Mission and values

  • Colloque VocUM (henceforth VocUM) is a non-profit organization whose principal activity is the organization of an annual, interdisciplinary conference on language. Its main objective is to open a space for student-researchers, in order to allow them to share the results of their research on language. This objective is motivated by two shortcomings of the current structure of graduate studies.

    Firstly, language is an object of study for numerous academic disciplines. However, these remain largely isolated from one another, which is reflected in the highly compartmentalized structure of graduate studies (one department, a single advisor, one very narrow subject). Secondly, graduate studies are perceived as comprising three core activities: completing mandatory classes, carrying out the research project, and writing the thesis or dissertation. In so doing, some crucial aspects of professional research are neglected, namely the dissemination of research findings – through conference attendance or article publication –, professional networking, and collaborative research in multidisciplinary contexts. Thus, students do not have the opportunity to develop the skills related to these fundamental aspects of research: oral communication, writing, interpersonal skills (communication, adaptability, team work, etc.). All of this contributes to the isolation and solitude felt by many graduate students on several fronts, personal (few interactions with peers), intellectual (little feedback from peers) as well as professional (little dissemination of research findings, thus little recognition of research projects).

    VocUM aims to tackle this double problem by allowing student-researchers to present their research findings to a community of peers and to write a research article based on this presentation, all of this in a multidisciplinary context that promotes the integration of differing perspectives and thus the elaboration of innovative solutions.