Diversity of Writing Systems: Embracing Multiple Perspectives
Tuesday, March 26, 2019 to Thursday, March 28, 2019

Location:

CFP Deadline: 
Sunday, September 30, 2018

"12th International Workshop of the Association for Written Language and Literacy

Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge

Tuesday, March 26 – Thursday, March 28, 2019

First call for papers

The Association of Written Language and Literacy’s twelfth gathering (AWLL12), organized in conjunction with the Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge, will focus on the wealth of diversity within the world’s historical and contemporary writing systems. The conference sets out to offer an opportunity for exchange between a wide range of scholars interested in writing systems and written language, in order to foster greater mutual understanding of their multiple perspectives on the typological, structural, historical, sociocultural, technological, and individual variety present within writing systems. Abstracts are therefore welcome from researchers working on reading and writing within any academic discipline, including, but not limited to, linguistics, psychology, archaeology, sociology, education and literacy, technology, digital humanities, and computer science. PhD students and early-career researchers are also especially encouraged to apply.

Key issues to be addressed include:

  • What fundamental principles underlie the structure and function of the world’s historical and contemporary writing systems? Is a single unified typology of writing systems possible or are separate taxonomies preferable?
  • What linguistic and psychological processes are at work in the adaptation of one writing system to another? How are these affected by the cultural and social context of the adaptation?
  • What linguistic, psychological, cultural and social, and technological factors bring about diversity within writing systems? How do such factors influence literacy acquisition and shape the use of writing?
  • How can studying the development of historical writing systems enhance our understanding of contemporary writing systems? How can contemporary research on reading and writing contribute to the study of historical writing systems?
  • How are the world’s writing systems likely to develop in the future? What principles should guide orthography development for as yet unwritten languages?

The 2.5-day programme will include two keynote lectures, a symposium focusing on research into ancient Mediterranean and Chinese writing systems at Cambridge, oral and poster presentations, and a panel discussion.

Keynote speakers

Sonali Nag, University of Oxford (Research interests: literacy and language development and the relationship between writing systems and learning, particularly in South and South-East Asian languages).

Kathryn Piquette, University College London (Research interests: Egyptian and Near Eastern writing and art, and the development and application of advanced imaging techniques for the elucidation of ‘visual’ culture from the wider ancient world and beyond).

Local organisers

Robert Crellin and Anna Judson (University of Cambridge, U.K.)

Programme committee

Lynne Cahill (University of Sussex, U.K.), Robert Crellin (University of Cambridge, U.K.), Terry Joyce (Tama University, Japan), Anna Judson (University of Cambridge, U.K.), Dorit Ravid (University of Tel Aviv, Israel)

Abstract submission

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be submitted as a PDF attachment to AWLL12.2019@gmail.com by September 30th, 2018. Please indicate whether you would prefer to be considered for an oral presentation (20-25min) or a poster presentation (maximum size portrait A0 or landscape A1). Applicants will be notified on the acceptance of their abstracts by the end of November 2018.

Details of registration for presenters and for others wishing to attend without presenting will be circulated along with the final programme after this date."

Contact Information
Anna and Robert

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