“One does not inhabit a country, one lives in a language.” (Emil Cioran)
“The fact that I
am writing to you
already falsifies what I
wanted to tell you.
how to explain to you
don’t belong to English
though I belong nowhere else,
if not here
in English.” (Gustavo Pérez Firmat)
Multilingualism is an individual and societal experience requiring a more fluid understanding of the boundaries between languages and cultures, and cannot be discussed apart from multiculturalism. In the US context, multilingualism is closely connected to the phenomenon of acculturation, i.e. the cultural and psychological change following intercultural contact. The conflict between maintaining one’s linguistic and cultural heritage, and adhering to the culture and language of the larger society requires diverse strategies (integration, assimilation, marginalization, multiculturalism) that may not always serve the purpose (subtractive multilingualism). Transnationalism, on the other hand, excludes any cultural imbalance, any predominance of one set of cultural values over the other (additive multilingualism). This panel invites scholars from different fields for a multidisciplinary discussion on the various forms and shapes of multilingualism in the US context, especially in regard to the Romanian and Central/East European diasporas in the US and Canada. Additionally, it focuses on the strategies that bridge the gap between the English language (lingua franca) and other languages." A 250-word abstract and short bio requested.
Deadline: Wednesday, March 24, 2021.
Camelia Raghinaru and Christene D'Anca