Languages and cultures in times of war: (im)possible, (re)imagined, (un)manageable

This conference is co-organised by
the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)
together with the Institute of Slavic Studies at Justus Liebig University of Giessen, Germany,
the Research Center for Sociology of Language, Uzhhorod National University, Ukraine,
the Department of Philology, Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv, Ukraine
and supported by the UCL Global Engagement Funds, PROLang Research Centre
and Ukrainian Institute London.
Call for papers
While languages and cultures and their roles in society have been objects of study for centuries,
the attempts to understand and analyse the impact of wars on culture, communication and the
status and corpus of languages are quite recent. Our conference will examine the impact of
military conflicts, aggressive actions, and wars on all aspects of languages and cultures in various
countries. The current war Russia has unleashed in Ukraine as well as other military conflicts
around the world have had an enormous effect on the development of music, arts, languages,
and other areas of culture. The interdisciplinary conference will explore what happens to
cultures, communication, and languages in times of wars, whether/how they change and adopt
new approaches, or how they are instrumentalised by actors during wartime.
In this conference, we invite participants to explore various aspects of languages and cultures in
times of wars. We particularly encourage submissions from scholars working on Slavonic and East
European cultures, communication, and languages, but we warmly welcome papers exploring
other languages and cultures around the world. We are very pleased to let you know that
colleagues from the BBC World Service will be involved in the conference.
Contributions might address, but are not limited to, the following topics:
Culture and language change due to wars or military conflicts:
how wars impact the development of cultures or languages.
Wartime communication and the development of new narratives.
Cultural propaganda.
The role of languages and cultures in conflict situations: some lessons from history.
Language and culture policy and planning in the time of war:
whether the process is manageable.
Cultural genocide or culturicide and linguicide.
The preservation of art and culture heritage in times of war.
Translation and interpreting in wartime.
The role of interpreters, translators, and linguists in conflicts.
The development of cultures and languages in post-war environment.
Prof. Dr. Monika Wingender (Institute for Slavic Studies, Justus Liebig University of Giessen, Germany)
Prof. Dr. Alex Krouglov (School of Slavonic and East European Studies, UCL, UK)
Dr. Nadiya Kiss (Institute for Slavic Studies, Justus Liebig University of Giessen, Germany)
Deadline for submission of abstracts: 1 December 2023
All submissions in English should be sent by email to
We welcome proposals for individual papers as well as for 3- or 4-person panels. For individual papers,
please submit an abstract of max 250 words and a short bio of 100 words. For panel proposals, please
submit a short rationale for the panel (approx. 200 words) as well as abstracts for each individual
paper (max 250 words abstract per each paper) and short bios of all speakers (100 words each).
We will aim to send notifications of acceptance by 10th January 2024.
Mode of attendance: we hope that the majority of speakers and participants will be able to attend in
person. We are planning to welcome around 30 speakers in this conference. An online option may be
available depending on the number of requests and availability of slots in the programme.
There will be no registration fee for this conference, however we will expect that participants will
cover their travel and accommodation expenses.
Publication: we will assess the possibility of a publication after the conference.

2 – 3 May 2024 UCL Bloomsbury, London and online20230910_call-for-papers-1

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