linguistic landscapes in Ethiopia. The participants discussed common challenges and on-going trends in their projects, including shifting between focusing on linguistic form and communicative fluidity, context-dependent language hierarchies, processes of urbanization, and the complex power-dynamics of conducting both independent and collaborative research across borders.