Guest lecture: Prof. Monica Heller, 23.1.2013, 12.15-13.00

“Between pride and profit: the changing value of linguistic resources in the globalized new economy”

Professor Monica Heller, University of Toronto
23.1.2013 12.15-13.00
L209 (liikunta), Jyväskylä University Main Campus

The Jyväskylä Discourse Studies Forum is an initiative of Discourse Studies at the University of Jyväskylä, Department of Languages. The forum is intended as a space for presenting and discussing new topics, methodological innovations and original research in the multidisciplinary area of Discourse studies. Our next forum will be hosted by professor Monica Heller from the University of Toronto, visiting Peripheral Multilingualism –project (SA).

Abstract: Claims to minority language education have long been made on the basis of collective rights, aiming at social and cultural reproduction of minority groups. Today, minority languages often acquire value as commodities, as conditions of late capitalism change the workings of linguistic markets. Using francophone Canada as my example, I will discuss some of the dilemmas this raises for education and training, as well as for individual speakers trying to navigate social change. Claims to minority language education have long been made on the basis of collective rights, aiming at social and cultural reproduction of minority groups. Today, minority languages often acquire value as commodities, as conditions of late capitalism change the workings of linguistic markets. Using francophone Canada as my example, I will discuss some of the dilemmas this raises for education and training, as well as for individual speakers trying to navigate social change.

Biography: Monica Heller is Professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto (Canada). She is Vice-President and President-Elect of the American Anthropological Association, and a member of the Committee on Intervention and Advocacy of the Royal Society of Canada. A linguistic anthropologist, she is interested in the role of language in the construction of social difference and social inequality, and in particular in the changing relationship between language, nation and state in the globalized new economy. Her ethnographic work focusses on francophone Canada. Her recent publications include Paths to Postnationalism: A Critical Ethnography of Language and Identity (2011, Oxford University Press), and Language in Late Capitalism: Pride and Profit (2012, co-edited with Alexandre Duchêne, Routledge).

After the talk, there will be time for discussion. You are warmly welcome.

For more information: Professor Sari Pietikäinen, Discourse Studies (sari.p.pietikainen@jyu.fi)