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CANCELLED Adam Jaworski: Language as Spectacle: The Linguistic Landscape of Tourism: LRDG Multimodalities Seminar

Date: 21 April 2010 Time: 4.00 - 5.00 pm

Venue: Institute for Advanced Studies Meeting Room 1

CANCELLED DUE TO TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. Multilingual signage is an indispensable part of the tourist landscape consumed as part of the visitors' quest for cultural distinction and local authenticity, and motivated by tourist destinations' attempts to position themselves as globalized, responding to and accommodating their visitors' assumed linguistic repertoires. In the process, language becomes a cultural commodity; it is recontextualized and put on display as part of the performance of place and identity; its mundane forms (e.g. greetings) are turned into multimodal welcoming spectacles combining elaborate font design, iconic imagery, national and regional symbols, and intertextual play. In these instances of mediated, fleeting contact between tourists and hosts, language is represented rather than lived (Debord 1995 [1967]), symbolic and celebratory rather than instrumental. In this talk, I will consider the 'meaning' of different language codes, genres and styles 'on the move', i.e. when they appear to have shifted from one context to another as part of the global flows of people and signifiers, in relation to the political economy of tourism and the ideologies of language and nation-state. A wide range of illustrative examples (including emplaced language and postcards) will be drawn from tourist destinations in the global 'core' and 'periphery', highlighting contrasts between 'grassroots' and 'elite' literacies, persisting regional inequalities, and access to resources fostered by global capitalism.

Adam Jaworski, Cardiff University

Event website:


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Lancaster Literacy Research Centre, Linguistics and English Language

Keywords: Literacies, Literacy, Multimodalities


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
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