CFP: Language and the SDGs

An upcoming symposium in New York on 21-22 April 2016 will address “Language and the Sustainable Development Goals.” This offers an  opportunity to address specific aspects of the importance of languages in international development.

The following call for papers is copied from the website of the Study Group on Language and the United Nations which is organizing the symposium along with the Centre for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems and the Center for Applied Linguistics. Note the deadline of 15 February. (Minor formatting changes.)


Call for Papers:

A Symposium on Language and the Sustainable Development Goals

on Thursday & Friday, April 21 & 22, 2016

at the Church Center, 777 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017

(First Avenue at 44th Street), Thurs. 1:00-5:00; Fri. 9:15-5:00

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals approved by the United Nations General Assembly for the period 2015-2030 (https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/) replace the eight Millennium Development Goals that covered the period 2000-2015. They aim to engage not only governments, but “all people, everywhere,” at all levels of civil society. Carrying them out will require active, two-way, democratic communication, in a multiplicity of languages. Furthermore, several of the Goals imply direct attention to issues of language. Study and research on language in relation to economic and social development is a well-established field. What does this field have to contribute to the realization of the SDGs? What linguistic obstacles stand in the way of their successful realization?

The organizers welcome proposals for brief 20-minute papers on topics linked to the SDGs, such as:

  • Language as a factor in sustainable development
  • Language as a factor in the realization of the SDGs
  • Language revival and maintenance in relation to the SDGs
  • Language and quality education (Goal 4)
  • Language and mother-tongue education (Goal 4)
  • Language and gender equality (Goal 5)
  • Language and economic growth (Goal 8)
  • Language and reduced inequalities (Goal 10)
  • Language and peace & justice (Goal 16)
  • Cooperation in the fulfilment of the SDGs (Goal 17)
  • NGOs and language policy in relation to the SDGs
  • UN language policy and the SDGs

Please send proposals (200 words or less, accompanied by an approximately 50-word biography) to the chair of the symposium organizing committee, Prof. Humphrey Tonkin, at tonkin [at] hartford [dot] edu, by February 15, 2016. The committee expects to make final decisions on the program by March 1.

Online Registration Form for the Symposium

Event Documents for the Symposium

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