Cross-Languages Dynamics – Reshaping Communities (Translingual Strand)


This Open World Research Initative (OWRI) project consists of four major research programmes, funded by the UK’s Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The IMLR’s researchers are part of a consortium, led by the University of Manchester, which has been awarded £3.9 million to develop a large interdisciplinary programme of research entitled ‘Cross-language dynamics: reshaping community’.

The aim of AHRC’s multi-million pound investment in its priority area of modern languages is to explore and foreground the central role that languages play in relation to key historical and contemporary issues, such as social cohesion, migration, health, business and diplomacy. The initiative seeks to have a significant impact on the study of modern languages in the UK.

The Consortium

The ‘Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community’ (CLDRC) consortium involves three core partner institutions:

  • The University of Manchester, focusing on the multilingual (led by Professor Yaron Matras, University of Manchester)
  • Durham University, focusing on the transnational (co-led by Dr Andy Byford and Professor Anoush Ehteshami, Durham University)
  • University of London’s School of Advanced Study (SAS), focusing on the translingual (led by Professor Catherine Davies)

SAS and IMLR-led research will focus on translingual communities, questioning language’s importance in community formation. Translingual communities transcend perceived language barriers by negotiating across and between languages and by maximising the community-creating potential of translanguaging, translation, multimodal communication, online resources and non-verbal or semi-verbal forms (music, visual culture, internet). Researchers will work in collaboration with several universities in the UK and abroad, and non-academic organisations (primarily the British Library and the Royal Opera House). 

Case Studies

  • Translingual minorities: Minority identities, nationhood and cultural memory
  • Translingual modernities: Migration and global consumerism
  • Translingual networks: Investigating affective regimes of online sociality in digital culture
  • Translingualism in contemporary opera, music theatre and film

The Team

  • Professor Catherine Davies (Strand Leader)
  • Dr Godela Weiss-Sussex (SAS/IMLR)
  • Dr Katia Pizzi (SAS/IMLR)
  • Dr Paul Archbold (SAS/IMLR)
  • Dr Qing Cao (Durham)
  • Professor Luis Pérez-González (Mancheste)
  • Professor Philip Grange (Manchester)
  • Professor Jane Winters (SAS)
  • Professor Margaret Littler (Manchester)
  • Dr Naomi Wells (SAS, Digital Humanities)
  • Dr Elizabeth Dearnley (Strand Administrator, SAS/IMLR)


Cross Language Dynamics

The OWRI Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community consortium, explores the central role that languages play in relation to key contemporary issues.

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OWRI Visting Fellowships in Languages and Communities

Applications are invited from postdoctoral scholars and graduates wishing to research at the Institute of Modern Languages Research. Closing date: 30 April 20

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