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Fifth International Conference
hosted by the
Foundation for Endangered Languages
"Endangered Languages and the Media"
Agadir, Morocco - 21-24 September 2001
CALL FOR ABSTRACTS
Among the most powerful instruments of the process we have come to know as "globalization" are the mass media. Through the medium of the written and spoken word, the increasingly concentrated ownership of the world's mass media exercises a strong influence on the hearts and minds of all but the very remotest of the world's languages. The pattern of use and control of the world's press and broadcasting has shifted even faster than the speed of shrinkage of the world's minority languages.
What exactly is the relationship between the globalization of the media and increased pressure on minority languages? Is there a hopeful side, as the cost and technology bases of the media are revolutionized? The fifth international conference of the Foundation for Endangered Languages aims to pinpoint the processes and seek new tactics for coping with them: hoping, at the very least, to channel some of the power of the media for the good of small languages.
We hope to find answers to many questions, not all of them obvious. For example: what effect does the global availability of satellite broadcasting have on the world's smaller languages? what is the meaning of a free press if some languages are denied a voice in it? must the Internet inevitably exclude smaller languages from access to the electronic media, or is it ultimately a force for diversity? is a big fashionable metropolitan language always the guarantee of commercial success in the music recording industry? how can speakers of minority languages get access to training in journalism? is it the state's responsibility to subsidize broadcasting in minority languages? Why? what happens when emigrant communities abroad are better served by media in their new country than those from their old home?
To seek answers to these and other questions, the Foundation for Endangered Languages hereby calls for papers to be presented at its fifth conference, 'Endangered Languages and the Media', planned for the University of Agadir, Morocco, for 21-24 September 2001.
It is no coincidence that we choose this venue for the conference, at the heart of one of the most promising regions of Morocco in terms of economic activity, but also in terms of intellectual activity trying to come to terms with the identity crisis that faces most North Africans. In Agadir, as in most of Morocco and North Africa, the streets echo with a polyphony of local and foreign languages: Tashelhit (Southern Amazigh, known as Berber), Darija (Moroccan Arabic), as well as Standard Arabic, French, Spanish, English and the occasional note of German, Italian or Japanese.
Agadir, on the Atlantic coast of southern Morocco, has great sweeping beaches but none of the nondescript high rise blocks of the Mediterranean beach resorts. For those interested in wildlife, in September the River Sous can provide a rich variety of migrating seabirds and waders. The river valley itself is one of the most famous ornithological regions in the country. Agadir was first settled by Hanno, a Carthaginian explorer on his way south round Africa in the 5th century BC. 2000 years later, ca 1500, it was re-founded as a Portuguese staging-post for more sustained circumnavigation. It came under Moroccan rule around 1536.
We invite contributions not only from the academic disciplines of linguistics and media studies, but also from active practitioners in the field - those with first-hand experience from which we can learn of the world's threatened languages and their struggle for survival and equal status with those of international communication in the ether and on the printed page. We have much to learn from each other, and we invite you to share your knowledge and experience with us in the beautiful setting of an ancient city that has long been at the crossroads of communication between Europe and Africa. The conference will also provide ample opportunity to explore the surrounding area as well.
The Foundation for Endangered Languages is a registered charity in England and Wales. FEL conferences, besides being opportunities to discuss the issues from a global viewpoint, are working meetings of the Foundation, defining our overall policy for future years. Participants at the conference therefore, unless offering media coverage, need to be members of the Foundation. There are full facilities to join on arrival, but all proposers are strongly urged to join as soon as possible, and so take full part in the Foundation's activities in the lead-up to the conference.
Presentations will last twenty minutes each, with a further ten minutes for discussion. Authors will be expected to submit a written paper for publication in the Proceedings well in advance of the conference. All presentations should be accessible largely in English, but use of the languages of interest, for quotation or exemplification, may well be appropriate.
Hassan Ouzzate Ibn Zohr University, Agadir, Morocco
Nicholas Ostler Foundation for Endangered Languages, Bath, England
Christopher Moseley BBC Monitoring Service, England
Nigel Birch EPSRC, United Kingdom
R. McKenna Brown Virginia Commonwealth University, USA
Abstracts should not exceed 500 words. They can be submitted in either of two ways: (preferably) by electronic submission, but also on paper. They should be in English.
A) Electronic submission:
Electronic submission (by 10 April 2001) should be in plain ascii text email message, giving the following details:
# NAME : Name of first author
# TITLE: Title of the paper
# EMAIL: E-mail address of the first author
# ADDR: Postal address of the first author
# TEL: Telephone number of the first author, if any
# FAX: Fax number of the first author
and in a separate section
# ABSTR: Abstract of the paper
B) Paper abstracts:
Three copies should be sent, (again, for delivery by 10 April 2001), to:
2 Wanbourne Lane
Oxfordshire RG9 5AH
This should have a clear short title, but should not bear anything to identify the author(s).
On a separate sheet, please include the following information:
NAME : Names of the author(s)
TITLE: Title of the paper
EMAIL: Email address of the first author, if any
ADDR: Postal address of the first author
TEL: Telephone number of the first author, if any
FAX: Fax number of the first author, if any
The name of the first author will be used in all correspondence.
If possible, please also send an e-mail to Christopher Moseley at <Chris_Moseley@mon.bbc.co.uk> informing him of the hard copy submission. This is in case the hard copy does not reach its destination. This e-mail should contain the information specified in the section below.
Abstract submission deadline April 10
Notification of Committee's decision May 14
Authors submit camera-ready text July 23
Conference Sept 21-24
Foundation for Endangered Languages
Registered Charity 1070616
Batheaston Villa, 172 Bailbrook Lane
Bath BA1 7AA England
+44-1225-85-2865 fax +44-1225-85-9258
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