Multilingual practices from antiquity to the present day

Many are under the misconception that the widespread multilingualism in our modern and increasingly globalized world is a fairly new development. This round-table conference, organized by Aneta Pavlenko and Pia Lane, aimed to show that practices of multilingualism have been common and necessary for centuries, even millennia.

Speakers and attendees are gathered for the round-table in Professorboligen.

The full list of speakers and a program with abstracts can be found here.

"Multilingualism is a puzzle and scholars who study multilingual arrangements in today's societies do not necessarily hold all the pieces. It has long been my dream to bring together researchers who study multilingualism in the present and in the past to see if we could fill some of the gaps together. From this perspective, the Oslo round-table has been a great success – and a conversation to be continued."
- Aneta Pavlenko

Through a wide selection of talks and interesting and fruitful discussions, the participants explored the history of multilingualism in many different parts of the world. The first day of the round-table was dedicated to multilingual practices in the ancient and medieval world. The talks were focused on populations and practices in the greater Mediterranean area, as well as in the British Isles and in Scandinavia.

On day 2, the attention turned to multilingual empires, colonies and nation-states. Participants enjoyed talks on multilingual practices in tsarist and imperial Russia, The Habsburg Monarchy, The Ottoman Empire, The Qing Dynasty and in the former colonies of the Netherlands. The final talks of the day revolved around the paradoxes of language revitalization and multilingualism as capital in contemporary societies.

The round-table was organized as a part of Colloquium A, which aims to scrutinize critical concepts and theoretical approaches in studying multilingualism across MultiLing's three themes.

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Published May 13, 2019 10:02 AM - Last modified Oct. 14, 2019 3:05 PM