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  • Voices in Dangerous Times: Language Endangerment & Political Instability

    When: Friday, March 22, 1–4 p.m.
    Where: The Commons, Smithsonian Castle, 1000 Jefferson Drive SW, Washington, DC

    The Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and the University of North Texas, in collaboration with the UN International Year of Indigenous Languages, present a poster session followed by a panel of guest linguists and political scientists on how political instability and violence break apart communities and erode their ability to pass down their written and spoken word.

    Free and open to the public. No registration required.


    1:00 – 1:45
    Poster session of historical and current case studies:
    Ghana (Samuel Atintono, Accra College of Education)
    Hungary (Miklós Kontra, Károli Gáspár University)
    Mexico (Emiliana Cruz, CIESAS-CDMX)
    Guatemala (Maria Garcia, Eastern Michigan University)
    India (Shobhana Chelliah and Sumshot Khular, University of North Texas)


    Panel Presentations

    Purpose, history and goals
    Shobhana Chelliah, Professor in Linguistics and Associate Dean of Research and Outreach at the College of Information, University of North Texas

    2:15 – 2:30
    Mapping ethnolinguistic identity: Conflict and language in a post-Cold War world

    Stan Dubinsky, Professor of Linguistics at the University of South Carolina in the Department of English Language and Literature

    2:30 – 2:45
    Hot topics and hot spots
    Kimi King, Distinguished Teaching Professor of Political Science at the University of North Texas, and
    James Meernik, Regents Professor of Political Science and Director of the Castleberry Peace Institute at the University of North Texas

    2:45 – 3:00
    Paths converging and diverging: Linguistics and political science
    Harvey Starr, Dag Hammarskjöld Professor in International Affairs Emeritus (Political Science) and Jewish Studies Program Emeritus Scholar at the University of South Carolina

    3:00 – 3:15
    Data mining political speech
    Leah Windsor, Research Assistant Professor in the Institute for Intelligent Systems at The University of Memphis

    3:15 – 3:30
    Intersections of linguistics and political science
    Shobhana Chelliah

    3:30 – 4:00
    Discussion and Q&A
    Mary Linn, Curator of Cultural and Linguistic Revitalization, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

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