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Seminar Series 12: Lecture 1 - Prof Alison Phipps

21 Oct 2015, 4:30pm - 6.00pm

Radisson Blu Hotel, 301 Argyle Street, Glasgow, G2 8DL, United Kingdom


Population healing: languages, creativity and the extraordinary normality of migration

Migration is normal. This is the first and perhaps only fact we can trust in debates around migration and refugee ‘crises’. People are on the move, and have been for centuries, 'dwelling in travel’ (Clifford 1997). We might even go so far as to suggest it is ‘extraordinarily’ normal.

Alongside migration comes an industry dedicated to population health and its analysis. More quietly, perhaps, sustaining different conversations is the question of how migration may assist in population healing. Drawing on the work of conflict transformational scholars (Lederach and Lederach 2010), intercultural studies and multilingual research, this talk will focus on the unusual contributions which migration’s normality might offer to the healing of populations. 

This seminar drew across a range of disciplines and from the work of the AHRC Large Grant: Researching Multilingually at the Borders of the Body, Language, Law and the State. Using poetic and critical frameworks it intervened in discussions on happiness and positive psychology as well as offering critical alternatives to commonplace assumptions relating to ‘language barriers’, language planning and migratory impacts, through a lens of healing.

About the speaker

Prof Alison Phipps, University of Glasgow

Alison Phipps is Professor of Languages and Intercultural Studies, and Co-Convener of GRAMNET. She is a member of the Creativity, Culture and Faith group in the School of Education at the University of Glasgow where she teaches languages, religious education, anthropology and intercultural education and education for non-violence. She is was the Inaugural Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Waikato, Aotearoa New Zealand in 2013, and is now Adjunct Professor of Tourism. 

In 2011 she was voted ‘Best College Teacher’ by the student body and received the Universities ‘Teaching Excellence Award’ for a Career Distinguished by Excellence. In 2012 she received an OBE for Services to Education and Intercultural and Interreligious Relations in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. In 2013 she was awarded a grant of £2 Million by the Arts and Humanities Research Council under its Translating Cultures programme, as Principal Investigator to undertake a project entitled  Researching Multilingually at the Borders of the Body, Language, Law and the State.

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