VocUM : interdisciplinary conference dedicated to language

  • VocUM is an annual, international conference organized by graduate students of the Université de Montréal, all from different fields of study relating to language. It is the only interdisciplinary conference dedicated to language in Montreal.



    We are pleased to announce that submissions are now open for the 8th edition of VocUM, which will take place online on November 18th, 19th and 20th, 2021. VocUM is an annual international conference organized by students of the Université de Montréal, all from different fields of study relating to language. It is the only multidisciplinary conference dedicated to language in Montréal.

    This edition of the conference will explore the numerous intersections between language and space(s). From reevaluating our relation to physical locations and distances during the pandemic, to matters of globalization and migratory movements, and to the new frontiers we are crossing with projects of Martian colonization, there is a constant redefinition of our relation to space. Montréal, Ville-Marie, Hochelaga, Tiohtià:ke: the toponymy reflects the evolving and multifaceted connection between language users and the territory. Our relation with space – through attachment to the land, (re)discovery, inhabitation and occupation, power dynamics, and population movements – remains an important driver of linguistic change. 

    Hoping to fully showcase the polysemy of this theme, we will welcome presentations from a wide array of research fields. We will consider proposals addressing the impacts of spaces of language practices (mobility, travel narratives, communication and distances) and those diving into the different discourse spaces (within the media, advertising, education, private versus public, borders, and commercial spaces). Presentations may also focus on endangered languages, minority languages, and language policies, extending to different linguistic communities’ relations with the territory, either in identity, political or militant perspectives. Along with questions on the expression of space through language, the conversation opens to broader horizons, whether abstract or concrete: from safe spaces to language learning environments, from accessibility matters (translation and translation technologies, interpretation, sign languages, inclusive language) to research on the physiological aspects of language (localization of language functions, correlations between the brain and speech disorders). We also hope to include presentations on the impacts of physical and virtual spaces: reclusion settings, communication platforms and forums, artificial intelligence, virtual therapy. Finally, interpretations of space also stretch from reality to fiction and encompass poetics of place (the flâneur figure, the road narrative), science fiction and imaginary spaces (non-places, escapism, constructed languages). Coming back to human interactions and the impact of spaces on linguistic variation, we will also accept proposals on the role of language in the delimitation and definition of physical spaces and socially constructed spaces alike (lects, communities of practice, code-switching, linguistic assimilation). 

    Submissions from the following disciplinary perspectives and more will be considered for VocUM2021 ⁠–⁠ Language and space:

    Ancient languagesLexicography
    Applied linguisticsLiteratures
    Art historyMinority languages
    Automatic language processingModern languages
    Comparative literaturePhilosophy of language
    Computer sciencePhonetics
    DidacticsPolitical science
    Discourse analysisPragmatics
    History of languageSpecialized translation
    History of languagesSpeech-language pathology
    L1/L2/Ln AcquisitionTerminology
    Language disordersTerminotics
    Language pedagogyTranslation
    Language planningTranslation history
    Language policyTranslation policy

    The exact format of the 2021 edition (choice of platform, synchronicity, etc.) will be determined as the event nears, following the public health measures in place at the time. The 2020 edition was held entirely online and, looking back on the success of the event, we hope to bring to this year’s conference the same quality and energy of past editions, even as space keeps us apart.

    Submissions in French, English, Quebec Sign Language (LSQ) and American Sign Language (ASL) are welcomed. That being said, VocUM still encourages the use of French in order to resist the current trend toward English hegemony in the dissemination of scientific knowledge. Similarly, contributors working in fields related to Spanish and German studies can present their research in Spanish or German, respectively. We will also consider submissions from undergraduate students.

    Please note that the entire conference will be accessible to deaf participants through sign language interpretation. Selected proposals will be required to submit certain documents prior to the conference to allow interpreters to prepare for the presentations.

    Proposals (400 words maximum) must be submitted using the electronic form available on the VocUM website. Anonymous peer evaluation of the proposals will be carried out by a scientific committee. Presentations will be between 15 and 20 minutes long (to be determined according to the final number of presentations), followed by a question and answer session.

    We would like to remind you that submissions to ScriptUM, VocUM’s sister journal, are now open to all. This multidisciplinary, student-run journal undertakes double-blind peer review. The next call for papers will be announced in the spring of 2021. We encourage presenters from the 8th edition to keep this date in mind and submit a paper touching on the results of the research to be presented during the conference.

    For more information on ScriptUM and access to past issues, please visit the journal’s website at the following address: https://scriptum.vocum.ca/.


    Deadline for proposal submission: Friday, July 2nd, 2021

    Notification of acceptance: end of August 2021

    Conference: November 18­th, 19th and 20th, 2021

    For more information: https://vocum.ca/en, info@vocum.ca