Public lecture Deborah Cameron
On Thursday, 19 September 2013, Institute of Multilingualism, 5.15 - 6.45 pm, room K0.02
Public lecture Prof. Deborah Cameron, University of Oxford:
"Verbal hygiene after 9/11: language, the state and the new racism"
In my book Verbal Hygiene I argue that public discourse on language often functions as a code for the expression of beliefs, fears and desires which are not directly to do with language, but rather with political, social and moral questions which are difficult or inconvenient to talk about openly. In this lecture I consider a kind of discourse on language which has become widespread and politically salient in my own country, Britain, since the beginning of the 21st century. This discourse represents a particular language, English, as a mark of British national identity, something that unifies the British people and holds society together. But beneath the surface, what is actually being expressed is a deep unease about the effects of recent social change: about the economic and demographic consequences of globalization, about Britain’s place in Europe and in the larger global order, and not least, about the threat of global terrorism.
Professor Deborah Cameron currently holds the Chair of Language and Communication at Oxford University; she has previously held academic positions in Scotland, Sweden and the USA. She is the author of books and articles on numerous topics, including language ideologies and ‹verbal hygiene›, language and globalization, communication in service workplaces, language, gender and sexuality, buildings and language, and approaches to conversation and spoken discourse. She is also one of the co-authors of Researching Language (Cameron, Frazer, Harvey, Rampton and Richardson 1992), a critical text about research methods and research ethics.