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‘Language and Migration’ symposium explores critical issue of ‘language justice’

Over 525 participants from 52 countries on six continents attended “Language and Migration: Experience and Memory,” a virtual symposium held April 19-May 1 that convened humanists, social scientists, field-workers, policy-makers, artists and writers to think together about migrants as resourceful users, interpreters and creators of language. Image by Vika Andrukovič
Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Language is a vital, but underexplored, factor in the lives of migrants, immigrants and refugees. It has a direct impact on the experiences and choices of individuals displaced by war, terror or natural disasters. Language justice refers to the right everyone has to communicate in the language in which they feel most comfortable.

Over 525 participants from 52 countries on six continents attended “Language and Migration: Experience and Memory,” an interdisciplinary symposium that convened humanists, social scientists, field-workers, policy-makers, artists and writers to think together about migrants as resourceful users, interpreters and creators of language. The virtual symposium took place Monday, April 19 through Saturday, May 1. 

The conference’s seven panels — spread out over two weeks to avoid “Zoom fatigue” — covered an array of topics, including multilingual education, linguistic human rights, asylee narratives and xenophobic language.

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