Security and Conflict and the language nexus in superdiversity

In a post-Cold War, post-9/11 world, issues of unease and (in)security permeate people’s everyday lives ever more deeply. Schools, nurseries, hospitals and community centres are becoming sites of security, while the security apparatus is becoming more diffuse and routine. For research, these processes necessarily draw the study of conflict and security closer to disciplines and fields like sociolinguistics, anthropology and education, which focus on everyday practice in institutions and communities.

In fact, areas of clear thematic, epistemological and methodological complementarity have already been established in the initial interactions between InCoLaS members and researchers in War Studies at King’s College London (26 November 2015), and we have produced a position paper on ‘Sociolinguistics & Security’, backed up by a video-lecture that has been piloted in the Jyväskylä training course on ‘Multilingual and transcultural practices’.

As part of this trans-disciplinary development, we have successfully applied to the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy at King’s for funding to set up a ‘research project incubator’ which seeks to produce at least two funded search proposals by the end of August 2016, focused on a collaboration between Bigo, C. Charalambous, P. Charalambous, Khan, McCluskey and Rampton. In addition, we have said we will produce an advanced methods training course on ‘Everyday practices of (in)security’ for the King’s Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Centre, which will

  • enable researchers in security and conflict studies to engage more fully with language and communication, enriching their work with the robust perspectives on language and situated practice developed in linguistic ethnography
  • expose applied and socio-linguists to CSS’s sophisticated conceptual frameworks for apprehending the growing significance of insecurity and violent conflict in ordinary life, opening important new topics for sociolinguistic enquiry.

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