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GCSC KNL | Prof. Sarita Monjane Henriksen (JLU): "The Power of Mainstream Western Media in Influencing Discourses on Migration: Defying the Narrative"

Part of GCSC (Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture) Keynote Lecture Series und a cooperation between GCSC/RCSC & the Chair of Cultural Sociology, JLU


Feb 07, 2023 from 06:00 to 08:00 (Europe/Berlin / UTC100)



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This paper attempts to contribute to the transdisciplinary study of migration, mainly from a sociolinguistic perspective, and with factual evidence, it intends to challenge the narrative that the bulk of international migrations are south-north, and across oceans. The paper pinpoints that south-south migrations, in fact, are quite significant and that migrants are moving across land borders in the global south. By bringing together three different subject areas, namely, language policy and education planning, refugee and immigration studies, and translation and interpreting studies, the paper highlights the importance that the language factor plays in shaping society’s views, perceptions and understandings of migration processes, patterns, trends, figures, and related consequences. The paper argues that the key role played by language in migration studies, can be seen from a variety of lenses, such as, in documenting and reporting occurring migration phenomena, in resorting to translation and/or interpretation in order to breach the communication gap between migrants and the host country authorities (be it the court, police, immigration and/or health services), in facilitating access to the education system, as well as in determining whether persons in mobility will be granted the possibility to stay, and be integrated as active citizens of the host societies.


// Prof. Dr. Sarita Monjane Henriksen (ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9716-5375) is a DAAD Visiting Professor at the Institute of Sociology, at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen and holds a PhD in Language Policy and Education Planning with a focus on Multilingual Contexts, awarded by the University of Roskilde, Denmark; a Master Degree in Linguistics in Education, University of Surrey, St. Mary’s University College, United Kingdom; holds a degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Universidade Pedagógica, Mozambique. She is Associate Professor in Language Education, teaching the disciplines of English Language and Sociolinguistics, Education Policy, Language and Cultural Diversity, Translation Studies, and Introduction to Consecutive Interpreting. She is a DAAD Visiting Professor at the Justus Liebig University of Giessen, and is currently the Director of Cooperation at the Pedagogical University of Maputo and a member of the Doctoral School on Language Studies, facilitating the PhD seminars on Language Planning and Policy, Languages in Contact and Bilingual Education. She was until recently the Dean of the Faculty of Language Sciences, Communication and Arts; was Guest Professor at the ISCTE-IUL of Lisbon, at the Universidade Federal do Paraíba, João Pessoa, Brazil, and at the University of Southern Denmark.

The Keynote Lecture is the opening event for the one-day workshop “Vocabularies of Migration: Reflexive Perspectives on Interdisciplinarity, Translation and Language in Migration Research” (Organized by the Chair of Cultural Sociology and the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC)/Research Centre for the Study of Culture (RCSC) in collaboration with the Research Network Migration and Human Rights (FMM)), which will take place on February 8, 2023, 09:30-17:00 at GCSC.  

To join the Keynote Lecture online, please refer to the GGK/GCSC KNL Announcement (sent per e-mail to the newsletter subscribers) or contact Dr. Jens Kugele. (The meeting is accessible shortly before 18:00.)