Call for papers: Historical discourses on languages and power

We are pleased to announce that the next Historical Sociolinguistics Network (HiSoN) conference will take place on 6-8 February 2014 at the University of Sheffield. Bordering the picturesque Yorkshire Dales, Sheffield is easily reached via Manchester International Airport as well as London airports.

Keynote speakers:

  • Anita Auer (Universiteit Utrecht) –
  • Nils Langer (University of Bristol) –
  • Phil Withington (University of Sheffield) –


This conference aims to zone in on the interface between history and linguistics, with a sharp focus on historical discourses on language and power. Power plays a central role in shaping social interactions and various forms of group membership. It enables the construction of insiders and outsiders in relation to ethnicity, social class, gender, religion and so on. From a historical perspective, in what ways has language been central to constructing, challenging and reconfiguring boundaries? Additionally, in what ways do contemporary discourses on language and power draw on historical events to justify or contest social practices? Contributions are welcome from but not limited to the fields of sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, social history and cultural anthropology.

The deadline for abstracts of 250-300 words (bibliography included) is 31 August 2013. Abstracts and queries about the conference should to be sent to the conference email address: Notification of acceptance will be sent by 31 October 2013.

Further information will be posted to the conference website in due course. Please watch this space:

We look forward to seeing you in February 2014,

the Sheffield HiSoN conference organizers

Susan Fitzmaurice, Kristine Horner, Catharina Peersman and Mark Faulkner