LINGUIST List 32.1132

Mon Mar 29 2021

Calls: Germanic; Socioling/USA or Online

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 29-Mar-2021
From: Mareike Lange <>
Subject: 25th FOCUS Graduate Student Conference: Speaking Identity – Identity in Second Language Studies
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Full Title: 25th FOCUS Graduate Student Conference: Speaking Identity – Identity in Second Language Studies

Date: 15-Oct-2021 - 16-Oct-2021
Location: University of Cincinnati; Ohio (Hybrid), USA
Contact Person: Mareike Lange
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics

Language Family(ies): Germanic

Call Deadline: 15-May-2021

Meeting Description:

The Editors of the graduate student journal ''Focus on German Studies'' in conjunction with the Graduate Student Association of the Department of German Studies at the University of Cincinnati organize the Twenty-Fifth Annual Focus Graduate Student Conference entitled: Speaking Identity – Identity in Second Language Studies.

The concept of “identity” in its poststructural notion as a social process, as opposed to a determined product, is frequently employed and currently renegotiated in the humanities as well as in education and applied linguistics, often in contradictory manners. The conceptualization of identity in applied linguistics sparks fundamental disagreements around the term ‘identity’ itself, including debates about whether or not it is even appropriate as a blanket term. Nevertheless, identities, whether self- or otherwise ascribed, have created new challenges for language teaching, calling into question previously presumed notions of the ‘native/non-native speaker’ divide, ‘bilingualism’, and ‘first’ and ‘second language’. Within this larger discourse, the effects of identity inscriptions on Second Language pedagogy needs further explorations. How, for example, do we teach genderneutral language for languages in which standardized options do not yet exist? Similarly, how do we teach certain linguistic forms (e.g. word order in German subordinate clauses or “double negatives” in English) associated with linguistic discrimination without replicating and reinforcing this linguistic discrimination?

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Christine Mallinson; University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Call for Papers and Projects

The 25th Annual FOCUS Graduate Student Conference pursues to address the effects of the muddled terrain of poststructuralist linguistic identities on Second Language pedagogy. We seek to foster a dialogue between sociolinguistic theory and language teaching/learning realities.

Themes may include but are not limited to:
- Social and regional origin, gender, religion, generation, social groups, migration, multilingualism, and language change and their influence on language, etc.
- Heterogeneity vs. homogeneity in the classroom
- Subjective factors of language attitudes and language ideologies
- Intersections between language and critical race theory, e.g. raciolinguistics, linguistic profiling
- Queer theory and queer linguistics
- Influences of sociolinguistics on education and language pedagogy
- Critical approaches to teaching with technology
- Varieties of language – Youth language; computer-mediated communication; spoken colloquial language
- Problematic aspects of contemporary applied linguistics research in which identity is a key construct

Whereas we are anticipating and encouraging academic discussion fostered by conventional conference presentations, we would also like to encourage students to present creative works that fit the overall frame of the conference (e.g. concept-grounded artistic approaches to pedagogy). We encourage submissions from all Germanic fields (i.e. Germanic languages and all Germanic dialects and varieties, including but not limited to English, German, Dutch, Yiddish, and Scandinavian languages) but also welcome contributions from other disciplines. Submissions in German or English are welcome. Current Graduate Students are invited to submit abstracts or project descriptions (250-300 words in length), accompanied by a short bio, to Mareike Lange and Barbara Besendorfer at by May 15, 2021. Please use the subject “Focus 25”.

Given the ongoing uncertainties, we will offer a hybrid model (Zoom or in-person) for the conference. We would like to ask you to please indicate whether you preliminarily plan to attend in-person.

Page Updated: 29-Mar-2021