Communication in the Superdiverse City

Thinktank Birmingham
Friday 13 May 2016 (09:30-16:15)

Sarah Martin, TLANG project administrator

Communication in the Superdiverse City

A Network Assembly to be held in the Thinktank in Birmingham.

Globalisation and changing patterns of migration mean ‘superdiverse’ cities are increasingly populated by speakers of multiple languages.  The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) project, Translation and Translanguaging: Investigating Linguistic and Cultural Transformations in Superdiverse Wards in Four UK Cities will hold a Network Assembly on May 13th 2016 to focus on communication in changing urban communities. 

Speakers will present evidence of changing communication practices in city meeting places including markets, shops, libraries, arts venues and community hubs.

The focus of the day is interdisciplinary, and will promote exchange between a range of stakeholders including academics, professionals, and practitioners in the areas of business, heritage, libraries, museums, arts, community support and advocacy, and national and city level policy stakeholders. Presentation of research outcomes will be accessible, evidence-based, and tangible.  The social, political and economic consequences of research findings will be foregrounded through engagement with participants. The day will consist of presentations, film, and panel and audience discussion and debate.

The day is organised around two themes:

Language, Business and the City

This theme examines everyday interactions in small business settings. Presentations will provide examples of everyday exchanges between traders, customers, suppliers, and colleagues, as they draw on linguistically diverse repertoires in commercial activity. In everyday encounters in business people negotiate social differences in relation to language, ethnicity, gender, class, and generation. Data analysis will demonstrate that interactions are structured to build convivial relations, which in turn have the potential to contribute to social cohesion in city neighbourhoods.

Everyday Encounters with Heritage

This theme considers the heritage of cities as the foundation on which they build their future. Presentations will explore new conceptualisations of heritage in contexts of superdiversity, and describe processes of valuing, protecting, bequeathing and producing heritage. A feature of the heritage of cities is their diversity. Analysis of data reveals that linguistic and cultural difference serves as a resource for the creation of new city heritages. Discussion will focus on how people make connections in everyday encounters where difference is commonplace and unremarkable. 

The closing date for registration is 1st May 2016. Attendance is free but online registration is required. 

Download the conference programme. (PDF)

Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities