LINGUIST List 32.869

Tue Mar 09 2021

Calls: Gen Ling, Ling & Lit, Philos of Lang, Text/Corpus Ling, Translation/Belgium

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 09-Mar-2021
From: Lobke Ghesquière <>
Subject: Resistance/Language
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Full Title: Resistance/Language

Date: 09-Dec-2021 - 10-Dec-2021
Location: Mons, Belgium
Contact Person: Lobke Ghesquière
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics; Ling & Literature; Philosophy of Language; Text/Corpus Linguistics; Translation

Call Deadline: 30-Jun-2021

Meeting Description:

Research Institute for Language Science and Technology (LANGUAGE Institute)
University of Mons (UMONS) and Ciéphumons Research Centre
December 9 – 10, 2021

A multidisciplinary conference in language science will be held on December 9 – 10, 2021 at the University of Mons. The conference will be centered around the theme of resistance, which will be declined in 4 Rs: Robustness, Resistance, Reluctance, and Reservation. This paronymous chain includes all the disciplines represented within the LANGUAGE Institute and all the specialists that we wish to mobilise during our first international conference.

Scientific committee: Michel Berré, Damien Darcis, Lobke Ghesquière, Pierre Gillis, Catherine Gravet, Bernard Harmegnies, Christine Michaux, Myriam Piccaluga, Alain Piette, Bénédicte Van Gysel, Gudrun Vanderbauwhede.

Call for Papers:

Please send an abstract (max 500 words, including references), your contact information and a short CV to before June 30. Please make sure to mention which area your presentation will focus on:

1. Linguistics: Language can describe resistance and also give it form. Hence, one can study the expression of resistance, or more generally the power relations between natural languages, as well as the acts of resistance they allow users to perform. Studying (non)resistance within discourses requires analysing how social, cultural or political constraints to which the subject conforms are reflected in the discourse, linguistically, psycho- and socio-linguistically, or how they sometimes oppose and resist to these norms and prescriptions.

2. Translation studies: Trump’s designated translator, Bérangère Viennot, stated that she had to “resist” the urge to smooth out the former president’s words or to translate them into good French. Only an analysis of the speeches can help tackle this issue. Interpreting can also be studied within the scope of reservation, as diplomatic language involves a “duty of reservation” or discretion, which the professional interpreter must be able to perceive and transpose adequately. How can we prepare translators for this kind of performance? How can we evaluate said performance? Texts and discourses can also be “resistant” in that they defy reading, understanding, or meaning construction, and, hence, translation. All languages offer specific linguistic forms, idiomatic (or even idiosyncratic) frames and phrases, which can cause translation difficulties (e.g. intensifiers, exclamative and polysemic markers). Moreover, the fact that translation and interpreting can be hindered by target linguistic and cultural constraints must also be taken into account. The history of literary translation and the circulation of works across linguistic and cultural borders can, in turn, be understood within the scope of resistance. For example, fascist Italy was reluctant to welcome foreign (esp. American) writers, whilst China embraced Belgian symbolism (incl. texts by Maeterlinck, the Nobel laureate). A study on the critical editing of these texts should make it possible to shed light on this.

3. Literature: Lionel Duroy claimed about his novel Nous étions nés pour être heureux (2019): “[In] the same way that a book can save you from despair, allow you to exorcise suffering, writing as a way of expressing oneself is the act of resistance to oblivion and loss par excellence.” Whole sections of world literature can be analysed in this sense. Thanks to their mastery of language, scholars, even if they are not writers, can appear as a bulwark against a worldwide collapse.

4. Didactics: Every teacher knows to which extent learners can develop forms of “resistance” to texts but also to forms of teaching. What/who resists, the text or the learner? Why? Can teacher explanations overcome this resistance or do they give rise to new forms of resistance?

5. Brachyology: If reluctance is “the character or quality of a person or thing that omits what could or should be said”, brachylogy researchers will find this an ideal field of study.

6. Gender Studies: Reservation is a quality that is (was?) especially attributed to women. This statement could be a starting point for gender studies on how women resist the stereotypes that the patriarchal system has long imposed on them.

7. Psychology: In psychoanalysis, resistance refers to “the forces that are deployed by the subject in order to oppose themselves to the efforts made to uncover repressed complexes or feelings”. This definition provides an entry point into the conference theme. In neuroscience, brain imaging shows that memory is proved more resistant in Alzheimer’s patients if they have studied music or have played an instrument.

Page Updated: 09-Mar-2021