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Digital Workshop: “Do no harm!” – Linguists reflect on identity, accountability, and engagement linguistics”

June 14 and June 15 2021, 15:00 - 17:00

Societal debates about identity investment have increased in scope and sharpened in tone, in traditional as well as social media. Against this backdrop, attaining (linguistic) knowledge must be considered a multi-faceted undertaking, which includes the language(s), the speaker(s), as well as the researcher(s), in a general discourse of accountability. The illusion of doing ‘good work’ in a broken world, one might say, has finally been shattered also in our field and calls for rigorous self examination and reflection - if only to withstand challenges that might come our way, as individuals or interest groups in the various linguistic subfields. Who is the judge of what constitutes ‘doing no harm,’ when our descriptive work is constantly being used to categorize: who wants to be a non-balanced bilingual? a speaker of a non-standard variety? a user of an ethnolect or of non-native English?

 The workshop contributors will illustrate the descriptive dilemma drawing on research undertaken in their respective fields. We will then engage in a discussion of how our research activities might be guided by common ideas of ethical and fair policy and procedure. In particular, we will give thought to various formats of collaboration and shared expertise, highlighting the necessity to move away from the illusion of individual accomplishment to an inclusive collaborative standard.



Dannabang Kuwabong, University of Puerto Rico

Hassan Beliah, Mohammed V University Rabat

John O'Regan, University College London

Anne Storch, GSSC 

Manuela Vida-Mannl, TU Dortmund 

Chris Bongartz, GSSC



Chris Bongartz and Manuela Vida-Mannl

For further information, please contact chris.bongartz@uni-koeln.de or manuela.vidamannl@tu-dortmund