Department ofGermanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures

Sounds of Migration – Call for Papers

Sounds of Migration – Call for Papers

The German Graduate Student Association of the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures (GGSA) will host its inaugural annual conference at the Pennsylvania State University from September 10 – 12, 2020.

Sounds of Migration – Call for Papers

Submit Abstract

Keynote speakers:


The growing flow and circulation of migrants and refugees across the world introduces unfamiliar voices and sounds into new environments. This conference will examine the diverse expressions and echoes of what we call the sounds of migration. Drawing from Arjun Appadurai’s (1996) definition of technoscapes, we conceptualize “the sounds of migration” as encapsulating the fluid nature of sounds, bodies, and cultural elements coming together to construct imagined worlds, as seen in a globalized space. We invite a broad range of submissions that explore various aspects of the oral and aural dynamics related to migrations, displacements, refugees, and diasporas. How do minority voices emerge? What impact do experiences of migration have on everyday life, both from those relocating and the receiving society? How is literature, language, music, and/or other forms of culture and artistic expression created? How do languages in contact influence each other and lead to changes in pronunciation, word formation or sentence structure?

Possible topics may include, but are not confined to:

  • Phonetics / Phonology
  • Syntax
  • Morphology
  • Contact languages and languages in contact
  • Performance / Stage
  • Mixtures of dialects and languages
  • Archives of migration
  • Literature about refugees’ experiences
  • Music in exile
  • Visual culture and arts
  • Displacement and memory in art and theory
  • Migration and education


We welcome papers across languages and disciplines which engage with the theme of “Sounds of Migration.” Presenters will be allotted 20 minutes of presentation time, followed by 10 minutes of discussion. The submission deadline is Sunday, March 15, 2020. Abstracts are limited to 500 words (excluding references).

  • Professors, faculty, and graduate students are encouraged to apply.

Keywords: dialects, displacement, exile, memory, migration, minority, morphology, musicology, phonetics, phonology, pedagogy, translation, sound studies, syntax