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					                        Linguistics Department/VLIR

                                   Day 1

                Workshop: Space, Culture and Multilingualism

                Venue: Centre for Humanities Research (CHR)

                          Tuesday, 7th April 2009

    Time                   Presenter                        Title of paper
08H45 – 09H00         Christopher Stroud                     Introduction
                     Professor of Linguistics
                     Linguistics Department
                    University of the Western
09H00 – 09H40             Amina Peck                Multilingualism, Identities and
                         PHD Candidate              Transformation in Observatory
                     Linguistics Department           (Cape Town): a discourse
                    University of the Western                  analysis
09H40 – 10H20            Michael Batch               Imagining Multilingual Spaces
                         MA Candidate               through Scripted code-switching
                     Linguistics Department                   in 7de Laan
                    University of the Western
10H20 – 10H40                                   Coffee
10H40 – 11H20          Quentin Williams             Popular Spaces of Multilingual
                        PHD Candidate               Practices in late-modern Cape
                     Linguistics Department          Town: Stones Kuilsriver and
                   University of Western Cape               Mzoli‟s Meat
11H20 – 12H00           Kudzayi Ngara              Imagining and Imaging the City:
                        PHD Candidate                  Ivan Vladislavic and the
                      English Department               Postcolonial Metropolis
                    University of the Western
12H00 – 12H45          General Discussion                 General Discussion

13H00 – 14H00                                   Lunch
14H20 – 16H00              Lionel Wee                  The technologization of
                     Professor of Linguistics        discourse and authenticity in
                     Department of English           English Language Teaching
                     Language & Literature                      (ELT)
                      National University of
                        Linguistics Department/VLIR

                                   Day 2

                Workshop: Space, Culture and Multilingualism

                Venue: Centre for Humanities Research (CHR)

                         Wednesday, 8th April 2009

    Time                    Presenter                      Title of paper
09H00 – 09H15             Gordon Pirie                      Introduction
                     Professor of Geography
                     Geography Department
                    University of Western Cape
09H15 – 09H55            Nyasha Garaba                 Deconstructing souvenir
                          MA Candidate                  photographs: imagery,
                     Geography Department             imagining and (re)creating
                    University of Western Cape               Cape Town

09H55 – 10H30              Heike Becker               Negotiating Culture in
                 Assoc. Professor of Anthropology   Contemporary South Africa:
                           Department of                Photographic self-
                     Anthropology/Sociology          representations from the
                    University of Western Cape              Cape Flats
10H30 – 10H45                                Coffee
10H45 – 11H15            Hilde D'haeyere              Urban Modernity and
                 University College Ghent & Royal    Cinema: American Silent
                      Academy of Fine Arts            Comedy (1910-1930)

11H15 – 12H00           Steven Jacobs                 Urban Modernity and
                GUST (Ghent Urban Studies Team)     Cinema: City Symphonies
                      University of Ghent                 (1910-1930)
12H00 – 13H00                              Lunch
14H00 – 16H00                       Roundtable Discussion

Peck, Amiena
PHD Candidate
Linguistics Department
Title: Multilingualism, Identities and Transformation in Observatory (Cape
Town): a discourse analysis

The focus of the thesis is conceptually-based and problematizes the notion of a
transformed society while addressing and evaluating its meaning in the multicultural
setting of Observatory in Cape Town. Concepts such as „multilingualism‟ and
„hybridity‟ are discussed within the historical context and understanding of a newly
established democratic South Africa. The study endeavours to explore discourses of
language and identity in the previously predominantly English-speaking community
of Observatory, through a poststructuralist discourse analysis of the kinds of
interactions or interactional regimes evident in three sites in Observatory. The idea is
to gain knowledge of language use and identity construction in different multilingual
spaces in Observatory, as well as to establish a platform on which to understand
critical issues dealing with social interaction, translocations and community
membership, identity, language and integration in Observatory. Focus will therefore
rest on issues such as hybridity, identity options, translocations, translocal and
transnational cultural flows, localization and globalization. All these issues fall under
the broader theme of discourse of transformation and integration in multilingual
spaces. The study strictly works within the framework of a qualitative approach. The
focus is on a sociolinguistic multiplex interpretive site approach and a
poststructuralist/interactionist discourse analysis of generated narratives supplied by
informants during interviews and temporal and spatial descriptions of research sites.
The aim is to do an analysis of interactional regimes at different times of day or night.
Arising from this study it is hoped that a deeper understanding of migration,
transnational and transcultural flows, hybridity and identity in multilingual spaces of
South Africa will be reached.

