Call for Papers

This conference has been postponed.  Please see updated dates and deadlines below.

The Once and Future English conference will be held March 10-12, 2022 at the University of Notre Dame London Global Gateway in Trafalgar Square.

This conference begins with the notion that English is today used by about 1.5 billion people, less than a third of whom speak it as their first language. This minority-majority reversal has significantly impacted the grammatical characteristics of English, the demographics of the Anglophone population, the domains in which English is used, and attitudes towards the language, which has been described both as a venue for increased global communication and as a cultural and economic predator. The history of the language is being rewritten as well, from one defined by conventional periodization and the triumph of English as a Germanic language, to one that has reoriented the historical and contemporary significance of the language’s traditional homelands. The Once and Future English asks the question: How will English’s present and past look to future speakers?

Plenary Speakers:
Anne Curzan, University of Michigan
Seth Lerer, University of California – San Diego
Lynda Mugglestone, University of Oxford

Abstracts are invited for 20-minute papers on any of the following threads: mutual intelligibility; written and spoken language; the impact of language contact; historical periodization; social and cultural consequences of the spread of English; the definition of English and of Anglophone speech communities; resistance to the spread of English; the status of English in relation to other languages; the relative status of current varieties of English; L2 speakers and the future of English; grammatical changes in progress; written standards; and English language historiography.

Interested speakers should send a 300-word abstract, including names and affiliations, to onceandfutureenglish@nd.edu

Submissions are due by August 15th, 2021.  Please specify which of the threads for which you are applying.

Any questions should be directed to the conference organizer, Tim Machan (tmachan@nd.edu).