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Humanist Archives: June 14, 2019, 6 a.m. Humanist 33.90 - a list & seminar for digital modern languages

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 90.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                   Hosted by King's Digital Lab
                Submit to: humanist@dhhumanist.org

        Date: 2019-06-13 11:54:13+00:00
        From: Paul Spence 
        Subject: Digital Modern Languages mailing list and seminar (25 June 2019)

We are delighted to announce the launch of a new mailing list called 'Digital
Modern Languages' which is intended to provide a forum for research and teaching
across Modern Languages which engages with digital culture, media and
technologies. We hope it will allow for communication across different languages
and language-related disciplines, with a primary focus on languages other than

You can subscribe to the list here:


We invite you to use the list to share announcements about your own events and
initiatives, and hope it will provide the opportunity to share knowledge and
experiences across the languages community.

---------- Second Digital Modern Languages seminar -----------

Following the successful launch of the Digital Modern Languages seminar series,
we are also delighted to announce below the details of the next seminar on
Tuesday 25 June, with Mandana Seyfeddinipur (Director of the SOAS World
Languages Institute and Head of the Endangered Languages Archive).

Tuesday 25 June 2019 - Mandana Seyfeddinipur (SOAS) - Two Sides of the Same
Coin: Why the Digital is Blessing and Curse for Endangered Languages

6-8pm, Tuesday 25 June, Bush House Lecture Theatre 2, King's College London


Abstract: Globalisation, urbanisation and climate change are affecting people's
lives all over the world drastically. Languages are falling silent at an
alarming rate because people migrate to cities and give up their languages for
more prestigious major language promising social and economic mobility.
Linguists estimate that half of the world's 7000 languages spoken today will be
gone by the end of this century. And with these languages humanity's knowledge
about our own history, the local knowledges about flora and fauna and medicine,
about social systems and cosmologies.

At the same time the advent of digital technology has allowed linguists all over
the world to record these disappearing languages and to preserve them in digital
archives around the world. But while the internet held the promise of
democratising access to knowledge, it is also the demise for linguistic
diversity as the knowledge represented is heavily skewed towards the knowledge
of the usual subjects and is only accessible in English or Chinese. The youth
who are the hope for the survival of small languages wants to participate in the
modern world and for that their small languages are not effective.
Revitalisation and maintenance interventions try to utilise digital tools, games
and phone apps but also their effects are limited. A digital multilingual and
linguistically diverse world is the desire but the reality of it is complicated.

The seminar will be followed by a wine reception. The lecture theatre is located
on the Fourth Floor of Bush House (R on the campus map). Please register in
advance at: https://modernlanguages.sas.ac.uk/events/event/19928

Paul Spence (King's College London) and Naomi Wells (Institute of Modern
Languages Research)

Paul Spence
Senior Lecturer, Department of Digital Humanities
King's College London | Strand | London | WC2R 2LS
Twitter: @dhpaulspence

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