Intersectional, Transcultural, Decolonial? Modern Languages in the Anglosphere - Webinar 30 April

Barbara Spadaro's picture

‘Intersectional, Transcultural, Decolonial? Modern Languages in the Anglosphere’ a Webinar co-hosted by Barbara Spadaro (University of Liverpool) and Francesco Ricatti (Monash University) on the challenges, opportunities and practices for Modern Languages in the age of decolonizing the university. Friday 30 April, 9:30-11 BST. 


Registration at this link:


The white and Eurocentric heritage and perspective of Modern Languages is being increasingly unsettled, revealing epistemological and political flaws that must be addressed. This is both a necessary challenge and a great opportunity for European Languages programs around the world. They can either remain attached to nationalistic and nostalgic curricula or instead provide an extraordinary entry point into the complexity of global history, transnational cultures, translanguaging, and political activism in contemporary societies. 

Over the last year the Black Lives Matter movement has produced an acceleration of the debate on decolonizing the University that many in the discipline of Modern Languages have felt compelled to join. However, ‘decolonizing is not a metaphor’ (Tuck & Yang, 2012) and in the different contexts of the Anglosphere - where ‘Modern’ and ‘European’ articulate different tensions with ‘Languages’ in the very naming of the discipline - the decolonial has taken different meanings, calling to different actions (Bhambra, Gebrial and Nisancioglu, 2018). 

This workshop will discuss how modern European Languages in different academic contexts within the Anglosphere have shaped and been shaped by the processes and theories of intersectionality, transculturality and decolonisation. We will ask our speakers to discuss their own experience as teachers, researchers, and leaders, by addressing one or more of the following pressing questions: 

  • How is the decolonial approach different from the intersectional and transcultural perspectives that have already challenged the centrality of European nations in the study of European modern languages? 
  • What is the decolonial bringing to the study of Languages within the Anglophone sphere? 
  • Is it possible for the teaching of (Modern) European Languages to survive the decolonization of academia? 
  • How are these perspectives differently articulated in Australia, North America and Europe?  
  • Should we decentre Europe in the study of European Languages? And if so, how can we effectively address the resistance to such changes by scholars and institutions?


Dr Francesco Ricatti, Cassamarca Senior Lecturer and Coordinator, European Languages, Monash University

Dr Barbara Spadaro, Lecturer in Italian History and Culture, University of Liverpool


Dr Ruth Bush, Senior Lecturer in French Studies and Comparative Literatures, University of Bristol

Dr Fernanda Penaloza, Senior Lecturer and Chair, Spanish and Latin American Studies, University of Sydney

Dr Emanuelle Rodrigues Dos Santos, Lecturer in Modern Languages and Coordinator of Portuguese Studies, University of Birmingham

Associate Professor Christiane Weller, European Languages (German), Monash University


Professor Charles Forsdick, James Barrow Professor of French at the University of Liverpool

Professor Loredana Polezzi, Alfonse M. D’Amato Endowed Chair in Italian American and Italian Studies at Stony Brook University