Accessibility statement

Dr Alicia Fuentes-Calle
Research Associate



My interest in exploring the margins of language and communication comes as a result of an itinerary alternating Academia with professional involvement in international projects.

An initial interest in the concept of person(hood) boundaries (in the context of a first degree in Law, then reframed in Cognitive Semantics and Linguistic Anthropology) has always been in the background and manifested in subsequent areas of work and research: 

  • Language(s)/communication and Poetics.
  • Language(s)/communication against the backdrop of spiritual traditions/ anomalous experiences of communication.


  • I have joined (March 2019) the Department of Sociology (University of York) as a researcher in Language and Social Interaction.
  • (2016) PhD in Linguistics, Universitat de Barcelona (UB). Art of language and linguistic diversity. From R.Jakobson to L.Talmy and E.Glissant.
  • Master thesis in the doctoral programme Cognitive Science and Language (UB, UPF, UAB and URV). Conceptualisation and the category of the ‘person’.
  • (2006-08) Visiting Researcher at the Department of Linguistics, University of California at Berkeley. I followed a combined programme including Linguistics (cognitive semantics and field linguistics), Anthropology and "Theories of the Human" (in the context of critical anthropology/ geopolitics of knowledge).
  • MA Linguistics (UB).
  • (2000-01) Researcher at the École Biblique et Archéologique Française in Jerusalem: courses of languages and cultures of the Ancient Near East.
  • MA International Cultural Relations, Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF).
  • MA Law (UB - Barcelona, and Université Robert Schuman - Strasbourg)

Professional involvement in international projects

  • Linguapax, organisation working for world linguistic diversity (international network, research-action based), consultative status with UNESCO: Director (2017-2019) / Director of programmes (January 2016 – May 2017)
  • Head of the Linguistic Diversity Department at UNESCO Centre of Catalonia-Linguapax (2009- 2012).
  • Programme concept and design of contents, coordination of publications, supervision of interns/researchers, invited presentations at international conferences, etc.

Selected activities

  • Series of interuniversity research seminars, International Conference on World Linguistic Diversity (2017).
  • International Conference on Spiritual Traditions and Communication Practices (2017, 2018).
  • International conference Cities, arts and experiences of the word (2018).
  • Coordinated project with FABER Residency of Arts, Sciences and Humanities – Languages, worlds and action, etc.



I am interested in the margins of language and communication approached from two related perspectives:

1. Communication and poetics/ the art of language.

How an expanded conception of language
• which explores both the scope of linguistic realisation (how conceptual content is organised in language/ what potential conceptual content is not), and linguistic ideology/ communication ethos (what do we believe that can potentially be done with language –in representation/ interaction/ performance-) 

• can manifest productively in the art of language/ experiences of language and communication.*

Introducing experimental notions such as the poetic validity of language theories. **

2. Languages/communication and spiritual traditions***// Language(s), consciousness and anomalous experiences of communication: Working at present with Professor Robin Wooffitt (poetic confluence, communication and subjectivity).

Those theoretical interests are grounded in personal experience and background in the fields of cultural and linguistic diversity.**** 

* PhD research
** Fuentes-Calle, A. (2017). Poetic effects of language theories. OAR: The Oxford Artistic and Practice Based Research Platform Issue 2, Validity. 
*** See publications II.
**** See publications. 


Selected publications

(Invited) lectures, papers presented/conference contributions and teaching collaborations.

  • “Reframing the Contemporary Challenges in the Support and Promotion of Linguistic diversity” - Invited presentation at the International Conference Role of Linguistic Diversity in Building a Global Community with Shared Future: Protection, Access and Promotion of Language Resources organised by UNESCO, Ministry of Education of China, UNESCO National Committee of China, State Language Commission of China, and the People’s Government of Hunan Province. Changsha, Hunan Province, September 2018. 
  • Presentation of the paper “Globe-Making and Languages, Underestimated Entanglements” at the conference Other Globes: Past and Peripheral Imaginations of the Global, sponsored by the Amsterdam Centre of Globalisation Studies (ACGS) and the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA) – University of Amsterdam. July 2017.
  • Co-presentation and co-conduction of a seminar with Ngugi Wa Thiong’o on languages and literatures against the backdrop of ‘Decolonizing the mind’. Addressed to scholars and resarchers on literature, linguistics, postcolonial/decolonial studies. Seminar co-led with Simona Skrabec (PEN Català). Sponsored by the CCCB (Barcelona Contemporary Culture Centre) and Catalan PEN. May 2017.

  • Design and coordination of the Roundtable discussion “Generation of contexts for linguistic diversity” (on linguistic and cultural cooperation, on digital alliances for linguistic diversity). First International Conference on Revitalization of Indigenous and Minoritized Languages. Indiana University Bloomington - Universitat de Barcelona - Universitat de Vic– 19‐21 April 2017.

  • Design and coordination of the Roundtable discussion “Plural ways to approach plurality”: how a plural perspective on linguistic diversity can emerge, drawing on Linguapax’s experience as an international network. First International Conference on Revitalization of Indigenous and Minoritized Languages. Indiana University Bloomington - Universitat de Barcelona - Universitat de Vic– 19‐21 April 2017.

