Greening Modern Languages Research and Teaching


The conference programme is available to view at

The three-day international online conference ‘Greening Modern Languages Research and Teaching’ will reflect on the role Modern Languages as a discipline has to play in times of ecological crises, in rethinking our academic practice as educators, scholars and eco-citizens, and ways in which this intersects with current efforts to decentre and decolonise the curriculum. The conference will open a reflection on the place of Modern Languages in the Environmental Humanities and in collective action towards environmental sustainability and justice.

As a discipline that has been profoundly and productively decentred in the postcolonial context, moving beyond the nations that ‘for a long time, determined [its] boundaries’ (Forsdick 2015: 2), how might Modern Languages contribute to developing and rethinking our sense of place and sense of planet (Heise 2008) in times of climate emergency and the sixth mass extinction? How may Modern Languages take part in challenging the universalism of monolingualism and of the ‘Age of Man’? What role can Modern Languages play in the Environmental Humanities and the ‘‘‘unsettling’’ of dominant narratives’ and exploration of ‘the implications of new narratives that are calibrated to the realities of our changing world’ (Bird Rose, van Dooren, Chrulew, Cooke, Kearnes and O’Gorman 2012)? What methodologies, concepts and multilingual lexicon does the transnational and cross-disciplinary field of Modern Languages offer to rethink our relationship to the more-than-human? How may we, as Modern Languages scholars and educators, contribute to meaningful and significant sustainability, while navigating the pitfalls of a term that green capitalism has attempted to void of its potential for political dissensus? What possibilities are there for those working within unsustainable higher education systems?

These are some of the key questions that this conference will explore. As part of the conference there will be workshops to collaboratively build a multilingual lexicon of environmental keywords across cultures, and to share pedagogical resources for developing ecological awareness in conjunction with linguistic and cultural diversity.

The conference will feature a talk and discussion with political scientist, author and activist Fatima Ouassak, as part of the ‘Récits des vivants/More-than-human narratives’ online seminar series. The seminar will take place 4-5pm GMT on 23rd March and will be in French with simultaneous English translation.

‘Greening Modern Languages Research and Teaching’ is funded by the British Academy / Leverhulme Trust Small Grant scheme (SRG22\220097).
23 Mar 202325 Mar 2023

Greening Modern Languages Research and Teaching

Duration24 Mar 202325 Mar 2023
Location of eventInternational Online Conference
Web address (URL)
Degree of recognitionInternational event

Event: Conference

Event (Conference)

TitleGreening Modern Languages Research and Teaching
LocationInternational Online Conference
Degree of recognitionInternational event


  • environmental humanities, modern languages, ecocriticism, environmental activism