Anyone interested in the implications of linguistic pluralism for democratic societies will be inspired by a conference planned for later this week at the University of Miami School of Law.
The conference, titled "Language and Democracy," will take place on Friday and is being sponsored by the School of Law, the Center for the Humanities, and the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. The conference seeks to explore the various implications of linguistic pluralism for democratic societies.
According to Miami Law Professor Kunal Parker, who helped plan the conference, the discussion will center on various questions: What are the challenges and rewards, costs and benefits, of linguistic pluralism for the functioning of democracies? Are the imperatives and consequences different based on whether linguistic minorities are indigenous peoples, language groups of long historical standing, or more recent immigrants? How have ordinary people – in addition to the state – taken the challenge of linguistic pluralism into their own hands?
The multidisciplinary conference, in Miami Law's Faculty Meeting Room, will include scholars from philosophy, political science, history, law, literature, and sociology. It will draw scholars from Europe and Latin America, as well as from across the United States. The event is being held with support from several University of Miami endeavors, including the Program in American Studies, the Center for Latin American Studies and the Program in Women's and Gender Studies.
The evening before the conference, on Thursday at 7 p.m., Amitav Ghosh, Stanford Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, will give a talk at the Storer Auditorium titled "Speaking of Babel: The Risks and Rewards of Writing About Polyglot Worlds." Professor Ghosh, one of India's best-known writers, is the author of The Circle of Reason, The Shadow Lines, Dancing in Cambodia, The Glass Palace, and Incendiary Circumstances, among other books. He will also attend the conference on Friday and take part in a discussion toward the end of the conference, on Friday at 4:30 p.m.
For a full schedule of speakers, please go to: http://www.law.miami.edu/academics/language-democracy.php
To register, please go to: www.law.miami.edu/rsvp/democracy