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The future of modern languages as a university discipline will be the topic of a major conference at Durham University in April.

Our Uncommon Ground will bring together experts from around the globe to discuss the pressing need for the study of Modern Languages and Cultures in a world which is increasingly – and acrimoniously – divided.

Professor Janet Stewart, Head of Durham University’s School of Modern Languages and Cultures said:

“You often hear that these are difficult times for the discipline, but we want to avoid complaining about crises and instead to think about what modern languages can and should do. It’s a diverse and lively field, interpreting and sharing languages, images, and ideas from across the globe.”

Delegates will hear about cutting-edge research carried out in the field, and discuss the current state and future direction of the discipline. Items for discussion include how studying other cultures can change the way we think about energy and the environment, and the fast-changing relationship between modern languages and the sciences.

The conference, Our Uncommon Ground, will run from 16 – 18th April and speakers include Alberto Manguel, Director of the National Library of Argentina; Professor Janice Carruthers, Arts and Humanities Research Council Leadership Fellow for Modern Languages; Professor Catherine Davies, Director of the Institute of Modern Languages Research, London;Professor Neil Kenny FBA, Senior Research fellow at All Souls College, Oxford and Professor Nigel Vincent FBA, former Vice-President of the British Academy.

Professor Stewart added:

“Our conference aims to develop new intellectual agendas by bringing together experts on a broad range of languages and materials to think about how the study of non-Anglophone cultures can help address the challenges the world faces at this moment”

For more information contact Heather Fenwick on 0191 334 3427 or email h.a.fenwick@durham.ac.uk

Also see the conference website, http://our-uncommon-ground.co.uk/

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