Modern Languages Discipline+ Catalyst

The Modern Languages Catalyst runs an annual researcher-led training programme that draws on the expertise of dozens of staff in ML disciplines across Scotland, as well as that of external partners and distinguished guest speakers. Our aim is to nurture a Scotland-wide community in which PGR students in Modern Languages can share experiences, discuss ideas and develop their skills.

While our events are discipline-specific in that they are aimed at doctoral students based in ML departments, they embrace the inherent diversity and interdisciplinarity of this cohort by facilitating academic conversations about a broad range of cultural, social and technical topics. Some workshops adopt the style of a masterclass, allowing students the rare opportunity to work in a small group with an acclaimed international expert in the field, while other sessions are larger in scope and facilitate networking and relationship-building. Recent events, for example, have focused on writing about subjectivity, on working with a variety of visual media, on reading premodern texts, and on theory in translation. In all our activities, we want to provide a friendly and informal forum for exchange, and to work flexibly and collaboratively in order to meet the evolving needs of the Modern Languages PGR community.

Upcoming Events

  • Modern Languages Research as Fieldwork (Semester 2 - Exact Date TBC)

Recent publications have encouraged Modern Languages researchers to see the proximities between their own work and that of ethnographic practice. These publications place particular emphasis on common techniques and impulses such as openness and curiosity; emplaced and embodied knowledge production; experiential practice; and making the familiar strange. This workshop will consider these approaches to research and offer doctoral students the chance to reflect critically on their own position as self-ethnographers and to undertake task-based practice in fieldwork techniques.

  • Corpus Technology for Linguistic Research (Semester 2 - Exact Date TBC)

The event will address the question of how corpus methodologies can be useful in translation studies and give an overview of the development of corpus-based translation studies. In the practical session, participants will learn how to use the interface of Sketch Engine and build corpora: your own corpora – monolingual and bilingual, web-based corpora as well as corpora available through the Sketch Engine platform.

  • Intermediality. Practice-led Research in Modern Languages (Semester 2 - Exact Date TBC)

In this session, our guest speaker will present some of the principles and methods behind practice-led research, taking us through her work in intermediality, in particular her latest curatorial project on the legacy and after-life of Fascist Art, to show how practice-led research methods allow scholars to maximise impact and public engagement opportunities while testing innovative approaches to cocreation and coproduction in teaching. The challenges of a style of curatorship developed for academic pedagogy will provide the focus and the material for the interactive Workshop to follow.

An advice and discussion session on how to adapt a Modern Languages thesis into a book, how to get it published, and what happens next.

  • Writing on Film and Television (Semester 2 - Exact Date TBC)

Many Modern Languages scholars write on film and television but not all start off with the necessary preparation in audiovisual analysis. Drawing from backgrounds in literary analysis, they focus on narrative and language elements to the detriment of audiovisual elements. This workshop will discuss how to analyse and write on elements like mise en scène, cinematography, editing and sound.

This workshop will explore how work in Modern Languages engages with current debates on decolonizing academic research and practice. It will consider the contribution of Modern Languages to date, in terms of the critical and theoretical paradigms developed within its disciplines, and what further questions need to be asked. In particular, it will explore what it might mean to decolonize research methodologies in Modern Languages, from the formulation of research questions to the use and critical interrogation of archives.

  • Modern Languages and (Inter)disciplinarity (June 2021)

The status of Modern Languages as a discipline has been the subject of much debate in recent years. Does the subject have the distinctive features (methodologies, theories, etc.) of subjects such as History or English Literature? Or, as some have argued, is it an interdiscipline, a subject that houses a range of disciplinary approaches? This session will guide students through some of the critical literature on this topic so that they can begin to situate their own PhD research within the broader intellectual field, and it will also deal with how ML fits into emerging fields such as Digital Humanities.



When published, all event details and registration links will be found on the SGSAH Events and Training page

Have an idea for training? Want to learn more about a specific event? Get in touch with the Discipline+ Catalyst contact at your HEI. ↓