Bhatch, Michael
PHD Candidate
Linguistics Department
Title: Imagining multilingual spaces through scripted codeswitching in ‘7de

My paper aims to examine the manner in which multilingual spaces are imagined and
reconstructed through the use of scripted codeswitching in multilingual performances.
I will outline the socio-political discourses and other ideologies from the broader
South African context that shape and influence the ways in which scripted
performances imagine and reconstruct multilingual spaces. I will use „7de Laan‟, a
popular multilingual soap opera as a point of reference as it constructs/depicts an
imaginary multilingual space in the fictitious town/suburb of Hillside in
Johannesburg, South Africa. This soap opera depicts multilingual hybridity and
integration in a late-modern multilingual space through the employment of the
linguistic device of codeswitching. Even though the dominant language of the soap is
Afrikaans the show incorporates other languages such as IsiZulu and English into its
script. This deliberate scripting, and imagining and reconstruction of multilingual
spaces is influenced by discourses of new democracy, multilingualism and linguistic
and social integration. These discourses mark the movement of the South African
media away from the socially culturally, linguistically pure and exclusive discourses
of the Apartheid regime to the socially, culturally and linguistically hybrid and all
inclusive discourses of a post-colonial multicultural democracy. Barnard (2006:39)
argues that popular culture especially soaps in South Africa are working alongside
political and social institutions to “chronicle the transformation of the country into a
multicultural democracy and imaginatively/materially create a new South Africa” thus
shaping the imaginations of the audience. The imagining of multilingual spaces
through codeswitching in this soap is not only shaped by its scripting but it is also
embedded in the social, cultural and historical context (which I will refer to as the
broader context) in which the performance takes place, in this case post-apartheid
multilingual South Africa. Bauman and Briggs (1990:72-73) assert that the form and
function of a performance cannot be fully understood if it is isolated from its broader
and situational context, they suggest that a bi-directional relationship exists between
ideology and performance. My research thus aims to contextualize the imagined and
reconstructed multilingual spaces in „7de laan‟ in its broader context in order to fully
understand how and why codeswitching is employed within the scripting of the soap.

Williams, Quentin
PHD Candidate
Linguistics Department
Title: Popular spaces of multilingual practices in late-modern Cape Town

In this paper, I report on preliminary data collected at two research sites: Stones
Kuilsriver and Mzoli‟s Meat. I will illustrate how dynamic and emergent multilingual
practices arise under late-modern processes of production/consumption, and how this
problematizes traditional and/or contemporary approaches to multilingual studies that
employ structural-functional models derivative of situations of stasis and community.
To approach this problem I frame the mentioned sites as popular spaces where
encounters between mobile populations and multilingual language users permit
investigation into trajectories of development of locally-styled multilingual practices
of youth in late modern Cape Town. Much of the literature of relevance to the
question of how language practices circulate transnationally and across different
spaces is written within the frameworks of the world Englishes (Kachru, 1986), global
Englishes (Crystal, 1997), and Linguistic Imperialism (Phillipson, 1992) paradigms.
The study is situated in a critical take on this body of literature and has employed
methods of multi-site sociolinguistic ethnography research, triangulated with
qualitative methods of data collection. It will contribute to an emerging body of
theory around multilingualism in late modern societies.
Ngara, Kudzayi
PHD Candidate
English Department
Title: Imagining and Imaging the City: Ivan Vladislavic and the Postcolonial

The postcolonial period has ushered in alternative perspectives on identity,
alternatives which challenge the hegemony for instance of the dominant discourses
such as colonialism (apartheid) and nationalism (the struggle for national self-
determination). In both paradigms of colonialism and nationalism, the quest for an
individual identity has often been superseded by the need to assert a perceived
communal “good”, to the effect that individuals become aliens in their own
communities as they are unable to fully express their senses of “self”. In the decades
coinciding with the nationalist struggles for independence in the various countries, a
great proportion of literary works and literary criticism has laid emphasis on social
realism and the poetics thereof, to the detriment of a deeper understanding of the ways
in which a poetics of the imagination might be shaped by perceptions of the individual
as subject.

The Johannesburg that Vladislavic is narrating is a virtual cultural melting pot with a
ceaselessly dynamic demographics. Aubrey Tearle, a character in The Restless
Supermarket whose job is to proofread the telephone directory, wryly remarks on the
changing character of the surnames in the formerly whites-only suburbs as people
from formerly disadvantaged communities move into these former citadels of
privilege. I envisage showing that Vladislavic is engaged, in his writing, in the
postcolonial deconstruction of ideas about identity. The city is made up of
characteristics that go beyond the mortar and brick edifices, which are the
manifestations of the physical structure of the city, to encapsulate some of the nature
and qualities of the city‟s inhabitants. In the various selected texts character travel
through the imagined city but one also gets the sense that the city also travels,
imaginatively, through them as the characters adopt different strategies in order to
fashion a reality of their own making, as opposed to accepting a place within the
bounds of a predetermined objective reality. I am interested in the manner in which
characters seem to willingly write themselves into the cityscape.

