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The International Association for Minority Language Media Research (IAMLMR)

We are researchers working across the world in the field of Minority Language Media.

Activities and Events

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Background and Rationale:

The International Association for Minority Language Media Research (IAMLMR) was created in Edinburgh in October 2019 during the Minority Language Media conference Crowded Out or Limitless Horizons co-organised by the Etxepare Basque Institute and the University of Edinburgh.

Since the early days of minority language media research (see Jones and Uribe-Jongbloed (eds, 2013) for a more detailed account), there has been a strong Eurocentric or Western focus in both conceptual and contextual studies. As well as the overall Westernization factors that affect all academic disciplines – that we recognise – we identify three other specific reasons for this:

  • the number of researchers that based at European universities and other research institutes in Europe, their contribution to the development of the field and their networked approach to the subject areas, often supported by European Union funding (such as the Mercator Network);
  • the nature of the undertaken in minority language media research, which has had a strong focus on applied research (as opposed to highly theoretical approaches) including engaged research, which is often rooted in the linguistic communities that are being researched and closely connected to players within them, as well as wanting to make a positive contribution to their development.
  • although the field has grown in Europe, it is still a marginalised discipline and cannot command high levels of funding that are required for more intense international exchange including global travel to attend conferences, exchange projects, comparative fieldwork etc.

This however is not to discountenance efforts being made in Africa, (South) America and Asia. Extended research essays, dissertations and theses have been written on the subject. In Africa, the first co-ordinated effort was Indigenous Language Media in Africa (Salawu, 2006). It took another ten years before the second edited volume, Indigenous Language Media, Language Politics and Democracy in Africa edited by Abiodun Salawu and Monica Chibita was published. The latest is Salawu, A. [Ed.] 2019. African Language Digital Media and Communication.

The researchers present at the Edinburgh Etxepare conference took the collective decision to set up the International Association for Minority Language Media Research (IAMLMR) as positive action to connect researchers of minority language media in all parts of the world because:

  • researchers in several parts of the world have been producing important studies and critical reflections that should be circulated beyond their countries, states and world regions; 
  • the focus in the field of Minority Language Media Research on applied and engaged research can be enriched through increasing the connectedness of our researchers and, in turn, our communities;
  • factors such as migration, diaspora communities and global mobility require us to take resolute action to deepen our collaboration with each other, in order to understand our own contexts in more meaningful ways;
  • global challenges such as climate change, access to education, unequal distribution of economic resources, low levels of literacy, inequalities and other adverse conditions are threatening our current linguistic diversity. Access to media – and access to research of the media – are important aspects of analysing and finding solutions to these challenges.
  • the sharing and transfer of best practice, research and studies (conceptual and contextual) should happen within relationships of mutual respect and curiosity between researchers in all parts of the world.

The International Association for Minority Language Media Research’s definition of media includes all media, including social media, non-professional (volunteer or user generated) media, factual and journalism, audiovisual fiction, digitisation etc, across all platforms and in all parts of the world.

The International Association for Minority Language Media Research’s definition of language includes all language communities who self-define as minority, minoritized or non-hegemonic, including those who self-define as indigenous. It is not confined to written or to spoken languages, and oral/non-written languages, as well as signed/non-spoken languages are included.

Activities:

As we develop our membership, structure and activities over the coming months, we welcome communication, ideas and contributions from researchers in all parts of the world. Contact: Professor Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones elin.jones@uwtsd.ac.uk or Craig Willis minlangmedia@gmail.com

Events:

Thursday 28th January 2021 (16:00-18:00 CET) – Workshop on the Findings of the Covid-19 Minority Language Media blog series via Zoom. Contact Craig Willis minlangmedia@gmail.com to attend.

Wednesday 24th February 2021 (16:00-18:00 CET) – Workshop on indigenous MLM and indigeneity. Via Zoom. Contact Craig Willis minlangmedia@gmail.com to attend.

Wednesday 24th – Friday 26th March 2021 – we will be presenting at the XVIII International Conference on Minority Languages which will be held online.

Wednesday 24th May 2021 - 10am EST Book launch and discussion on the aims and challenges of curating landmark publications in the field of MLM to mark the publication of 'Documentary in Wales' (edited by Dafydd Sills-Jones and Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones) as part of Peter Lang's series Documentary Film Cultures.

Wednesday 13th October 2021 (IAMLMR meeting, in person in Flensburg, Germany) leading into Thursday 14th and Friday 15th October, Conference organised by IAMLMR held at Europa Universität in Flensburg. Details of the Call for Papers can be downloaded here - the deadline is 31st May 2021.

(Details to follow on our November event)

Members:

We meet regularly as a working group to develop the association and to plan events and activities. Contact: Professor Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones elin.jones@uwtsd.ac.uk or Craig Willis minlangmedia@gmail.com if you would like further details on how to join.

Dr. Sergiusz Bober – European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI)

Hauke Heyen – Europa Universität Flensburg

Prof. Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones – University of Wales Trinity Saint David                            

Dr. Miren Manias-Muñoz – University of the Basque Country

Marc Röggla – MIDAS / Eurac Research, Bolzano.

Prof. Abiodun Salawu – North-West University, South Africa

Dr Dafydd Sills-Jones, Auckland University of Technology

Dr. Jenny Stenberg-Sirén – University of Helsinki

Dr. Enrique Uribe Jongbloed – Universidad Externado de Colombia, Bogotá

Dr. John Walsh – NUI Galway

Craig Willis – European Centre for Minority Issues / Europa Universität Flensburg