BAAL / Cambridge University Press Seminar Series 2016/2017


Venue: Aston University, Birmingham

Dates: 27–28 April 2017

Theme: Minority Languages in New Media: Towards language revitalisation in Europe and Africa

Objectives of the seminar

This seminar is intended to identify and discuss emerging trends in the study of minority languages in new media and technology. This includes the ways in which minority languages are supported through their presence in new media, and how minority language users are making use of their languages in digital landscapes traditionally dominated by global languages such as English.

Call for papers and submissions

The seminar seeks to focus on emerging trends in the use of minority languages in new media within the European and African contexts. The European and African contexts differ in a number of aspects such as degree of linguistic diversity, socioeconomic development, political engagement in linguistic issues, and education systems and quality. However, they are being affected increasingly by similar pressures resulting from globalisation, such as the use of new media and technology and the dominance of global or majority languages to the threat of minority languages. New Media refers to digital communication platforms such as online news sites, blogs, wikis, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and other Social Media.

The seminar will draw out the similarities in these contexts, which are often perceived to be divergent, and to highlight and strengthen the ways in which minority language issues can be studied and addressed across Europe and Africa. While often minority language issues are viewed as unique to specific locations, this seminar will provide a platform to discuss and evaluate minority language issues through a global lens. As growing use of new media and technologies are influencing the use of languages globally, the seminar will highlight how minority languages are utilised in these contexts and how minority language speakers are using their languages in these new online environments.

The seminar will highlight research which are currently being undertaken into the minority language contexts to establish what the current pressing issues and emergent ideas are, and to highlight how current research into minority languages can provide new ways to address the preservation and revitalisation of minority languages.

While the term ‘minority’ languages escape a consensus definition, it will be used broadly to refer to any and all languages spoken in, or across, nation states which are not the majority languages. The appropriateness of this definition as well as the appropriateness of the term ‘minority’ languages will indeed be an area for discussion at the seminar.

The seminar will focus on the active participation of doctoral students and early career researchers, bringing together individuals who are currently involved in researching contemporary issues in minority languages.

As part of the seminar, we will establish a network of doctoral and early career researchers working on contemporary issues in minority languages in Europe and Africa.

Keynote speakers

Professor Lutz Marten (SOAS, London)

Dr Jonathan Morris (Cardiff University)

Abstract Submission Information

Slots of 20 minutes for a paper presentation plus 10 minutes for questions. There will be a poster session in the seminar programme. Submissions should include the following:


Short abstract of no more than 300 words

Type of presentation: paper / poster

On a separate sheet the (first) author’s postal and e-mail address, and the names and affiliations of the authors

EMAIL abstracts to:

Proposals will be evaluated by a team of reviewers according to the following:

 • Appropriateness and significance of the topic to the seminar theme

• Clarity of organisation and presentation

• If an empirical study, soundness of research design, stated questions, data sources and data collection procedures, as well as analytic approach

• In the case of theoretical papers, theoretical/conceptual framework, relevance of topic into current thinking and strength of contribution to the field

All proposals must be for original unpublished work. Papers presented at the seminar will be prepared for a special issue in an open access journal which will be available to BAAL members and wider readership.

 Key dates

• Deadline for receipt of abstracts: Monday, 20 February 2017

• Notification of acceptance: Wednesday, 1 March 2017

• Registration opens: Wednesday, 1 March 2017

• Submission of scholarship application: Sunday, 5 March 2017

• Registration closes: Friday, 31 March 2017

• Seminar: 27 – 28 April 2017

 Registration fees



BAAL member


Non-BAAL member



There will be two scholarship awards to postgraduate students and early career researchers (the latter defined as being within 2 years of PhD completion) who had a paper or poster accepted for the seminar and who would otherwise be unable to attend. The scholarship will help towards the cost of travel up to £50.

If you would like to apply for the scholarship, please complete the attached application form and submit it to by Sunday, 5 March 2017.

The scholarship application form can also be downloaded from

Seminar Co-ordinators

Elvis Yevudey (Aston University, Birmingham)

Colin Reilly (University of Glasgow)