VocUM 2018 – Language and gender: communicating plurality

  • We are pleased to announce that submissions are now open for the 5th edition of VocUM, which will take place at the Carrefour des arts et des sciences of the Université de Montréal (Québec, Canada) on November 22nd and 23rd, 2018. 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.

    Language influences the mental representations we have regarding gender: it can convey power imbalances and encourage discrimination or, conversely, be a springboard to designify gender and to build an inclusive discourse that showcases plurality. In the last decades, social advocacy relating to diversity and de/reconstruction of gender has had an impact on current linguistic practices, namely by giving rise to neologisms and linguistic or graphic innovations that go beyond the gender binary. Gender-equal communication, neutral pronouns in some languages (e.g. Swedish), gender-inclusive language, which avoids referencing gender, or on the other hand insistence on “feminization” of language are among some of the strategies used to elude linguistic sexism and to rethink the implications of our linguistic practices. If language is political, how can it be made to reflect the subtleties of the gender spectrum? How, also, can the criteria that define gender – grammatical gender, (socially) constructed gender, etc. – be established? What links can be drawn between grammatical gender, gender identity, and biological sex? How can different types of language (body language, cinematographic language, literary language, computer languages, mathematical language, etc.) (de)construct gender? The 5th edition of this conference will give us the opportunity to explore these questions and to suggest avenues of thought relative to them.

    Submissions to the current edition, VocUM 2018Language and gender can namely, though not exclusively, be addressed from the following disciplinary perspectives:

    • Ancient languages
    • Anthropology
    • Automatic language processing
    • Cinema and visual arts
    • Communication
    • Comparative literature
    • Computer science
    • Cultural translation
    • Didactics
    • Discourse analysis
    • Feminist studies
    • Forensic linguistics
    • Fundamental linguistics
    • Information science
    • L1/L2/Ln Acquisition
    • Language disorders
    • Language pedagogy
    • Language philosophy
    • Language planning
    • Literatures
    • Localization and adaptation
    • Minority languages
    • Modern languages
    • Neurolinguistics
    • Pragmatics
    • Psycholinguistics
    • Queer studies
    • Sociolinguistics
    • Sociology
    • Specialized translation
    • Speech-language pathology
    • Terminology
    • Translation history
    • Translation policy


    Proposals (450 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 (depending on the final number of presenters), followed by a question and answer session.Submissions in French and English are welcomed. In order to resist the current trend toward English hegemony in scientific research, VocUM however encourages the dissemination of knowledge in French. Similarly, contributors working in the fields of Spanish and German studies can present their research in Spanish or German, respectively. We may also consider submissions from undergraduate students.

    Presenters of the 5th edition of VocUM will also have the opportunity to publish their research in ScriptUM, the conference’s academic journal. ScriptUM is a multidisciplinary, student-run journal with double-blind peer review. It can be accessed at the following address: https://scriptum.vocum.ca/.

    Important dates

    Deadline for proposal submission: July 6th, 2018

    Notification of acceptance: September 2018

    Conference: November 22nd and 23rd, 2018

    For more information: http://vocum.ca, info@vocum.ca