CFP: GSA Seminar 2019: Special Languages: Linguistic Others and Social Order, Portland (26.01.2019)

Sophie Salvo's picture

Seminar - “Special Languages”: Linguistic Others and Social Order



(GSA - October 3-6, 2019, Portland, Oregon)



Seminar Description:


In “the politics of us and them,” as philosopher Jason Stanley describes the making of social fractures (How Fascism Works, 2018), language and languages play key roles. From jargon use to linguistic profiling, from transparent language advocacy to accentism, inventing, imagining, classifying, and theorizing “Other” languages can serve exclusion or inclusion. This seminar considers what the study of Sondersprachen (special languages) in Germanophone cultures adds to understanding the linguistic aspects of society-fashioning across cultures and disciplines.



Defined in opposition to a dominant language, the category Sondersprachen has historically included any deviance from a given linguistic norm: dialects, sociolects, creoles (Kanak Sprak), group-specific languages (Fachsprachen or even Nazi-Deutsch), gendered languages (Frauensprachen), constructed languages (lingua ignota or Volapük), and even animal languages. The seminar mines the category to examine how linguistic norms and exceptions can be mobilized to shape society and thought, from governance to academic practice, from publishing to civic life.



Format: Participants will be asked to circulate a 2,500-3,500-word paper creatively applying the topic of the seminar to their research or discipline by August 31, 2019. Participants will also be asked to read several short pre-circulated texts, and to offer a brief commentary on another participant’s paper.



Conveners: Adam Knowles (, Yuliya Komska (, Sophie Salvo (



How to Apply: If you wish to participate, please visit the GSA website and apply electronically at:

To submit your application, you will need to submit an abstract (300 words) of what you hope to contribute to the seminar and a short CV. Applications are due by January 26, 2019.


Please contact the conveners with any questions.



Redaktion: Constanze Baum – Lukas Büsse – Mark-Georg Dehrmann – Nils Gelker – Markus Malo – Alexander Nebrig – Johannes Schmidt

Diese Ankündigung wurde von H-GERMANISTIK [Constanze Baum] betreut –