MIDP Colloquium 2009

Multilingualism from Below 

University of Antwerp
14-16 September 2009

Pol Cuvelier, (University of Antwerp, Belgium), Reinhild Vandekerckhove (University of Antwerp, Belgium), Michael Meeuwis (University of Ghent, Belgium), Lut Teck (Institute for Higher Education in the Sciences and the Arts, Brussels, Belgium), Theodorus du Plessis (University of the Free State, Republic of South Africa), Victor Webb (University of Pretoria, Republic of South Africa)

Keynote speakers are Durk Gorter, Sinfree Makoni and Elana Shohamy.

In standard accounts of language policy and language planning, language users are too often viewed as the 'passive receivers' of linguistic decisions taken at the highest levels of state organization. In defiance of this tendency, the present and 2nd International MIDP Symposium wants to accentuate that subalternity involves, rather than excludes, agency. Through their everyday language practices and their discursive perceptions and interpretations of linguistic realities, those who are supposed to 'live' the language policies never submissively 'implement' them, but, appropriating them, steer them in novel, unforeseen directions. It is these dialectic processes of interaction between what is designed from above and how it is responded to from below which give shape to societies' overall patterns of multilingualism.