Colloquium on multilingualism: call for proposals

On 28-30 June 2019, JIAS and the Department of Linguistics and Multilingual Studies in the School of Humanities of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore will host a small Colloquium on ‘The Future of Multilingualism’.

The Colloquium will be held at JIAS in Westdene, Johannesburg. Younger researchers who are interested in participating are invited to submit written proposals. The requirements for the proposals are outlined below.


The Colloquium is aimed at taking advantage of multilingual sites such as South Africa and Singapore to explore the future of multilingualism. Questions to be addressed include the following:

  • What is the future of multilingualism in these multilingual societies?
  • How do anti-colonial and post-colonial nations reconcile multilingualism in the face of new linguistic ecologies?
  • What are the challenges of nation-building when one is faced with multiple tongues?
  • What does the way in which multilingual postcolonial nations deal with multilingualism tell us about a possible alternative framework for understanding the relationship between language and nation?
  • How are present education systems and technologies dealing with multilingualism?

By approaching this conversation from archives across Asia and Africa, we aim to look at multilingualism and its future trajectory by taking into account the specificities of a range of colonial experiences, political regimes, and current infrastructures.

The gathering at JIAS will also seek to generate contributions to an edited volume emanating from the first round of conversations which were held in Singapore earlier this year.

Invitation to young researchers

Several slots in the programme have been left open for promising young researchers. Interested parties are invited to submit proposals of 800 words by 15 June 2018 to Regrettably, only successful applicants will be contacted.

For a printable invitation, click here.