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Fleeing from an ash cloud: Languages, literacies and technologies as resources in a coach hurtling across Europe. Literacy Research Discussion Group

Date: 15 February 2011 Time: 1.00 pm -

Venue: C89 (meeting room 7) County South

This paper is about people's decision-making and communication practices in times of uncertainty. It examines how people acted when flights were grounded in Europe in April 2010 as a result of the ash cloud, focussing on a group of people travelling from Norway to Britain in a hired coach. Drawing on literacy studies along with broader work on new technologies, it covers:

  • How people integrate languages, literacies and technologies as global resources for local decision making;
  • How they deploy networks of support in different ways; and
  • How they evaluate knowledge in a rapidly changing situation of rumour and counter-claim.

The paper emphasises the need to develop richer notions of networked interaction and mediated language use in a mobile world, and it highlights the importance of language issues for crisis management in a multilingual, multimodal world.

Event website:


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Associated staff: David Barton

Organising departments and research centres: Centre for Mobilities Research (CeMoRe), Lancaster Literacy Research Centre, Linguistics and English Language, Sociology

Keywords: Literacies, Literacy practices, Mobilities, Multilingualism, Multimedia technologies, Multimodalities


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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