The BIC2010 organising team would like to thank the delegates who braved unusually difficult winter weather conditions to travel to Newcastle last week. We hope to see some or all of you again at the next BIC conference! (venue TBC).
While research on borderlands is well-established in the social sciences, it is only within recent years that interest in such regions as sites of particular relevance has taken hold within the fields of sociolinguistics and the sociology of language. Findings from studies on the relationships between and interdependence of language, borders and identities are of great value for many other disciplines within the social sciences – anthropology, human geography, and political science, among others. In the same way, the insights from social scientific research in border areas provide sociolinguists with challenging new theoretical frameworks within which to situate empirical evidence revealing the exact nature of the role language plays in identity-making and –marking in sites where identity is fluid, complex and emergent in social interaction.
The Borders and Identities Conference (BIC2010) is organised under the auspices of the Accent and Identity on the Scottish/English Border (AISEB) project.* The meeting has two aims:
1) to demonstrate our current state of knowledge in this fast-developing area of sociolinguistic inquiry,
2) to provide an interdisciplinary perspective in order that the results of recent sociolinguistic studies on the topic can be contextualised in broader social scientific discourse.
Our principal objective in organising the meeting is to foster new collaborative research initiatives by bringing together scholars in allied disciplines, with a view to extending and refining our understanding of the language-identity nexus in regions where in-group and out-group categorisations may be problematic, or at least more salient than elsewhere.
The conference venue is The Assembly Rooms, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. The conference dinner will take place at the Centre for Life, Times Square, Newcastle, and there will be an excursion to the Scottish/English border (including Berwick-upon-Tweed) on the day following the conference (January 10th).
Details of how to register, accommodation, etc., can be found by clicking on the links in the left-hand margin of this page.
Newcastle upon Tyne is served by an international airport and is easily reached by road or rail from other cities in the UK. Travel times by train from London, Manchester and Glasgow are in the region of 3 hours. Further travel information can be found here.
The Assembly Rooms (see map) is situated very close to Newcastle Central railway station and the city centre. On foot it takes at most five minutes to walk between the station and the venue. A taxi fare between the two will cost approximately £5.
The weather is currently cold in Newcastle - daytime temperatures are no higher than around 2°C (36°F), while at night they are dipping to -5°C (23°F). Delegates are advised to bring warm and waterproof clothing. These will be especially necessary if you wish to join us for the conference excursion to the Scottish / English border at Carter Bar and Berwick-upon-Tweed. Note that the itinerary for the excursion may be modified if the weather prevents taking a northward route through the Northumberland National Park.
Please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail (click here) if you require any additional information.
* Supported by Economic and Social Research Council award no. R062-23-0525.