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Metrolingual Connections: A Case Study of Aarhus 2017

Project Description

The notion of metrolingualism refers to the ‘creative linguistic conditions’ that exist across contemporary spaces and at the borders of culture, history and politics.

This research project approaches Aarhus 2017 as a space of different forms of encounters: material, artistic, fleeting, sustainable, interdisciplinary, spiritual, musical, dramatic, sensory, and personal. Working with the notion of encounters, the research project specifically uses the conceptual framework of metrolingualism to focus on Aarhus 2017 as a space of language encounters.

The aim of this exploratory research inquiry is to examine the ways and extents to which the circulations of different languages enabled by the encounters between diverse local, national, European and international participants of Aarhus 2017 impact the perceptions of the city in different shades of ‘Aarhusiansk-ness’, ‘Danish-ness, ‘European-ness’, or ‘global-ness’. By using multi-sited ethnographic methodology (Falzon 2009), the project seeks to generate empirical material by following and interacting with a small selection of actors involved in projects, activities, and events over the course of 2017.

The impact of language(s) is largely absent from the current list of the 36 evaluation criteria formulated by rethinkIMPACTS 2017, and yet the encounters of different languages is an implicit, yet essential ingredient in the collaborative processes that occur between local agents/institutions and their international partners in Aarhus 2017. This research project proposes to contribute with data and analyses that cuts across the four impact areas (cultural, social, political and organisational, image and identity) to assess the impact of metrolingualism as it unfolds in Aarhus 2017.