Wee, Lionel
Professor of Linguistics
Department of English Language & Literature
National University of Singapore (Singapore)
Title: The technologization of discourse and authenticity in English Language
Teaching (ELT)

Enterprise culture puts pressure on individuals to demonstrate their entrepreneurial
selves by drawing connections between their identities both inside and outside the
workplace to consistently display a high degree of agency, initiative and purpose. This
means that school-based ELT can and should play a greater role in preparing students
for the workplace by sensitizing them to the properties of discourse in enterprise
culture. To do this, ELT needs to appreciate that such discourse is both increasingly
technologized and reliant on the notion of self-based authenticity. This talk explains
how self-based authenticity is related to, yet distinct from, the text-based and task-
based authenticities that usually concern ELT, and suggests that a performance-oriented
perspective can help learners come to terms with the demands of technologized

Garaba, Nyasha
MA Candidate
Department of Geography & Environmental Studies
Title: Deconstructing souvenir photographs: imagery, imagining and (re)creating
Cape Town

As evident in postcards, calendars, magazines, books and brochures, Cape Town is
one of the most captivating tourist destinations in the world; it is also one of the most
photographed. This suggests a strong relationship between tourism and the
pictographic (re)presentation of Cape Town through photography. One salient
conclusion that has emanated from the discourse on the relationship between tourism
and photography is that tourist perceptions of the “other” are primarily constructed,
shaped and standardized by both commercial and non-commercial genres of
photography. Commercial and non-commercial photography of tourist destinations
seems to influence how tourists behave in and consume cities, landscapes and
cultures. The research focuses on souvenir photographs of Cape Town that have been
appropriated, captured and refracted through tourists‟ camera lenses. Much of the
existing research suggests that souvenir photographs are devices for consuming visual
images and aspects of the analysis of cultural encounters. However the very same
research fails to offer sufficient evidence for explaining what the tourist looks at and
sees through photographic practices and what tourists do with their travel photos,
introducing broader questions of performance and (re)presentation. Drawing on both
cognitive and theoretical perspectives, this research attempts to deconstruct the
complexities surrounding the construction of the tourist gaze on cityscapes such as
Cape Town. Using a variety of methods, the proposed study also seeks to explore,
examine and deconstruct the role of souvenir photography in creating stereotypical
images of Cape Town. Analysis of the format and content of the souvenir photographs
of Cape Town helps identify and explain dominant aesthetic elements that point to the
selectivity and novelty of souvenir photographs. Personal narratives on the uses and
meanings of photographs provide insights into how souvenir photography of Cape
Town symbolizes actual and desired tourist experiences and how they sustain tourism

Becker, Heike
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Anthropology and Sociology Department
Title: Negotiating Culture in Contemporary South Africa: Photographic self-
representations from the Cape Flats

This paper presents insights from recent research into visual imaginations of culture
on the Cape Flats, and more specifically in two of Cape Town‟s older townships. The
project in visual ethnography critically investigated the visibility of popular
understandings of culture and the processes, discourses and practices of negotiating
culture in post-apartheid South Africa. Township residents were asked to make use of
inexpensive photographic technology to visually represent what they see as their
culture. The solicitation of photographs was complemented by a series of interviews
with the same Cape Flats residents, which investigated their life histories, everyday
practices, and the participants‟ reflections on culture. The analysis of how residents of
the poorer urban areas in the Western Cape make sense of and relate to broader
culture discourses is focused on encounters with the visual and visual expressions in
the see-saw of negotiating culture. The argument connects discourses in the public
sphere, where the state, media, and other political and societal agents employ cultural
strategies, with those of a range of intermediate and micro social settings, and the
aspirations of persons. The paper argues that different media of popular expressions:
oral and written verbal discourses, sound, different forms of visualisations (including
new forms such as cellphone photography), bodily practices, and others, provide
different contexts in which people may affirm publicly generated notions of reified
culture or may engage in rethinking and debating their identities in more fluid and
porous ways.

Jacobs, Steven
GUST (Ghent Urban Studies Team)
University of Ghent (Belgium)
Title: Urban Modernity and Cinema: City Symphonies (1910-1930)

Often presented as a stage determined by the culture of hyperstimulation (cf. Simmel)
and shock experiences (cf. Benjamin), the metropolis was often interpreted in
cinematic terms. Conversely, cinema was often presented as the only medium capable
of evoking life in the modern city. This was clearly the case in the so-called city
symphonies - a film genre, hovering between documentary, feature film, and
experimental film, which was popular in the 1920s and 1930s on both sides of the
Atlantic. Films by Walther Ruttmann and Dziga Vertov among others attempt at
translating the urban experience into a pure film form based on stimulus-response
mechanisms and experimental cinematic techniques.

D'haeyere, Hilde
University College Ghent & Royal Academy of Fine Arts
Title: Urban Modernity and Cinema: American Silent Comedy (1910-1930)

The new thrills and dangers of the modern city were not only important topics in
avant-garde film culture but also in early-twentieth century American popular culture
and its sensationalist stance. This was also the case in so-called slapstick - the
American silent film comedies by Mack Sennett, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton,
Harold Lloyd, and many others. With its fascination for mechanical speed, physical
action, and consecutive thrills, slapstick embraced the metropolitan environment
turning its icons, such as the car and the skyscraper, into crazy machines.

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