Sedyl - Structure et Dynamique des Langues - UMR8202 - CELIA

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Séminaire doctoral - Pratiques langagières - terrains, méthodes, théories
Animé par I. Léglise et V. Muni Toke
Villejuif - Bât.D - S.511 - 14h00-18h00

Christopher Stroud (University of the Western Cape)
Turbulence and entanglements: Some thoughts on the south and sociolinguistics

The South African sociologist Crain Soudien has recently suggested that what he called “the melange and intensity” that characterizes post-apartheid South Africa makes the country an ideal and privileged, one might add, place to think about questions of ‘ontological fashioning’ – of what it means to be human, and to live with diversity. What is particularly interesting about this point is that we lack a ‘language’ or means to conceptualize – or even talk about the experientiality of living differently with diversity – we experience much more than we can conceptualize.
What I will be talking about in this seminar is an approach to framing experientialities of language/multilingualism and diversity that focuses on and takes its point of departure in normative clashes, juxtapositions of difference, unexpected shifts in our perception of situations, how very different people with very different histories ‘get on’ or not indifferent spaces – the puzzlement, laughter, joy or alternatively, the fear, aggression and animosity of difference. I will attempt to flesh out Soudien’s suggestion about the importance of post-apartheid society for thinking about ontological fashioning by suggesting that one approach that might help us appreciate and process the lessons that we can glean from South Africa – and, in a broader frame, contribute towards conceptualizing the experientiality of complex change – is to think of language diversity, place, body and citizenship in terms of a metaphor or notion of ‘turbulence’.