Monday, March 11, 2019

Linguistic Landscape and Memory: Linguistics, geography and cultural studies in urban research

Conveners: M. Fabiszak, I. Buchstaller  

Date: 16-Sep-2019 - 18-Sep-2019 
Location: Poznań, Poland 
Contact Person: Malgorzata Fabiszak

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics; Applied Linguistics; Discourse Analysis; Sociolinguistics

Call Deadline: 22-Mar-2019 

(Session of 49th Poznań Linguistic Meeting) 

Place names provide the daily spatial framework for human activities. But beyond their mundane indexical importance as spatial reference landmarks, place names are inevitably loaded with history and ideology, reflecting the present and the past of people, places and nations. As Moszberger et al. (2002:5) point out, naming practices are particularly revelatory for tracing changes in representational politics. In cases of massive renamings, there is often a breach in the cultural transmission of collective memory, when younger generations treat the reworked cityscape as timeless and natural (Fabiszak & Brzezińska 2016, 2018). What for older generations is a revolutionary wiping out of old heroes and values they stood for, becomes the “natural order of things” (Fairclough 2003:2) for the younger generation. 

To date, research on street name changes has been conducted in different academic disciplines. LL studies and historical geography document and analyze commemorative renaming of streets following ideological shifts in recent history (Borowiak 2012, Karolczak 2005). Critical toponymy explores “power relations, public memory [and] identity formation” in commemorative renaming (Azaryahu 2012:388). More recently, researchers in collective memory have appealed for research to transgress disciplinary boundaries (Kaltenberg- Kwiatkowska 2011:138, Brzezińska & Chwieduk 2012:20-23). Similar calls for a rapprochement between research traditions have been voiced in LL research (Soukup & Amos 2016, Buchstaller & Alvanides 2016) and critical geography (Azaryahu 2011). 

In this thematic session we invite linguists, geographers, sociologists, ethnographers and representatives from related disciplines to contribute presentations revolving around the following questions: 

(1) What are the new trends in place / street (re-)naming practices? Who are the agents behind these (re-)namings? How do these renamings influence the “ideological robe of the city” (Zieliński 1994)? 
(2) How are these changes reported, legitimized and critiqued in the media? How are they received by grassroots inhabitants? 
(3) How can various disciplines researching place/street (re-)namings contribute to our understanding of these semiotic changes? How can we integrate the results received from different methods of data gathering and analysis into one holistic approach? 

Selected Bibliography: 

Azaryahu, M. 2011. “The Critical Turn and Beyond: The Case of Commemorative Street Naming”. ACME 10: 28-33. 
Arazyahu, M. 2012. “Hebrew, Arabic, English: The politics of multilingual street signs in Israeli cities”. Social & Cultural Geography13:1-19 
Backhaus, P. 2007. Linguistic Landscapes: A comparative study of urban multilingualism 
in Tokyo. Multilingual Matters. 
Berg, L. D. and J. Vualteenaho (eds.) 2016. Critical Toponymies. Routledge. 
Borowiak, P. 2012. “Nazewnictwo miejskie Poznania …”. In A. W. Brzezińska & A. Chwieduk (eds.) Miasto Poznań ... TIPI. 55-60. 

Buchstaller, I. & S. Alvanides. 2013. “Employing Geographical Principles for Sampling in … Dialectological Projects”. Journal of Linguistic Geography, Online. 
Fabiszak, M. & A. W. Brzezińska. 2018. Cmentarz, park, podwórko. Poznańskie przestrzenie pamięci. [Cemetery, park, yard. Poznan spaces of memory]. Scholar. 
Fairclough, Norman. 2003. Analysing discourse. Routledge. 
Kaltenberg-Kwiatkowska, E. 2011. “O oznaczaniu i naznaczaniu przestrzeni miasta”. Przegląd Socjologiczny 60: 135-165. 
Moszberger, M., Th. Rieger & L. Daul. 2002. Dictionnaire historique des rues de Strasbourg. Verger. 
Rose-Redwood, R., D. Alderman & M. Azaryahu (eds.) 2017. The political life of urban streetscapes. Routledge.

Call for Papers: 

Deadline for abstract submission is March 22, 2019. Abstracts should be submitted via the Poznań Linguistic Meeting (PLM) Easy Chair system. 

More details on the PLM website:

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