  • Presentation at the panel on multilingual European cities at the Intercultural Cities (Council of Europe) conference Building diverse communities based on shared values, Limassol (Cyprus). March, 2017.
  • Lecture Linguistic diversity and cultural sustainability: from preservation to the exploration of emerging knowledge and art forms. Smithsonian Institution, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Washington DC, April 2016. 
  • Lecture Pax Linguistica and preservation of linguistic diversity revisited at the Symposium on Language and the Sustainable Development Goals, organised by The Study Group on Language at the United Nations in cooperation with The Centre for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems and the Center for Applied Linguistics. New York, April 2016.
  • Paper Creation of reality approached from the perspective of the “art of language”/poetics in the framework of linguistic diversity presented at the First CRAG International Confluence - CRAG (Creation of Reality Group). School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures, University of Edinburgh. December 2015.
  • Lecture Linguistic Diversity and the Geopolitics of Knowledge, at the V Training Seminar Knowledge Politics and Intercultural Dynamics: Actions, Innovations, Transformations. At CIDOB (Barcelona Centre for International Affairs), December 2011.
  • Participation in the experts meeting hosted by the Institute for Ethnic Studies of Slovenia and the Slovenian National Commission for UNESCO. Ljubljana, October 2011.
  • Lecture Linguistic diversity and ‘Pax Linguistica’, at the international seminar Language policy and the promotion of peace, Universität Osnabrück. July 2011. 
  • Keynote address Linguapax and Multilingual Education in Africa, at the III Linguapax-Afrika Conference, Dakar, Senegal. March 2011.
  • Lecture Some Thoughts on Intercultural Multilingual Education at the international conference hosted by the Red de Cooperación Intercultural Multilingüe (RECIM). Santiago de Chile, October 2010. 
  • Keynote address “Minority and minoritised languages, an international overview”, International conference on language policies Catalonia/ Colombia, Bogotá. Colombian Ministry of Culture and Institut Ramon Llull. March 2010.
  • Lecture Linguistic diversity and geopolitics of knowledge given at the course “A multilingual school for the XXIst century” at Els Juliols, Summer University of Universitat de Barcelona. July 2009.
  • Paper “Prayer: the construal of personhood and a particular sense of performativity” presented at the panel The Languages of the Body and the Soul: Narratives, Multimodality, and Embodiment at the XXVII International Conference AESLA (Asociación Española de Lingüística Aplicada): “Ways and Modes of Human Communication”. Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Ciudad Real. March 2009.
  • Lecture Languages and knowledges in multilingual cities, at the conference “Multiculturalism and Intercultural Dialogue in Globalization”, organised by the European Commission, New Delhi, in the framework of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue. December 2008.
  • Lecture Languages, conceptualization and perspectives on reality given at the course “Languages and migrations” at the Summer University of Universitat Ramon Llull. July 2008.

Selected publications/ lecture recordings

I. Art of language (poetics/linguistic diversity)

  • Fuentes-Calle, A. (2017). Poetic effects of language theories. OAR: The Oxford Artistic and Practice Based Research Platform Issue 2, Validity. 
  • Fuentes-Calle, A. (2016). Art del llenguatge i diversitat lingüística. De R. Jakobson a L. Talmy i É. Glissant. (Art of language and linguistic diversity. From R.Jakobon to L.Talmy and E.Glissant. (PhD thesis online) Barcelona: Universitat de Barcelona. 
  • Llengües i la creació de mons (‘Languages and the creation of worlds’). Invited lecture at the Ateneu Barcelonès. 20 February 2017.
  • El multilingüisme, ‘un mode de l’imaginari’. Édouard Glissant (‘Multilingualism, “a mode of the imaginary”. Édouard Glissant’). Invited lecture at the Ateneu Barcelonès. 3 May 2016.

II. Language, communication and spiritual traditions/ exploring communication phenomena

  • (in progress) Languages and communication observed from spiritual traditions. Some underestimated elements of linguistic diversity and cultural sustainability. Invited paper to the online publication Linguistic diversity, minoritised languages and sustainable development coordinated by the UNESCO Chair on World Language Heritage, Universidad del País Vasco (Munduko Hizkuntza Ondarearen UNESCO Katedra).
  • (in progress) Introduction to Languages and the spirit of the wor(l)d, collective volume gathering contributions in international conference. Linguapax 2018.
  • Fuentes-Calle, A. (2018). Spiritual traditions, languages and radical communication. In Languages and Spiritual Traditions. Linguapax, Barcelona.
  • Fuentes-Calle, A. (2009). Pregària i diversitat lingüística (Prayer and Linguistic Diversity), in 27 Llengua i acollida VVAA.

III. Linguistic diversity, multilingual cities.

  • Introduction to World Language Diversity: Old and New Frontiers, Emerging Scenarios. Barcelona. Linguapax Review 2017.
  • Velles i noves fronteres de la diversitat lingüística. RLD blog (Blog Llengua i Dret / Journal Language and Law) October 2017
  • Interview with Dr Matthias Brenzinger, Mellon Research Chair: African Language Diversity in the Linguistic section of the School of African & Gender Studies, Anthropology and Linguistics at the University of Cape Town. Director of CALDi – Centre for African Language Diversity, Curator of TALA – The African Language Archive. May 2017. 
  • Seminar with Ngugi Wa Thiong’o on languages and literatures against the backdrop of ‘Decolonizing the mind’. Sponsored by the CCCB (Barcelona Contemporary Culture Centre) and Catalan PEN. May 2017 (in press).
  • Fuentes-Calle, A. (2014). Foreword to Language Policy and the Promotion of Peace: African and European Case Studies ed. by Neville Alexander, Arnulf von Scheliha. Pretoria : Unisa Press.
  • Fuentes-Calle, A. (2010). “Multilingual Cities: Communities of Knowledge” in Urban Diversity: Space, Culture, and Inclusive Pluralism in Cities Worldwide edited by: C. Wanjiku Kihato , M. Massoumi , B.A. Ruble. Woodrow Wilson Center Press with Johns Hopkins University Press.


Contact details

Dr Alicia Fuentes-Calle
Research Associate (Language and Social Interaction)
Department of Sociology
University of York
North Yorkshire
YO10 5DD