CLER Conversation: Encountering the Other in Places of Stigma


Thursday, June 29, 2023

16:00 - 18:00

University of Leeds

CLER Conversation: Encountering the Other in Places of Stigma

In this CLER Conversation, we share our experience and outcomes of collaborative working to explore this question. The project was supported by an Arts and Humanities Research Council grant: “Ethics and Aesthetics of Encountering the Other: New Frameworks for Engaging with Difference” (AH/T005637/1). Its data are inspired by an anthropological probe into communication practices in rural Slovakia with a history of conflict between its ethnic Slovak majority and its stigmatised and spatially segregated Roma minority. The country has had a complicated historical relationship with the ethnic and linguistic other (Kubátová & Laníček, 2018). Its social, education and language policies concerning the Roma minority have contributed to spatial segregation (Rusnáková & Rochovská, 2014), unequal educational outcomes for young people from Roma communities (Markovič & Plachá, 2020) and a systemic stigmatisation and erasure of Roma communities’ linguistic practices from schooling and public life (Hübschmannová, 1970; Kusá, 2016; Vašečka, 2003). Encountering the Other is at once an ethical demand (Erasmus, 2018; Levinas, 1998) and, in this context of separation, a political impasse. We use our combined disciplinary tools of sociolinguistics, education, poetry and art, not to analyse but to invite the audience into an encounter. We open up a conversation about the role for collaborative language education research that unsettles rather than cumulates knowledge.

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