Conference by Julie Abbou, post-doctoral fellow in language sciences (Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7).
Politics and language are inherently woven. The sphere of the political is very much intertwined with the negotiation of values as societies develop. Discourse is the raw material that allows us to make sense of the world, and as such, language and the linguistic structures themselves, are also places where the world is shaped. In this context, when we're speaking, we're putting social relations into words, expressing what they are, or what we would like them to be, with the linguistic and social categories we have at hand.
During this conference, we will be focusing on questions of social relationships, gender, sexualities, as they relate to language and discourse. We will also look at how language challenges these social relations, when language becomes a place of struggle and emancipation.
We will use different examples to explore how gender issues and language issues are linked, and what possibilities these open up. What are the stakes of feminist intervention on language? Who is the default speaking subject? What is the history of feminist interventions on language? How do they circulate from one form to another, from one geographical or national space to another, from one language to another? Is it possible to speak beyond relations of domination? Does language impose limits on us? Can we emancipate ourselves from gender categories and their hierarchy?
A historical overview of the recurrent polemics around these interventions will finally allow us to understand the ideological stakes of linguistic changes, in particular the way in which nationalism invites itself into the debate on inclusive writing, in order to show that the social order and the linguistic order lean on each other.
Equality Tuesdays are a series of lectures on equality issues. Once a month, these conferences feature expert speakers on these issues.